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Film / Mughal-e-Azam

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Starring Those Two Actors, Dilip Kumar and Madhubala, with Pritviraj Kapoor.

The movie is based loosely on real events and a legend. Anarkali, a tawaif and a dancer, falls in love with Crown Prince Salim (who would later go on to become Emperor Jahangir). Salim's father, the Emperor Akbar, objects because of Anarkali's low social position. Emperor Akbar orders her imprisonment. Salim rebels against his father and orders an army to launch a siege. He gets defeated easily. Anarkali, to spare the life of Salim, asks Emperor Akbar to take her life instead. He orders publicly for her to be buried alive in a wall, though he spares her in private. Salim, unaware, is distraught. He then falls in love with Bahaar, a courtesan jealous of Anarkali, and he is unaware that Anarkali is still alive. For Bollywood fans, the film has the quintessential Star-Crossed Lovers.


  • Ambition Is Evil: Played straight with Bahar; discussed in-universe by the Sculptor, when talking about Akbar.
  • Artistic License History: Big time. Anarkali most likely never existed, and the identity and real name of the woman whom the film portrays as queen Jodhabai is still up for discussion these days.
  • Anti-Villain: Emperor Akbar.
  • Crowd Song - The ending of Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya or "If you love, then what's left to fear?", "Zindabad" ("Long live [love]").
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Bahar is sometimes said to be a reference to Nur Jahan - the real wife of the historical Salim/Jahangir, who, like Bahar, also was a lady-in-waiting to one of Akbar's wives. In real life, Nur Jahan was a cultured and educated woman, active in politics and enjoyed mutual love and respect with her husband. It isn't likely she attempted a second-degree murder on one of his other women.
  • G-Rated Sex: "Prem Jogan Banke", aka the famous scene where Salim caresses Anarkali's gasping face with a feather.
  • The Beautiful Elite - Madhubala is famous for her beauty. Dilip Kumar who played Prince Salim was also known to be handsome. Prithviraj Kapoor was considered very good looking when he was young and played the Emperor Akbar.