Director: Ramesh Sippy
Stars: Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini
Plot: After his family is murdered by a notorious and ruthless bandit, a former police officer enlists the services of two outlaws to capture him.
Shatrughan Sinha was initially cast for the role of Jai.
Danny Donezgappa who was first offered the role of Gabbar Singh but he missed the role as he was busy shooting in Afghanistan for Dharmatma and he could not accept the role. Finally Amjad Khan got the role.
Amjad Khan was almost dropped from the project because scriptwriter ‘Javed Akhtar’ found his voice too weak for Gabbar Singh’s role.
The film was shot extensively in Ramnagaram near Bangalore, There are huge rocks of granite in this town, which formed the backdrop of Gabbar Singh’s hideout. As a mark of respect, the people of Ramnagaram renamed a hamlet in the town as Sippynagar after the director of the movie, Ramesh Sippy.
Jaya Bachchan, who played the role of the Thakur’s widowed daughter-in-law was pregnant with daughter Shweta during the shooting of Sholay
In the original ending, the Thakur kills Gabbar. The Indian Censor Board, however, didn’t like the ending because its vigilante aspect undermined the rule of law. So a new ending was created, which showed the police reaching the spot at the last minute, arresting Gabbar, and telling the Thakur that only the law has the right to punish criminals. The original ending was restored in the 204-minute director’s cut, & some prints with original ending are available in the market.
Gabbar Singh, played by Amjad Khan, is said to have been based on a real-life dacoit of the same name who was active in Gwalior during the 1950s.
In spite of Sholay’s status as the greatest blockbuster of Indian cinema, it won just one Filmfare award – for editing.
The film was released on August 15 1975 and many theatres considered pulling it off the screens as the initial reaction it got was bad. But word of mouth made sure that the movie was a blockbuster.
Real bullets were used for some of the scenes in the climax. Reportedly Amitabh Bachchan was almost killed by a stray bullet in the film, as Dharmendra’s shot missed him by inches.
The rocks where Sambhaa would sit can be seen from the main highway and are a tourist attraction now.
The two leading pairs – Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri; Dharmendra and Hema Malini were romantically involved. Amitabh and Jaya had married four months before the filming of Sholay started while Dharmendra wooed Hema on the sets and the two married five years after the release of Sholay.
Before the shoot of the film Sholay, Sanjeev Kumar had proposed marriage to Hema Malini.
When Sholay was first released on August 15, 2015, it met with lukewarm response that prompted the filmmakers to consider re-shooting few scenes and going ahead with the idea of not killing Amitabh Bachchan’s character of Jai.
Sholay also had a famous parody Ramgarh Ke Sholay released in 1991, which once again had Amjad Khan in the role of Gabbar Singh.
In Mumbai's Minerva theatre, Sholay ran for five long, uninterrupted years.
Dharmendra was quite interested in playing the role of Thakur Baldev Singh. However, when the actor was informed about Sanjeev Kumar playing the role of Veeru opposite Hema Malini, Dharmendra gave up the idea of playing Thakur and went on to play Veeru because he too was wooing Hema Malini during those days.
Dharmendra reportedly used to pay the light boys to disrupt the shooting whenever a romantic sequence of the couple was being shot so that there could be several takes.