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40 Years Of Sholay: 20 fascinating facts you didn’t know about the movie

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40 Years Of Sholay: 20 fascinating facts you didn’t know about the movie


It is 15th of August in 1975; Ramesh Sippy's Sholay has found its way into the theatres. While the country men have switched on the patriotic mode in them, Bollywood was preparing to redefine the arena of Indian commercial cinema like never before. A film that defines patriotism in a newer way, thrills with its suspense even if you watch it for the zillionth time and shows how a friendship in India thrives has come a long way and it's now a part of every Indian's growing-up discourse.
This Independence Day marks the 40th anniversary of Sholay. Anupama Chopra, the renowned film critic has said in her book 'Sholay- The Making of a classic' (Penguin India), "Over the years, Sholay, has transcended its hit-movie status. It is not merely a film, it is the ultimate classic; it is myth."

While, over the last 40 yrs much has been said and written about the film, we at Business Insider list for you 20 amazing facts you still don't know about Sholay:

1. Sholay is a record breaker in many ways. It is also India's first 70 mm film, which had stereophonic sound.

2. Amjad Khan's 'Kitney aadmi the' dialogue has become a cult. Yet, Khan was almost rejected because the casting director found that his voice was not 'powerful enough'.

3. Many things about this movie were real even the bullets in the climax scene. It is said that one spare bullet had nearly missed Amitabh.

4. Gabbar's gang member Sambha was played by Mac Mohan. Though he has become an indispensible part of the movie, he just has one dialogue in Sholay.

5. Amzad Khan wasn't the first choice for the role of Gabbar. It was Danny Denzongpa who was supposed to play the role.

6. What DDLJ is to Maratha Mandir, Minerva Theatre of Mumbai is for Sholay. This theatre screened Sholay for 5 years continuously in all three shows of the day. And till 1980, it was a major hit.

7. Sholay has proved this long back that awards don't determine a movie's credibility. Though a blockbuster, Sholay had won just one Filmfare award, that too for editing.

8. The movie, after the initial part, is all about Gabbar and his notorious activities. However, in a 204 minute film, Gabbar appears in just 9 scenes.

9. While the official release date was 15th August 1975, the movie was launched on 2nd October in 1973.

10. Estimated at Rs 2 crores, Sholay's budget over ran to an extra one crore. It took almost two and a half years to complete the movie.

11. Previously, scriptwriters weren't really paid in Bollywood. Sholay changed everything. It set the scripwriters as real creator of hit movies.

12. Getting requisite permissions had prevented Thakur Saab from being an army officer. The character of Thaakur saab was conceived as a retired army officer. Having not got necessary clearances from the army, the role was changed to a police officer.

13. The role of Jai played by Amitabh Bachchan was initially planned for Shatrughan Sinha.

14. Dharmendra was nursing a deep crush on Hema Malini during the shooting of the film. He wanted to play the role of Thakur initially, but settled for playing Veeru when he realized that the character would be paired against Hema Malini.

15. The light boys were bribed by Dharmendra to spoil his scenes with Hema Malini. This led to numerous retakes and Dharmendra's chance of getting closer to Hema intensified.

16. The original ending of Sholay has Gabbar being killed by Thakur.

17. The Censor Board didn't approve of too much violence in the end. Sholay was made to re-shoot several scenes to get rid of extreme violence.

18. Ramgarh , the village shown in Sholay is actually a town called Ramanagara, which is 50 kms from Bangalore. Since 80s, it came to be called Ramgarh to commemorate the film.

  1. The rocks where the famous scene of Sambha-Gabbar has been shot are known as Sholay rocks and can be seen from the highway. It has become a major tourist attraction soon after the movie.

20. Who is Gabbar Singh? No, this isnt any fictional character. There was a real life dacoit of the same name in Gwalior area in 1950s. He is infamous for having cut off noses and ears of policemen.

In the first week after release, the response was mediocre. Afterwards, picked up and the rest is history.

It was pointed out that the goods train shown in the initial stages of the film had no Guard.

Aug 15, 1975 was also the release date of Tamil film 'APOORVA RAGANGAL'.

Bangla leader Shekh Mujibur Rahman was assasinated on that day.
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