Prince Salim is forbidden to pursue his passion for dancing courtier, Anarkali, by his imposing father, the Emperor Akbar.
Set at the height of the great Mughal empire, it's a classic star-crossed love story, with Prince Salim (Kumar) being forbidden to pursue his passion for dancing courtier, Anarkali (Madhubala), by his imposing father, the Emperor Akbar (Kapoor).
But, after nearly a decade in pre-production, the director clearly wasn't content with merely discussing such intimate subjects as duty, class, religion and parental disapproval.
He was intent on creating a crowdpleasing spectacular and, with glorious colour sequences recalling those in Eisenstein's Ivan The Terrible and battles evoking the same director's Alexander Nevsky and Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, he triumphantly succeeded.
Rightly hailed as one of the treasures of Indian cinema, this mammoth historical melodrama established any number of standard Bollywood themes and scenarios.