Shapoorji Pallonji Group celebrates 60 years of Mughal-e-Azam
The iconic film was released on August 5 in 1960
K Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam commemorated 60 years since its release on August 5. The historical saga told the story of Mughal prince Salim and his doomed love affair with Anarkali, a court dancer. The multiple award-winning film featured memorable performances by Prithviraj Kapoor (as Emperor Akbar), Dilip Kumar and Madhubala.
The biggest blockbuster of its time, Mughal Azam was produced by the Shapoorji Pallonji Group. The project faced multiple hurdles during its making, forcing its temporary abandonment. The political tensions and communal rioting surrounding India's partition in 1947 stalled the film's first version. Shiraz Ali, the producer, migrated to Pakistan. In the 1950s, Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry salvaged the film and came onboard to produce the film, despite no knowledge about film production. Shapoorji Pallonji had an inclination towards history, and hence wanted to create a landmark historical film. The film cost Rs. 1.5 crores in 1960, ten times the cost of an average film in those days. Shoot commenced in the early 50s with the production canvas involving war scenes with 2,000 camels, 4,000 horses and 8,000 Indian military men.
Mughal-e-Azam was the first black-and-white Hindi film to be digitally coloured and the first to be given a theatrical re-release. Shapoorji Pallonji’s grandson, Shapoor Pallonji Mistry, the present Chairman of the group, undertook the restoration and colourization of Mughal-e-Azam, originally only 15% shot in colour. Original music composer Naushad Ali recreated the six track surround sound version for the colour release, which opened in 2004.
Deepesh Salgia, CEO and Director at Grandview Estates Pvt. Ltd. (A part of Shapoorji Pallonji group), states, “We are proud to continue the legacy of the group by commemorating the movie’s 60 years. Mughal-E-Azam is India’s finest artwork and has created new benchmarks in cinema as well as in theatre production. The Shapoorji Pallonji Group takes this opportunity to thank Director K. Asif, and legendary actors Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and the Creative & Technical teams of the original version, the colour version and the musical play. Their immense contribution makes this work of art relevant even today, after 60 years of its release. The Shapoorji Pallonji Group is proud of the love and appreciation the movie has received.”
In 2016, Shapoorji Pallonji Group produced the theatrical version of the film, Mughal-e-Azam; the play was directed by Feroz Abbas Khan.