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September 20, 2014 Saturday     
North West FrontierRecently I got hold of an old English Classic NORTH WEST FRONTIER, directed By J. Lee. Thompson, released way back in 1959. And the main reason behind selecting this flick among many others was that it featured one of my favourite comedians I. S. Johar. Though he was not playing a comic character in the movie as usual, but his typical witty one-liners were still there and the film did turn out to be a pretty decent one time watch for sure.
Anyway while watching its climax I discovered another surprising point, that a train robbery sequence in the film was hugely similar to the famous train chase in our own masterpiece SHOLAY (1975). 
Now such was the unique similarity in that well shot scene that any Bollywood lover watching it would instantly get SHOLAY in his mind at once, without any doubt or confusion. Even the DVD artwork of the English film featured the train Sequence only on its front and the few screen shots shared here should be more than enough to give you the actual picture evidently.
Further since the English movie was partially shot in India and had Indian actors too featuring in various roles, its quite possible that director Ramesh Sippy saw the movie and had this particular sequence somewhere at the back of his mind while shooting a similar action packed train chase in “Sholay”. However nothing can be said about this inspirational source with certainty. Yet I am sure anyone watching the English film would readily agree with the viewpoint presented here and be amazed too.
Interestingly, a similar sequence in another western film HOW THE WEST WAS WON (1962) also reminds you of the same but the one seen in NORTH WEST FRONTIER definitely seems to be the more closer one, undoubtedly.
Cheers!
(For all like-minded friends interested in reading more unknown facts about SHOLAY, please click the following links to amaze yourself.)
Tags : Amitabh Bachhan, Amjad Khan, Dharmendera, Hema Malini, Inspired Hindi Movies, Inspired Movies, Interesting Fact File About Sholay, Jaya Bhaduri, Making OF a Classic Sholay, Sanjeev Kumar, Sholay and its making, Sholay was copied from, Sholay-Trivia, The Greatest Epic, The Greatest Movie From Bollywood
 
 
24 May 2009 / bobbysing /
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After The Release

Sholay was released on 15 August 1975 in the Bombay region. It was first 70 mm movie with stereophonic sound.
Within few days of its release the expensive film was called a flop. Almost every critic and trade magazine said “Sholay” was a great and costly mistake made. India Today, Filmfare, Film Trade Magazine and many more had the same opinion about the movie.
“Sholay” was just about to be removed from cinemas because of low attendance figures, but suddenly after a few days attendance started rising with word-of-mouth and there were long queues seen at the advance booking windows.
Actually it can be said that the film in 70 mm was so Grand in its look & style that it took time for the viewers to grasp it. And then “Sholay” went on to make history forever.
This was the first film in the history of Indian cinema to celebrate a silver-jubilee (25-week) in its initial release at over 100 cinemas across India.
There was a rumor that many Black Marketers bought new Flats and Taxis from their earnings due to the grand success of the movie.
Innovative Act By The Music Company
Even when the film was being called a huge success, somehow the music was not selling.
Polydor worked on the reason for this and found that the dialogues of the movie had such a strong impact on the viewer that they were hardly remembering the songs. People could be seen repeating the dialogues of the movie in as well as out of the theaters.
Keeping that in mind, for the first time ever Polydor released different dialogues EPs with different titles. Mainly “Veeru Ki Sagai”, “Soorma Bhopali”, “Hamein Jail Jaana Hai”, “Gabbar Singh” and more which were an instant success. Till date the dialogues of the movie are in regular circulation in the market.
The Deleted Scenes & Songs
Initially a song called “Chand Sa Koi Chehra” was recorded which is a qawwali, but the song was dropped from the movie owing to the length of the movie. One of the singers of the song was the lyricist Anand Bakshi while the others were Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar and Bhupendra.
A Dhaba Sequence was there featuring Veeru & Jai eating at the Dhaba owned by Maruti (a well known comedian of those years). The scene included Veeru & Jai eating, doing gargles and then spitting over.
Another scene included Jai & Veeru stealing motorcycle from a Parsi Gentlemen. Probably it was to be added before the song “Yeh Dosti”.
Sachin’s death scene also couldn’t make to the final version.
The Two Endings (Climax Versions)
In the original ending, Thakur killed Gabbar. The Indian Censor Board did not agree with the ending, saying that its like ignoring the law and this could adversely influence the young minds. So, a new ending was created that showed the police running in at the last moment, arresting Gabbar, and specifically telling the Thakur that only the law has the right to punish criminals. The original ending was restored in the 204-minute director’s cut. (which can be seen in some versions of DVDs available in the market).
Awards Won
When it was first released, Sholay won only one Filmfare award: Film editor M. S. Shinde won for Best editing. After the censor’s instructed cuts, the film was 18,000 feet and ran for 3 hours and 20 minutes. 
Nevertheless, at the 50th Filmfare Awards, it received the prestigious award as the Best Film of 50 Years. Ramesh Sippy was there to receive the trophy. 
It was declared “Film of the Millennium” by BBC India and internet polls in 1999.
Gabbar Singh in Parle Biscuits AdvertMore Amusing Facts
“Gabbar Singh” character was so famous that Britannia Biscuits made a commercial with Amjad Khan eating Biscuits. This was the first time that a villain character was used by a company to publicise its products. The advertisement was an instant hit in children and the sales doubled.
Hooked up by his character of “Soorma Bhopali”, years later Jagdeep himself made a film with the title “Soorma Bhopali” in 1988.
Viju Khote was renamed “Kaalia” forever after this movie.
Till date Asrani has to speak, “Hum Angrezon Ke Zamaane Ke Jailor” in his every TV and Stage Appearance.
Macmohan was so disturbed that his all scenes were deleted from the movie. But he may still wonder how only one scene and few words can be popular all over the world even after so many years. For a long time filmmakers kept using the name “Samba” in their films to gain popularity.
Many years later, Recently Amitabh thanked Dharmendera on the stage of a prestigious award function for recommending him to Ramesh Sippy for casting in Sholay.
If you love this CLASSIC and still wish it to see it again after so many years then you must read a highly entertaining book by Anupama Chopra, “Sholay and its making” released by Penguin Books.

