When you think of post-credit scenes, you think of Marvel, but did you know that Bollywood did it before it was cool? Fun fact: many think that Marvel started this trend with the Robert Downey Jr starrer 2008 Iron Man, but a Google search shows that The Silencers, which was a James Bond parody, was the idea back in 1966 .for giving something to the audience after the end of the film. But today, we will talk about how the 1960 Bollywood film Mughal-e-Azam started it all and became a Hollywood hit.
Before SS Rajamouli and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, we had Karimuddin Asif (K. Asif), the legendary director behind India’s epic historical drama. K. Asif was so far ahead of his time with the type of product he delivered over 60 years ago; even today, there are rarely any filmmakers who could match that vision.
Before we dive deep into the entire end credits sequence, below are a few things you should know about Mughal-e-Azam to get an insight into the unexpected success the film had upon its release.
Now, remember before you read this that we are talking about 1960 – just 13 years after the country gained independence. In fact, the film was conceptualized and the British still lead us. In the midst of the partition struggle, K. Asif lost the film’s main producer, Shiraz Ali, as he moved to Pakistan sometime after independence.
A crowd of 100,000 showing up outside a single theatre!
Mughal-e-Azam began with an assertion that this film would probably never see the light of day. Cut to its release almost 13 years later, it released, and a day before, a reported crowd of 100,000 showed up right outside one theater (Maratha Mandir, Mumbai) to buy tickets for the film.
67 times higher than the cost of the ticket!
This seemed exaggerated, but it was also reported that many people stood in the queue for 4-5 days just to get tickets for the movie. From days of standing in line for tickets to watch a movie to standing in lines to get the latest Sneaker drop or iPhone, the passion in people has remained the same. The tickets usually cost INR 1.5 (back then), but K. Asif decided to break all office records by charging around INR 100, which is almost 67 times the typical cost.
During the shooting of Mughal-e-Azam, Prithviraj Kapoor was so lost in his ‘Akbar’ character that he used to announce to the entire team that “Prithviraj Kapoor ab jaa rahaa” was in the make-up process. hai, Akbar ab aa raha hai…” You can imagine and want to be on his set just to see him announce that.
The first ever end credits sequence in the history of world cinema!
So, as for the end credits scene in this film, it is about Prithviraj Kapoor’s change of heart to leave Madhubala’s Anarkali, fulfilling a promise he owed to his mother. On the condition that Salim should not be known by Dilip Kumar, he allows her to enter what is probably the first end credits sequence ever seen in the history of world cinema.
That’s why Mughal-e-Azam is known to be a landmark film that showed the strong passion of several individuals to build a project that many consider groundbreaking. Still, here we are, 60+ years later, discussing the film and its historical significance.
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