Epic dialogues, scenes and characters like Gabbar, Jai, Veeru and Basanti in “sholay” continue to capture hearts across India and the world several years after the movie first hit the big screen.
Here are some interesting facts, details, Picture of the legendary movie Sholay-
Produced by G P Sippy on a budget of about Rs three crore, at that time. It was finally completed by Ramesh Sippy over a period of two-and-a-half years and released with as many as 250 prints.
In 1999, BBC India declared it as the “film of the millennium”. Its run at the Bollywood box office even caught the attention of the Guinness Book of World Records, where it found inclusion for its five-year run.
The train robbery sequence, which was the first of its kind in Hindi cinema for the action scenes and sound effects, was shot on the Mumbai-Pune railway route near Panvel, reports say. Ramesh Sippy took more than seven weeks to shoot the action
The small village of Ramgarh is home to ex-policeman Thakur Baldev Singh (Sanjeev Kumar). The movie begins with Thakur summoning an old colleague and requesting him to track down a pair of small-time thieves he once apprehended in the line of duty. Though the two petty criminals Veeru (Dharmendra) and Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) are notorious, Thakur feels that they would be the ideal men to help him end the tyranny of Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan) – an infamous dacoit (bandit) wanted by the authorities for a Rs 50,000 reward. After scenes showing how the three fought together during a train robbery attempt, and how the criminals often get in and out of jail, Veeru and Jai are found and brought to Ramgarh. They are told by Thakur that they are to bring Gabbar to him alive for Rs 20,000, plus the Rs 50,000 reward.
Later, three of Gabbar’s enforcers arrive in Ramgarh to collect supplies from the defenseless villagers. This time, however, they go back empty-handed, due to Veeru and Jai’s intervention. The villagers show their gratitude by hailing their new heroes.
In Gabbar’s camp, the tyrant interrogates the three men he sent to Ramgarh about why they were defeated by only two men. His psychotic nature is shown when he subjects his men to a twisted version of Russian Roulette, but eventually shoots the three men dead.
Gabbar’s attacks Ramgarh on Holi, and in a tough battle, Veeru and Jai meet their match and are held at gunpoint. With his two recruits facing death, Thakur has a chance to throw a gun to Veeru. Instead of helping, Thakur simply stands stationary. With quick thinking, Veeru and Jai manage to save their lives. They then state their intentions to walk away from Ramgarh, leaving the villagers to defend themselves, due to Thakur’s cowardice. Before they can, Thakur tells them the real reason of why he wants Gabbar and why he could not help them.
Some time ago, Thakur had caught Gabbar and had him imprisoned only for the dacoit to escape and plot an evil revenge against him. Gabbar made his way to Thakur’s home and killed his two sons, daughter, elder daughter-in-law and his only grandson. The only person in the family to survive this massacre was Thakur’s younger daughter-in-law, Radha (Jaya Bhaduri). Thakur tracked down Gabbar, but this time the tyrant held the upper hand thanks to his gang, and cut off both of Thakur’s arms. Thakur had hidden this disability from Veeru and Jai, but now it was clear why he could not physically help them.
Living in Ramgarh, the cynical young Jai and lively Veeru find themselves growing fond of the villagers, especially two girls. Veeru is attracted to Basanti (Hema Malini), a feisty, talkative young woman who makes her living driving a horse-cart. However, Basanti’s aunt, thanks to Jai’s meddling, is reluctant to let Veeru marry her niece. Only after Veeru drunkenly swears that he will commit suicide by jumping off a water tower does she agree to let him marry Basanti. Jai is drawn to Radha, the Thakur’s reclusive widowed daughter-in-law, who very subtly returns his affections. Thakur’s servant, Ramlaal, tells of when Radha used to be full of life and color until the day Gabbar killed her husband. After discussing it with Radha’s father, Thakur agrees that she can marry Jai.
When a young boy is killed while trying to leave town, Veeru and Jai fight back and send a message to Gabbar by killing four of his men. Gabbar, angered by this, swears death on Jai, Veeru, Thakur, and all of Ramgarh.
The battle approaches its climax when Basanti and Veeru are captured and Jai follows. Veeru and Basanti escape while Jai holds back the dacoits from a distance with a rifle. Once they are safe, Jai slowly draws back and heads for his friends, only to be wounded grievously by a bullet as he is running away. Jai is reunited with Veeru and Basanti and they realize they are running out of ammunition. As Veeru is unaware of Jai’s wound, Jai orders him to go back to the village where he can take Basanti and then return with some ammunition.
Jai, slowly dying and with only a few bullets, manages to fend off advances by the bandits, and takes out most of Gabbar’s men. Veeru returns to find Jai dying and sadly talks with him before he dies in his arms. Some of the villagers rush to the scene, including Radha, who once again must endure the anguish of losing someone.
Veeru becomes hell-bent on revenge and goes after Gabbar. He catches Gabbar and beats him up badly, when Thakur appears and reminds him of the promise to bring Gabbar to him alive. Thakur reveals his spike-soled shoes, made to make Gabbar beg for a quick death. Gabbar is kicked around by Thakur but is saved in the nick of time by the police, who tell the Thakur that Gabbar must be arrested and dealt with by the law. As Gabbar is taken away, Thakur is denied vengeance, but knows that Ramgarh is free once again.
In the alternate ending to the film, Gabbar actually dies as he is kicked into a spike that is protruding from the posts where Thakur’s arms were cut off. Thakur then falls to his knees and is comforted by Veeru. Thakur then begins to cry which he did not do even when his family was killed.
Jai’s funeral (cremation) takes place as Veeru stands all alone in front of the pyre. In the distance, Radha watches on through a window.
With nothing more for him in Ramgarh, Veeru leaves on a train. But as he looks up, he sees that he is not alone. Basanti has also boarded the train and both she and Veeru leave Ramgarh together.