‘Sholay’ Failed on Opening Day Sending Panic Wave to Change Climax: Amitabh Bachchan


When the film “Sholay” was released on August 15, 1975 with Amitabh Bachchan in lead role Jay getting killed, the film had hit theatres but most of them in Mumbai were less than half-empty for two days sending chill down the producers and the director.

In a TV program aired on Thursday, Amitabh Bachchan said the director and producers were so panicked that there was a move to change the climax and make Jay live again. The shooting for Jay to live was finalised and Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri were called to studios.

Recalling it, the 72-yer-old Amitabh Bachchan who played Jay with his wife Jaya Bhaduri in the film, said the decision to change the ending was changed when the film picked up momentum afterwards and went on to become an unprecedented blockbuster in India’s film world.

The film by Ramesh Sippy, was a big budget movie with top actors, perfect sript, foreign techniques and a vareity of new features embedded in the film that was shot for months together in Ramnagar, near Bangalore.

“Many people felt that audience were unhappy with my death in the film. There were many sequences in ‘Sholay’ which were attractive. One was widow remarriage. They felt just when the woman was getting a better life, we removed that with my death,” Bachchan said.

“In January same year in ‘Deewar’ my character had died. There was discussion that I shouldn’t have been killed again. So, it was decided that I will be shown alive. It was Saturday. We decided we would go to Ramnagar and reshoot it on Sunday and release the new print on Monday. Equipments for shooting were also ordered but while we were going back after discussion Ramesh Sippy said, ‘Let’s wait till Monday. Let’s see what happens. If it does not workout even then, then it is destiny’. What happened on Monday was extraordinary,” said Bachchan in his interview.

Sholay was inspired by Japanese film “Seven Samurai” and it took almost three years for the shooting in Ramnagar, ear Bangalore with Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Amjad Khan, Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan almost living off Bangalore.

While Gabbar Singh remained an iconic figure in India after the film,, among others. the popularity of its dialogues, even those mouthed by character artistes, are the most recollected in Indian culture so far.

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