Bollywood flashback: Revisiting the legend of Sholay

Updated: 24 April, 2020 20:11 IST | Nikita Wagh
  • Amjad Khan as Gabbar Singh in Sholay

    Gabbar Singh's role was modelled on a real-life dacoit of the same name. Gabbar had tortured villagers around Gwalior in the 1950s. It is said that any policeman who was captured by Gabbar had his ears and nose cut off. All pictures/mid-day archives

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  • Amjad Khan and Hema Malini in a still from Sholay

    Amjad Khan prepared for the role by reading the book Abhishapta Chambala which was based on the dacoits of Chambal. The book was written by Jaya Bachchan's father Taroon Kumar Bhaduri.

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  • Mac Mohan as Sambha in a still from Sholay

    A significant portion of Sholay was shot in the rocky terrain of Ramanagara, which is a town near Bangalore. The makers actually had to build a road from the Bangalore highway to Ramanagara so that they could access the sets without much trouble. Pictured: Mac Mohan as Sambha from the film.

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  • Amjad Khan and Sachin Pilgaonkar in a still from Sholay

    A sequence was shot for the film wherein Gabbar Singh (played by Amjad Khan) kills Sachin Pilgaonkar's character Ahmed, but the scene didn't make it to the final cut.

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  • A.K. Hangal in a still from Sholay

    But it eventually provided weightage to the now-famous "Itna sannata kyun hai bhai" dialogue delivered by A.K. Hangal's Rahim chacha in the film. The scene from the classic film was shown at an event to launch Sachin's book.

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  • Jaya Bachchan and Amitabh in a still from Sholay

    Jaya Bachchan was pregnant with her first child Shweta during the filming of Sholay. In fact, the Bachchans even tease Shweta saying that even she was a part of the film! And, by the time the film was ready for release, Jaya was pregnant with Abhishek.

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  • A still from Sholay

    The original version of Sholay had a violent ending wherein Thakur kills Gabbar. However, the censors found the climax too gory, and got it changed.

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  • Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra in a still from Sholay

    The famous song Yeh Dosti with Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra as the iconic Jai-Veeru was shot over a duration of 21 days.

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  • Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra in a still from Sholay

    Shatrughan Sinha was earlier offered the legendary role of Jai but Shotgun turned it down. Eventually, it was portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan.

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  • Sanjeev Kumar in a still from Sholay

    Legendary actor Pran's name was being discussed for the role of Thakur Baldev Singh, before Sanjeev Kumar was finalised.

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  • Amjad Khan as Gabbar Singh in Sholay

    The makers of Sholay were keen on casting Danny Denzongpa as Gabbar, but since he was already busy with Feroz Khan's Dharmatma, Amjad Khan got lucky.

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  • Jaya Bachchan in a still from Sholay

    Two small scenes where Radha (Jaya Bachchan) lights lamps took 20 days to shoot owing to lighting problems.

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  • A picture of Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar and Amjad Khan on the sets of Sholay

    Sholay released on August 15 (Independence Day) in 1975. A picture of Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar and Amjad Khan on the sets of Sholay.

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  • Dharmendra and Hema Malini in a still from Sholay

    The story goes that Dharmendra was keen on portraying Thakur. However, if that happened, Sanjeev Kumar would have ended up playing Veeru. Both Kumar and Dharmendra were trying to woo Hema Malini at that time, and hence Dharmendra settled for the role of Veeru.

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  • Dharmendra and Hema Malini in a still from Sholay

    According to another tale, during the shooting of the romantic scenes between Dharmendra and Hema, the former would pay the light boys to spoil the shot so that he could have many retakes with the actress and get to spend more time with his 'dream girl'.

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  • Jagdeep in a still from Sholay

    The character of Soorma Bhopali was inspired by an acquaintance of Jagdeep. The real-life Soorma was a forest officer from Bhopal.

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  • A still from Sholay

    Since the film didn't do well at the box-office initially, the makers planned to re-shoot some sequences and keep Amitabh Bachchan's character alive. But, with the movie picking up pace, the idea was put to rest. In picture: Amjad Khan and Viju Khote in the iconic scene from Sholay.

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  • Sholay poster

    In spite of its massive success, Sholay won only one Filmfare Award, and that too a technical one -- M. S. Shinde winning the award for Best Editing.

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  • Sholay poster

    An alternate poster of Sholay depicting lead cast members Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Amjad Khan and Sanjeev Kumar.

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About The Gallery

On the birth anniversary of Mac Mohan, best remembered for portraying the iconic Sambha in Sholay, we look back at some interesting facts about the superhit Hindi classic.

First Published: 26 August, 2019 16:25 IST