Things that you don't know about 'Sholay'‘Sholay’ most popularly referred as ‘The Great Indian Cult Classic’, is one among the few movies which has represented Indian Film Industry all over the world in the past. Deeply inspired by several western cowboy flicks and loosely based on Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’, Sholay is a film that resides deep within our hearts. As the film releases in India again today, here are some facts that you may (I doubt) or may not (I strongly agree) have known about ‘Sholay’.

Sholay was India’s first 70mm, stereophonic sound film. However, on the day of its first screening on 15th August, 1975, the film was released in 30mm because the 70mm prints were held up in customs.

Sholay was the first film to have dialogue sound tracks released in the market.

The 70mm prints for the film were made in London.

Although Sholay was released on 15th August 1975, in Bombay, on 11th October, 1975 it was release in other parts of the country.

Shatrughan Sinha was originally taken into consideration for the role of Jai, played by Big B.

Danny Denzongpa was initially offered the role of ‘Gabbar Singh’, later played by Amjad Khan. Danny was apparently busy shooting for ‘Dharmatma’ in Afghanistan.

Dharmendra was keen to play the role of Thakuar, originally played by Sanjeev Kumar. But, Veeru declined because he wanted to have Basanti in the role as it was just before Sholay, Sanjeev Kumar proposed to Marry Hema while Dharmendra was deeply in love with her.

The famous overhead tank scene starring Dharmendra was inspired from a real life incident.

Director Man Mohan Desai was initially approached by Salim-Javed with the story of the movie. He couldn’t accept the project because he was busy with Chacha Bhatija.

Amjad Khan was almost dropped from the project as everybody felt his voice was too weak.

Amjad Khan was only seen in 9 scenes in the film.

Big B was almost killed in the last scene when a stray bullet missed him by inches.

Real bullets were used for close up action scenes. (Dangerous)

Basanti’s chase scene was shot over twelve days

The opening train robbery scene was shot over seven weeks (Dedication)
Big B returning the keys to the safe to Jaya was the first scene filmed during the shooting.

The film took over two and half years to complete (450 shifts)

Sholay’s budget was close to 3 crores (WOW)

Background music took almost one month to complete

‘Kitne Aadmi The’ Amjad’s first line in the film was completed over 40 retakes

Mac Mohan travelled 27 times from Bombay to Bangalore for his role of ‘Sambha’ in the film

Sholay ran for 5 years consecutively in Bombay Minerva theatre.

Thakur’s family massacre scene was lifted from the western flick ‘Once Upon a Time In The West’

Amjad Khan bought his khaki uniform from ‘Chor Bazaar’ in Bombay

Asrani’s get up was inspired from Chaplin’s role in ‘The Great Dictator’

Big B also showed keen interest to play Gabbar Singh

Veeru-Jai were named after Salim-Javed’s college friends
The mouth organ piece played by Big B in the film had close similarlity with the music in ‘Once Upon a Time In The West’