Cheers!
(For all like-minded friends interested in reading more unknown facts about SHOLAY, please click the following links to amaze yourself.)
 
 
 
 
Tags : Amitabh Bacchan, Amjad Khan, Dharmendera, Hema Malini, Inspired Hindi Movies, Interesting Fact File About Sholay, Jaya Bhaduri, Making OF a Classic Sholay, Sanjeev Kumar, Sholay and its making, Sholay-Trivia
 
 
13 April 2008 / bobbysing /
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It is the movie which has represented Indian Film Industry all over the world in the last few decades. Millions have their memories associated with the classic and have seen it uncountable times in theaters, on cable, television and dvds. It is a must for every Indian Movie Collector’s home video library and it is the first choice for broadcasters when they can find nothing else to telecast.

For all who love the unforgettable epic, here are some amazing facts associated with “Sholay” its making and its cast and crew. Many of you may be aware of few facts listed here, but you surely will find some very fresh and new findings too in the info below. So just explore the world of “Sholay” once again…..
 
Inspirational Sources :
It was noticed that the film had heavy western influence of cowboy movies. It was highly inspired by the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. It was also called as a curry western by many critics at that time.
 
Among its major western influences were:
1. Once Upon A Time In The West
2. Seven Samurai
3. Magnificent Seven
4. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid

5. Tossing a coin before making a decision came from Gary Cooper’s “Garden Of Evil”
6. Similar to the double sided coin used by Jai, Marlon Brando also has a double sided coin in One Eyed Jacks (1960) which he uses to his own advantage.
7. The famous train sequence in the beginning inspired from "North West Frontier" (1959).
8. The Cult “Mehbooba Mehbooba” is based on “Say You Love Me” by Demi Roussas and is equally enjoyable.
9. The Dharmendra Hema song “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” has a very similar start to the prelude of “Jomeh” a song by an Iranian Singer Googoosh.
10. The background music, with mouth organ piece and other sounds had a very acute similarity with the music in “Once Upon A Time In The West”
 
Among it’s said Indian influences were:
1. Mera Gaon Mera Desh - Based on the theme of dacoits, the movie was released in 1971 and was also written by Salim Javed. It had Vinod Khanna playing the role of a dacoit who was called Jabbar Singh, very close to the name Gabbar Singh used for Amjad Khan in Sholay. Also “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” song’s situation was quite similar to the “Maar Diya Jaaye” song in the same film.

2. Khottey Sikkey - Featuring Feroz Khan in his then famous Cowboy image.
 
3. It was claimed that the basic plot of the movie was taken from a 1972 movie Bindiya Aur Bandook” produced by Joginder.
 
However Gabbar Singh’s character was reportedly based on a real-life dacoit of the same name who was famous in the villages around Gwalior in the 1950s. He has his terror in the area and any policeman captured by the real Gabbar Singh had his ears and nose cut off, and was then released as an example for others.

Gabbar’s mannerisms and dreadful laughter was reworked around the character of Mexican bandito played by Gian Maria Volonte in For A Few Dollars More“.

The get up of Asrani as the Jailor was inspired by the Hitler like get up of Charlie Chaplin in “The Great Dictator”.

