Mughal-e-Azam is a 1960 Indian epichistorical drama film directed by K. Asif and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji. Starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, and Durga Khote, it follows the love affair between Mughal Prince Salim and Anarkali, a court dancer. Salim’s father, Emperor Akbar, dis-approves of the relationship, which leads to a war between father and son.
The development of Mughal-e-Azam began in 1944, when Asif read a play set in the reign of Emperor Akbar “1556–1605”. Production was plagued by delays and financial uncertainty. Before its principal photography began in the early 1950s, the project had lost a financier and undergone a complete change of cast. Mughal-e-Azam cost more to produce than any previous Indian motion picture; the budget for a single song sequence exceeded that typical for an entire film of the period. The soundtrack, inspired by Indian classical and folk music, comprises 12 songs voiced by playback singers including Lata Mangeshkar and classical singer Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and is often cited among the finest in Bollywood cinematic history.