K. Asif directed Mughal-E-Azam, a period epic film and the original black and white version was released in 1960. Shapoorji Pallonji produced the Hindi movie under Sterling Investment Corporation banner. The movie saw an amazing cinematic release for any movie in the country at the time. People had to wait in day-long queues and some places also saw riots for tickets. The film made box office records on release and became the highest collecting Bollywood movie of all times. Colour version of the movie was released in 2004 which was a commercial success in spite of stiff competition from other new Hindi films.
Written by Hrishi Dixit the movie is based on an incident in the Mughal Prince Salim’s life, who was later crowned as Emperor Jahangir. Akbar the great conqueror is played by Prithviraj Kapoor and Durga Khote has played the role of Mariam-uz-Zamani, his Rajput Queen. Salim their son is a pleasure loving, week Prince. Dilip Kumar plays the role of Salim and the movie is set in the 16th century AD. It is a story of a doomed love affair between the Prince and the lovely, unfortunate court dancer Anarkali , played by Madhubala. This perpetrates a conflict between father and son which threatens to challenge the empire.
The movie went on floor in 1944 and by the time it was completed in 1960, it was the costliest Indian film to be made. In fact the cost of shooting a single scene was more than the budget of a normal movie. Naushad was the music director and has created its soundtrack. The evergreen and lilting lyrics were written by Shakeel Badayuni. Music is greatly inspired by folk and classical Indian music and many believe its songs to be among the finest soundtracks in the history of Bollywood.
Mughal-E-Azam is considered to be a classic and is documented as a landmark in Indian films. Critics now and earlier unanimously praised the movie, marvelling its cinematic superiority, cinematography, attention to detail and grandeur. The film won several awards including Filmfare award and the prestigious National Film Award.