The 1975 epic, Sholay is one film which was and will always remain Bollywood’s most popular and most loved film. Directed by Ramesh Sippy and written by Salim-Javed, nobody watched Sholay when it was released and it was only later that the film gained such an immense fan following. Sholay drew heavily from Western films, such as Once upon a Time in the West. Here is some interesting trivia about this classic film, which all movie buffs will enjoy:
- Sholay won only one Filmfare award for best editing, by M.S Shinde.
- The entire budget of Sholay was Rs.3 crores.
- Nobody watched Sholay when it was released. The film’s popularity spread by word of mouth and went on to run for five years continuously in a cinema in Mumbai.
- The role of Gabbar Singh, the dacoit, was initially given to Danny Denzongpa, who refused because he was busy shooting for another film. The role eventually went to Amjad Khan, a relatively unknown actor during the 70’s. Though script writer Javed Akthar was not convinced about Amjad Khan, because he thought his voice was not strong enough.
- Dharmendra, who played Veeru wanted to play Thakur Baldev Singh, played by Sanjeev Kumar. But when Dharmendra found out that Sanjeev Kumar would get the girl in the end, he changed his mind. Hema Malini, who played Basanti had just turned down a marriage proposal from Sanjeev Kumar and was not comfortable doing any scenes with him.
- Real bullets were used during the shooting of the climax and reportedly a bullet narrowly missed Amitabh Bachchan.
- Jaya Bachchan, who played the role of the Thakur’s widowed daughter-in-law was pregnant with daughter Shweta during the shooting of Sholay and pregnant with son Abhishek during the premier when the film released.
- In the original ending of the film, Thakur Baldev Singh kills Gabbar. The censor board intervened and had this scene changed because they did not want to show Thakur taking the law into his hands.
- The scenes of Gabbar’s hideout were shot in Ramnagram near Bangalore. A part of Ramnagram was renamed Sippynagar in honour of director Ramesh Sippy.
- Actor Sachin, who played the role of Ahmed received a fridge as part of his acting fee.