wiki:Shiraz (1928)

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aka Das Grabmal einer groszen Liebe 1928 St 9308 ft b&w d Franz Osten pc British Instructional Films/ Ufa/Himansu? Rai Film stNiranjan Pal's play sc W.A. Burton m Arthur Guttmann c Emil Schunemann, H. Harris lp Himansu Rai, Charu Roy, Seeta Devi, Enakshi Rama Rao, Maya Devi, Profulla Kumar

After Prem Sanyas and some German films, Osten returned to India for his second collaboration with Rai, a historical romance set in the Mughal Empire, subtitled, like Prapancha Pash (1929), A Romance of India. Selima (Enakshi) is a princess-foundling raised by a potter and loved by her brother, Shiraz (Rai). She is abducted and sold as a slave to Prince Khurram, later Emperor Shahjehan (Roy), who also falls for her, to the chagrin of the wily Dalia (Seeta Devi). When Selima is caught with Shiraz, the young man is condemned to be trampled to death by an elephant. A pendant reveals Selima's royal status and she saves her brother, marries the prince and becomes Empress Mumtaz Mahal while Dalb is banned for her machinations against Selima. When Selima dies (1629), the emperor builds her a monument to the design of the now old and blind Shiraz, the Taj Mahal. The film contains a number of passionate kissing scenes. The cinematography received favourable comment, introducing a baroque camera style that became inescapably linked with the genre of Mughal romances (e.g. Charu Roy's Loves o f a Mughal Prince and Choudhury's Anarkali, both also 1928). The art direction was by Promode Nath. The German release had a music score by Arthur Guttmann. It was a slightly shorter version, at 8402 ft. The US release credited the assistant director V. Peers as co-director of an 80' version in 1929. The surviving print at the NFAI is 7778 ft.