When you think about post-credit scenes, you think of Marvel, but did you know Bollywood did it way before it was cool? Just a fun fact: many think Marvel started this trend with 2008’s Robert Downey Jr starrer Iron Man, but as per a Google search it shows that back in 1966, The Silencers, which was posed to be a James Bond parody film, invented the idea of giving the audience something post the movie ends. But today, we’re going to talk about how a 1960 Bollywood film, Mughal-e-Azam, started it all and beat Hollywood to it.
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 ahead of his time with the kind of product he delivered over 60 years ago; even today, there are rarely any filmmakers who’d be able to match that vision.
Before we deep-dive into the whole end-credits sequence fun trivia, here are some things you should know about Mughal-e-Azam just to get a glimpse of the undying craze that the film had when it was released.
Now, remember before reading this is the year 1960 we’re talking about – just 13 years after the country got independence. In fact, the film was conceptualized while the British were still ruling us. Amidst the partition struggle, K. Asif lost the film’s leading producer, Shiraz Ali, as he shifted to Pakistan sometime after the independence.
A crowd of 100,000 showing up outside one theatre!
Mughal-e-Azam started with the assurance that probably this film wouldn’t be able to 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 just outside of one theatre (Maratha Mandir, Mumbai) to buy the tickets for the film.
67 times higher the ticket cost!
This seemed exaggerated, but it was also reported that many stood in the queue for 4-5 days just to get the tickets for the film. From standing days in line for a ticket to watch a movie to standing in lines to get the latest Sneaker drop or an iPhone, the passion in humans remained the same. The tickets usually cost INR 1.5 (back then), but K. Asif decided to break all the box office records by charging around INR 100, which is almost 67 times the typical cost.
During the shoot of Mughal-e-Azam, Prithviraj Kapoor was so much lost in his character ‘Akbar’ that whenever he used to get in the make-up process, he used to announce to the entire cast that “Prithviraj Kapoor ab jaa rahaa hai, Akbar ab aa raha hai…” You can just imagine and want to be on its sets just to see him announce that.
The first ever end-credits sequence in the history of world cinema!
So, regarding the end-credits scene in this film, it’s about the change of heart Prithviraj Kapoor’s heart to leave Madhubala‘s Anarkali, fulfilling a promise he owed to his mother. On the condition of Dilip Kumar‘s Salim should be unaware, he lets her go in probably the first end-credits sequence to be ever witnessed in the history of world cinema.
That’s why Mughal-e-Azam is known to be a landmark film that portrayed the sheer passion of some individuals to build a project that was considered as a goner by many. Still, here we are, 60+ years later, discussing the film and its historical importance.