MUGHAL-E-AZAM Named Greatest Bollywood Movie

In a poll conducted in the UK to decide the greatest piece of cinema that Bollywood has offered in its 100 years of existence, the 1960s classic Mughal –e-Azam emerged as the winner. The poll was conducted by a British Asian weekly newspaper named Eastern Eye. Mughal-e-Azam had a narrow victory over Bollywood’s take on Western movies – Sholay.

Mughal-e-Azam, which translates to ‘The Greatest of the Mughals’ was directed by K. Asif and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji. The movie had a star cast comprising of Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Durga Khote. It revolves around the life of the Mughal Prince Salim, who eventually went on to become Emperor Jahangir.

Salim falls for a court dancer named Anarkali. The forbidden love draws the wrath of Salim’s father, the great Mughal emperor Akbar. It also draws the envy of another dancer who harbored wishes to be a queen to Salim someday. Despite all the hostility, Salim and Anarkali do not let go of each other. This leads to a battle between father and son. Salim loses the war but is spared in return for Anarkali's life. Anarkali, too is eventually spared. Mughal-e-azam was a sensation in its times. People flocked to theaters to catch a glimpse of this period drama. It became the highest grosser in Bollywood and it kept that crown for a period of 15 years. Owing to its popularity, the film was released in a color version in 2004 which became a superhit as well.

Mughal-e-Azam is a landmark movie to say the least. It is one of those movies that defined Bollywood before the world. Not only was it a commercial success, but also a critically acclaimed movie. Its rich cinematic quality, cinematography, poetic dialogues, sophistication, pleasant background score and music, ostentatious sets, and attention to the minutest detail left everyone bamboozled in its era. The film won several awards, including one National Film Award and three Filmfare Awards. The movie was a celebration of love. It spread love to such an extent that in 2006, it became the first Bollywood movie to release on Pakistan soil after a period of 41 years.

The other movies which made to the top ten list apart from Mughal-e-Azam and Sholay are 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' (3), 'Mother India' (4), 'Awaara'(5), 'Deewar' (6), '3 Idiots' (7), 'Kabhi Kabhie' (8), 'Andaz' (9) and 'Maine Pyar Kiya' (10).