Salim-Javed, named Veeru and Jai after a couple of their college friends.
 
The famous overhead Tank Scene where Veeru threatens Mausi with suicide was inspired from a real life incident.

The scene where Jai attempts a proposal of marriage for Veeru in front of Mausi was also said to be drawn from a real life incident related to the writers.

But one more similar kind of scene was also there in “Half Ticket” where Kishore Kumar too ruins a marriage proposal in the same manner. May be it was also there somewhere as an inspiration in the mind of the writers.
 
Before the Making
Director Manmohan Desai was was first approached by the writing duo of Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan with the story of this movie. He was busy shooting "Chacha Bhatija" (1977) and could not accept the project.
 
Prakash Mehra was also approached with the idea but he too was busy in making Zanzeer”.
 
About Casting
Dharmendra was interested in playing Thakur Baldev Singh, but changed his mind when Ramesh Sippy told him Basanti was to be played by Hema Malini.
He was also informed that Sanjeev Kumar would play Veeru and then he would get the heroine, Hema Malini. Sanjeev Kumar had just then proposed marriage to Hema Malini. Dharmendra was in love with her and quickly went back to the role of Veeru.
 
Amjad Khan prepared to play the dacoit by reading a book titled Abhishapth Chambal, which was about the Chambal dacoits. The book was written by Taroon Bhaduri, father of Jaya Bhaduri.

It is also believed that Amitabh was more interested in Gabbar's role.
 
The director's original choice for Jai was Shatrughan Sinha at first, but as it couldn’t work then Salim Javed suggested Amitabh to the producers as the right choice. And later through the efforts of Amitabh himself and Dharmendra, the role was assigned to him finally.

Danny
was the first choice of Gabbar but had to miss out because he was shooting for Dharmatma in Afghanistan.
 
Amjad Khan was almost dropped from the project because 'Javed Akhtar' found his voice too weak for Gabbar Singh's role but then he was definitely in.
 
Music by the Maestro RDB
“Koi Haseena Jab Rooth Jaati Hai” was the first song to be composed.
 
Music of the film was sold at a very high price (according to that time) to Polydor. The deal was on an Advance Royalty contract for the first time ever.
 
The song “Mehbooba Mehbooba” was to be recorded in the voice of Asha Bhosle, but then R. D. Burman himself did the vocals.
 
Shooting The Classic
 
The first scene to be shot was the one in which “Amitabh returns the safe keys to Jaya”.
 
Amitabh Bachchan was almost killed at the end of the movie when a stray bullet from 'Dharmendra' missed him by inches.
 
It was during the making of Sholay that Amitabh discovered he was going to be a father of his first born, Shweta.

The train robbery sequence took about 20 days to film on the Mumbai-Pune line, near Panvel.
 
The major outdoor scenes were shot at Ramnagaram near Bangalore, India. There are huge rocks of granite in the town which became the backdrop of Gabbar Singh's den. As a memento to remember, the people of Ramnagaram renamed a part of the town as Sippynagar after the name of the director, Ramesh Sippy.
 
The filmmakers had to build a road from the Bangalore highway to Ramanagaram for an easy access to the sets. Even to this day, a visit to the "Sholay rocks" (where the movie was shot) is a key feature for tourists travelling through Ramanagaram (on the road between Bangalore and Mysore).
 
Mac Mohan who played “Samba” had to come many times from Bombay again and again to shoot for his part. Sadly only one scene of his was there in the movie, but he was destined to be famous with that scene only.

The film showcased two real life romances. Amitabh married Jaya Bhaduri, who played the widowed daughter-in-law, in 1973, during the filming. And Dharmendra married Hema Malini in 1980, five years after the release of the film.

The captain of the ship, the director, Ramesh Sippy was in the late twenties only when he started working on the film. So his male heroes were elder to him and the two leading ladies were his contemporaries while he was giving directions to them in the shooting.
 
However, it is quite sad that very few articles on this Cult Classic actually mention the name of Dwarka Divecha who was the real magician behind this visual enigma called “Sholay”. He was the Cinematographer of the film capturing all those famous scenes and dialogues in that first of its kind of unique style. And “Sholay” would not have reached these impossible heights without this one magician alone working behind the camera.

(Continued in Part Two)
 
(For all like-minded friends interested in reading more unknown facts about SHOLAY, please click the following links to amaze yourself.)
 
 
 
 
Tags : Copied movies, First 70mm movie., Inspired Hindi Movies, Inspired Movies, Ramesh Sippy, Sholay - the Cult Classic, Sholay Amazing Facts, Sholay and its making, Sholay Before Release, Sholay-Trivia, The Greatest Epic, Unknown Facts about Sholay
 
 
09 April 2008 / bobbysing /
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