"Sholay - the greatest Bollywood film of all time - brought together the acting talents of some of the biggest stars in Bollywood at that time. The two male leads, Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan, were already hugely popular. Amitabh Bhachchan had just made his big breakthrough the previous year (1974) with Zanjeer. Dharmendra was already well established and had starred in the box office smash hit Yaadon Ki Baaraat (a film which sadly doesn't get very many mentions when talking of classics). These two are supported in the film by Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri and Amjad Khan making his onscreen debut as the menacing villain Gabbar Singh.
The story is about a retired police officer Thakur Baldev Singh (Sangeev Kumar) living in a village that is being terrorised by Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan). Thakur recruits two small time crooks Veeru (Dharmendra) and Jaidev (Amitabh), whom he had encountered during his work in the force, to capture Gabbar. The film has various other sub-plots including a comedic love story between the funny romantic Veeru and the never-shuts-up local simpleton Basanti (Hema Malini), and a more serious one between Jaidev and widow and Thakur's family member Radha (Jaya Bhaduri).
Even though the film is over 30 years old it still looks fantastic, testament to the fact it used advanced filming technologies way ahead of any other film of it's time.
The dialogue is so memorable that the soundtrack was changed and re-released with additional memorable lines from especially Gabbar Singh and others - the first time this was done in Bollywood.
The acting is truly brilliant with very powerful performances from Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra, Amjad Khan and Amitabh Bhachchan (for Amitabh's best ever performance see him in Deewaar - another absolute classic film from the previous year).
This film is to Bollywood what Star Wars is to Hollywood - the greatest film of all time. It set a new standard for others which has never really been equalled since its opening in August 1975. It ran for five consecutive years to packed cinema houses in India.
I urge anyone, regardless of colour or creed, to watch this film, and sample a slice of Bollywood magic.
Needs a proper restoration....Criterion, anyone?
Grigory's Girl | NYC | 10/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I tried to watch this DVD, and I had to stop. First, this film was shot in 70mm, and the DVD is pan and scan. Not good. Second, the songs weren't subtitled! Not good. And, thirdly, there are so many versions out there. How long was the actual film? 204 minutes? 280? Most people who have seen the entire thing have said it's magnificent. It's regarded as one of the greatest Bollywood films ever made, and we should be able to see it in all its uncut, widescreen, subtitled glory. Criterion should release something like this. They have never done a Bollywood film, and this is an important one, so it fits, excuse the pun, their criterion."
Amazon Qualiton Edition - Sholay (DVD)
NewDeep | INDIA | 09/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sholay is a phenomenon... I rate it as the best Indian movie ever made and one that can compete head-to-head with any other movie in the world, Hollywood releases included! Theatrically screened in 1975, it is timeless... not even for once you feel that there's anything dated, everything looks contemporary - and this is no mean achievement!
Every single character is etched out optimally and you remember ALL of them after the movie. Howzzat!
The music is memorable, it complements and enhances the myriad of moods and sequences and emotions and drama in Sholay (Embers) - whether it's the terror and ruthlesslessness of the villain, the dacoit Gabbar; the unspoken romance between one of the two heroes Jai and the widow Radha; the flirtation between the other hero Veeru and the "tangewaali" (coach driver) Basanti; the angst, lionheartedness and the bravery of Thakur, a landlord and an ex-police officer who recruits Jai and Veeru, two small-time crooks, to capture Gabbar (for avenging his family's massacre); the extraordinary chase sequences; the wonderful start and the awe-inspiring end.
The continuity is amazing and so is the editing. A rock near a bridge shown in the beginning is there at the end too. As for editing, the best example is when Gabbar strikes down swords on Thakur's arms (who's tied between two pillars) but the actual hits are never shown, instead, as soon as the swords come down, immediately a shot of Thakur recalling this incident is shown and for the first time his shawl has fallen down and the wind is flapping his armless shirt-sleeves... it is first-rate!
There is also tremendous folklore and near-mythology associated with this movie - the so many versions, the significantly different endings, the struggle to get this made and released...
Amazon at this page seem to be selling a Region-1 coded release from Qualiton Imports. My question to all other reviewers and anyone owning this exact edition (Qualiton Imports, Region 1) is what is the runtime of this movie and whether this is the one in which the fearsome antagonist Gabbar dies...? Is it 204 minutes long or is it really 4-and-a-half hours long as one reviewer has put it? Is it presented in fullframe or widescreen format? Is it really coded Region 1? Please answer keeping in mind that my questions are about the Qualiton Imports edition adverstised here by Amazon."
An Indian Classic !!!!!!!!
Grigory's Girl | 10/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One Of The Greatest Classics Of Indian Cinema "Sholay" is A landmark Film . Made In 1975 , By The son of an Indian Film Producer , A Young Hotshot Director named Ramesh Sippy broke the rules and created cinematic History . In Cinemas , It had the longest Theatrical Run in 1975. While The original Theatrical cut ran 3 ½ Hours but now the DVD version of the movie is 4 ½ hours , So It's an absolute Treat for SHOLAY fans !!!!"
Diamonds are forever
sambit | bhubaneswar,india | 06/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"released on 15th august 1975 ,29th anniversery of indian independence,SHOLAy ran in theatres for over five years,and altered the course of indian cinema.even today it remains box office gold standard:a reference point for both the Indian film going audience and the film industry.because SHOLAY is not merely a film,it is the ultimate classic:it is myth.the characters Jai,Veeru,Gabbar,Thakur,Smbha,Radha,Vasathi,Jailor,Soorma bhopali-are the stuff of folklore.even the animal,Dhanno,the mare,is immortal.
sholay grossed 35 crores in its first run,an unimagiable amount at that time.in its rerun in 80s it doubled its previous distributer price.its tickets were priceless,where other hit films tickets were blacked for 15-20 rs,it crossed 100rupees mark quite easily to an willing audience who were ready to pay the sum.the story is about a police inspector whose family gets masacred by a dacoit,the dreaded GABBAR.he hires two crooks JAI ,VEERu to catch GABBAR alive for him.like VEERU tells in one of the popular dialogues of the film,the story contains emotion,comedy,drama,tragedy all in all.probably world cinema's only character SAMBHA ,is the only character to be immortalised by only one line"poorey pachas hazar".
like diamonds SHOLAY is forever."