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40 years of Sholay

  • Sholay, Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan, Dharmendra

    Sholay, Indian filmdom's biggest grosser after adjusting for inflation, turns 40 this Independence Day. The movie was India's first 70 mm offering with stereophonic sound. However, it premiered at Mumbai's Minerva Theater on 15 August 1975 on a 30 mm print because the customs department had held back the 70 mm prints that had been prepared in London.

  • Sholay, Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan, Dharmendra

    Role switches: Did you know that initially Dharmendra was keen to play Thakur Baldev Singh, Danny Dengzongpa was offered Gabbar Singh's role and that Shatrughan Sinha was picked up to play Jai? Dharam settled for Veeru after he was told the role -- and the heroine, Hema Malini -- would go to Sanjeev Kumar. Danny couldn't make it as he was shooting in Afghanistan and Amitabh convinced the producers that he'd make a better Jai than Shotgun.

  • Sholay, Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan, Dharmendra

    He's got a squeeky voice, he can't be our Gabbar. That's what writer duo Salim-Javed initially said about Amjad Khan. While they relented later, it is interesting to note that neither of them ever worked with Amjad after that.

  • Sholay, Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan, Dharmendra

    The climax had to go a major change. The Censor Board forbade Thakur Baldev from killing Gabbar, claiming that such action was in contravention of the rule of law and could influence young, impressionable minds. Ergo, the last scene was chopped off and suitably amended to allow the police to make an entry in the nick of time -- as they are prone to do in most Hindi Movies - to arrest Gabbar, and send a clear message to the Thakur that only they are vested with the right to punish criminals.

  • Sholay, Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan, Dharmendra

    That's no paan, that's no bullet... that's Britannia! Gabbar Singh changed the rules of the game in Indian advertising to become the first villain anywhere in India to endorse a brand. Amjad Khan's character in Sholay had become such a hit with the masses that Britannia made a commercial with the villain crunching on its biscuits. The gamble paid off, doubling sales as soon as it hit the media.

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