K. Asif’s Mughal-E-Azam was combining historical fact with fiction to present before the viewer a tale that has left thousands spellbound. A masterpiece in the true sense of the word, it took about 10 years to complete this great piece of art.
The story as you know is based on Prince Salim and Anarkali’s love story. The couple is madly in love with each other and wants to get married, but Emperor Akbar refuses to accept a servant as his daughter-in-law. To prevent the wedding from taking place, the ruler of the Mughal Empire even captures Anarkali and fights a war against his own son. The movie henceforth is about two lovers lost in a reverie of irrevocable passion, unable to keep apart and struggling to be together.
The film was directed by K. Asif and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji. Starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Madhubala, Durga Khote, and Dilip Kumar, it is said to be the most expensive film of its time.
The part of Anarkali had first been offered to Suraiya but later went to Madhubala, Initially Asif rejected by Dilip Kumar for the part of Prince Salim. But he accepted the role upon the insistence of the film’s producer. Madhubala suffered from congenital heart disease, which was one of the reasons why at times she fainted on set.
The Film was released on 5th august 1960, and it remains the highest-grossing Indian film of all time. It broke box office records in India and became the highest-grossing Indian film of all time, a distinction it held for 15 years.
Mughal-e-Azam was the first black-and-white Hindi film to be digitally coloured, and the first in any language to be given a theatrical re-release. The colour version of this film was released in November 2004, which was also a commercial success.
Prithviraj Kapoor’s strong performance shapes the personality of Akbar the Great as a devout follower of rules and traditions. The charming Dilip Kumar does a wonderful job in playing the role of Prince Salim similarly Madhubala looks stunning in her role as the beauty of Anarkali
Naushad’s music composition is simply awesome and legendary Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Shamshad Begum have given their voices to the haunting melodies of the movie. Whether it be “Pyar kiya toh darna kya or Teri mehfil main are the most popular song of the film
Another unrelated film production based on the same stage play was Nandlal Jaswantlal’s Anarkali, starring Bina Rai and Pradeep Kumar, which became the highest grossing Bollywood film of 1953..Believing that the film had been cancelled, Kamal Amrohi, one of the scriptwriters who was also a director, planned to make a film on the same subject but When confronted by Asif, he agreed to leave the project.