One of Indian cinema’s most iconic films, Sholay, starring Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri and Amjad Khan, broke box office records and gave Bollywood some of its most loved characters – Jai, Veeru, Basanti and Gabbar Singh.
The impact of the movie was such that every single character of the movie is remembered till date. And for the first time in the history of Indian cinema, people loved the legendary villain Gabbar Singh played by debutante Amjad Khan.
This cult masala western sees escaped convicts Veeru (Dharmendra) and Jai (Bachchan) defend a village terrorised by bandits led by the maniacal Gabbar Singh (Khan). ‘Sholay’ has it all – epic dishum-dishum fight scenes, romance, humour, memorable songs, plot twists, thrilling dance sequences and sparkling performances. The haunting score and Bollywood’s baddest villain are the icing on a rollicking, all-action cake.
Did you know some facts about the film – Sholay?
- Nobody wanted to watch Sholay when it first released. Attendance in theatres was so low that the film was almost pulled off screens. And then it went on to become the biggest Bollywood hit till Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge came along, and the first film to celebrate 25 weeks or a silver jubilee in over 100 theatres.
- Amjad Khan almost didn’t get to play dacoit and ganglord Gabbar Singh, the role that made him famous. Actor Danny Denzongpa was the first choice but had to decline because he was shooting Feroz Khan’s Dharmatma in Afghanistan. Amjad Khan was a reluctant second choice because scriptwriter Javed Akhtar thought his voice was too weak to allow him to convincingly play a villain.
- Scenes featuring Gabbar Singh’s hideout were shot at the granite rocks in Ramnagram near Bangalore. A part of Ramnagram town was renamed Sippynagar in honour of director Ramesh Sippy.
- Despite being the year’s biggest hit, Sholay lost all the Filmfare awards but one – Best Editing for M S Shinde – to Deewar, also starring Amitabh Bachchan.
- Real bullets were allegedly used in the climax scene of the film and a stray bullet is said to have narrowly missed Amitabh Bachchan.
- Jai and Veeru were named after Salim Khan’s friends from college. Baldev Singh was named after Salim Khan’s father-in-law, the father of his first wife Salma whose real name was Sushila Charak.
- Jaya Bachchan was pregnant with daughter Shweta while the film was being shot, and pregnant with son Abhishek when the film premiered.
If you haven’t watched this movie till now, then go and watch the movie – SHOLAY!