(Cast overview, first billed only)
|Sanjeev Kumar||…||Thakur Baldev Singh|
|Amitabh Bachchan||…||Jai (Jaidev)|
|Amjad Khan||…||Gabbar Singh|
|A.K. Hangal||…||Imaam Saheb|
|Satyendra Kapoor||…||Ramlal (as Satyen Kappu)|
|Iftekhar||…||Narmalaji (Radha’s father)|
|Leela Mishra||…||Mausie (as Leela Misra)|
|Vikas Anand||…||Jailer assigned to bring Veeru & Jaidev|
|Alankar Joshi||…||Deepak (as Master Alankar)|
“Kitne Aadmi Thei”, every Indian film fan knows this dialog by heart. Sholay was released in 1975, also the year I was born in, coincidence, perhaps. The film became the longest running Indian film in the theaters, a record that stood for over 25 years until it was broken recently by another classic “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (holds the current record 500 Weeks and still going – as on May 07, 2005).
Sholay was written by the great Duo of Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan know as Salim-Javed. The duo also gave us films like Don, Shakti, Shaan, Zanjeer, Seeta Aur Geeta and Deewar. The film was directed by Ramesh Sippy and had music of legendary R.D. Burman. Sholay gave us a Character called “Gabbar Singh” played by Amjad Khan, who made his debut with this film. The character of Gabbar Singh is so creative that many film makers have tried to imitate him for their films.
Sholay did for Indian Cinema what Casablanca did for Hollywood. It became an instant classic and broke all the rules of film making and characterization, while preserving the values of Indian cinema.
Sholay just won the Filmfare Award (2005) for being the Best Film in the last 50 years of Indian Cinema. Sadly, when Sholay was first released in 1975 it didn’t win any major Filmfare awards. But when you think about all the great films that were released in that year, its easy to see how it may have been over looked. 1975 may have been the best year for Hindi films with the likes of Deewar, Chupke Chupke, Hera Pheri, Khel Khel Mein, Julie, Mausam, Ponga Pandit, Rafoo Chakkar, Uljhan, Dharmatma, Do Jasoos, Faraar, Geet Gaata Chal, Chhoti Si Baat, Aandhi and Milli – all releasing along with Sholay.
Sholay had the biggest star cast of its time with the likes of Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri, Sanjeev Kumar, Sachin, A.K. Hangal, Leela Mishra, Satyen Kappu, Mac Mohan, Jagdeep, Asrani, Helen, Jalal Agha, Iftekhar, Keshto Mukherjee and of course Amjad Khan. The Greatest Cast Ever Assembled for the Greatest Story Ever Told!