Mughal-E-Azam (1960)

 ●  Hindi ● 3 hrs 12 mins

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'Mughal-E-Azam' follows the love affair between Mughal Prince Salim (who went on to become Emperor Jahangir) and a court dancer Anarkali. The relationship is disapproved of by his father, Emperor Akbar, and envied by a senior dancer who wishes to become queen. Salim and Anarkali refuse to part with each other, leading to a war between father and son which the latter loses. Salim's life is spared in exchange for Anarkali's, who is eventually exiled.
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Cast: Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Prithviraj Kapoor

Crew: K Asif (Director), RD Mathur (Director of Photography), Naushad Ali (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Drama, Romance, War

Release Dates: 05 Aug 1960 (India)

Hindi Name: मुग़ल-इ-आज़म

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Did you know? This was one of only two films K. Asif completed. When he died in 1971, he left behind two unfinished films, Sasta Khoon Mahenga Paani and Love and God, the latter released by K.C. Bokadia in 1986. Read More
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as Prince Saleem
as Anarkali
as Emperor Akbar
Supporting Actor
as Maharani Jodha Bai
as Young Prince Saleem
as Anarkali's Mother
Supporting Actress
as Bahar
as Suraiya, Anarkali's Sister


Assistant Director


Production Company




Screenplay Writer
Dialogue Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Sound Re-recording Mixer
Assistant Sound Re-recording Mixer



Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist
Film Type:
Feature Film
Spoken Languages:
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital, Mono
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
The battle sequence between Akbar and Salim reportedly featured 2,000 camels, 400 horses and 8,000 troops, mainly from the Indian Army's Jaipur cavalry, 56th Regiment. Lead actor, Dilip Kumar has spoken of the intense heat during filming of the sequence in the desert of Rajasthan, wearing full armour

The song "Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya" was filmed in Mohan Studios in a set built as a replica of the Sheesh Mahal in the Lahore Fort. A much-discussed aspect of the set was the presence of numerous small mirrors made of Belgian glass, which were crafted and designed by workers from Firozabad. This set took two years to build, and cost more than INR1.5 million (valued at about US$314,465 in 1960), a price higher than the budget of an entire Bollywood film at that time.

The project faced multiple hurdles which forced it to be abandoned. The political tensions and communal rioting surrounding India's 1947 partition and independence stalled the film's production. Shortly after partition, Shiraz Ali migrated to Pakistan, leaving Asif without a financier. The actor initially chosen to play the lead role, Chandra Mohan suffered a heart attack and died in 1949.

It is noteworthy that one of the four Urdu writers chosen to develop the screenplay and dialogue was Aman, actress Zeenat Aman's father, also known as Amanullah Khan.

'Mughal-e-Azam' is widely considered to be a milestone in Indian cinema, and critics have praised the film, commenting on its cinematic grandeur and attention to detail.

The movie was the first black-and-white Hindi film to be digitally coloured, and the first such film in the world to be given a theatrical re-release. The colour version, released in November 2004, was a commercial success.

'Mughal-e-Azam' had the widest cinematic release for an Indian film at that time, and patrons often queued throughout the day to get tickets. Upon its release on 5 August 1960, the film broke box office records in India, becoming the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, a distinction it held for 15 years.

The movie was originally shot three times, once each for lips moving for Hindi, Tamil and English dialogs. The Tamil version of the movie did very poorly, so the dream of having Shakespearean actors from Britain doing the dubbing in English was dropped. In 2004, it was announced that after extensive search, no copies of the English version are available.

The heavy chains Madhubala wore in the film were authentic, not the lightweight models worn in those days. It was her greatest ordeal in the film and she was bedridden for days nursing the bruises caused by wearing those chains.

The song "Pyar Kiya To Darna Kiya" has an unusual history to it: it cost Rs. 10 million at a time when a film would be made for less than a million; it was written and re-written 105 times by the lyricist, Shakeel Badayuni, before the music director, Naushad, could approve of it; it was shot in the renowned Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors); and in those days of sound recording, editing and mixing, as there was no way to provide the reverberation of sound, Naushad had Lata Mangeshkar sing the song in a studio bathroom.

For the battle sequence, 2,000 camels, 4,000 horses and 8,000 troops were used, many of them soldiers on loan from the Indian Army. This was arranged through special permission through the Indian Ministry of Defence-a rare occurrence today. The soldiers came from the Jaipur regiment of the Indian army.

The statue of Lord Krishna used in the film is made of pure gold.

The song "Ae Mohabbat Zindabad" had singer Mohammed Rafi with a chorus of 100 singers.

This was (counting Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas) the most expensive film ever made in Indian history. Tailors were brought from Delhi to stitch the costumes, specialists from Surat-Khambayat were employed for the embroidery, Hyderabad goldsmiths made the jewellery, Kohalpur craftsmen designed the crowns, Rajasthan ironsmiths crafted the weapons, and the elaborate footwear was ordered from Agra. For the battle sequence, 2000 camels, 4000 horses and 8000 troops were used, many of them soldiers on loan from the Indian Army. Altogether the film cost Rs. 1.5 crores (38.29 crores in present terms).

This was one of only two films K. Asif completed. When he died in 1971, he left behind two unfinished films, Sasta Khoon Mahenga Paani and Love and God, the latter released by K.C. Bokadia in 1986.

With the advent of Jhansi Ki Rani in 1951, colour films became a revolution. K. Asif wanted to remake the whole film in colour, but when the distributors lost patience settled for having two songs and the film's 30-minute climax shot in Technicolor, with the rest of the film (85%) black-and-white. However, in November 2004, the whole movie was restored and colorized in a year-long process by the IAAA (Indian Academy of Arts and Animation) and re-released.

K. Asif initially cast Sapru, Chandramohan and Nargis for the roles of Akbar, Salim and Anarkali.

It took over 10 years for the movie to be complete.

Prithviraj Kapoor would look into a mirror as tall as himself before each shot. When K Asif asked him why he did so, he replied, "I do so to get under the skin of the character."

Tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain says, "I was considered for the role of the young Dilip Kumar. But the role was eventually played by Jalal Agha."

The first full feature-length movie to be revived/colorized for a theatrical re-release in the history of world cinema. It has been done for some Hollywood movies but only for re-release on home video.