Ramesh Sippy's 1975 film Sholay featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar and Amjad Khan is touted to be one of the most iconic films in the history of Bollywood. But do you folks know that this popular movie was was actually declared a flop on its first day of release? Yes, you heard that right!
Recently when Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Ramesh Sippy reunited on the sets of the TV game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, Big B narrated an interesting anecdote related to Sholay.
The superstar revealed that the team of Sholay was disappointed with the initial response to their film and had gathered at his house. After pondering over what went wrong with the movie, they decided to reshoot some scenes which included reviving Amitabh's character Jai in the climax and giving him a happy ending with Jaya Bachchan's character Radha.
Amitabh recalled, "Salim Khan, Javed Akhtar (writers of Sholay as Salim-Javed) and Ramesh Sippy came over to my house. We were all disappointed and we decided that we will figure out what went wrong with the film. Salim and Javed saab said they thought that the writing missed a cue with Jaya Bachchan's track. They thought that the times were changing and widow remarriage was a trend that was catching on with the general public."
He further added, "It was decided unanimously that we would reshoot some scenes. My character would be revived and there would be a happy ending for Jaya's character. The production team and the distribution team decided that we would re-shot some sequences quickly on Saturday, they would be edited on Sunday by Monday, a revised ending of Sholay could be sent to theatres."
In fact, Amitabh and Jaya had even left their home to reach the location to reshoot their scenes, but Ramesh Sippy had a last minute intuition and asked everyone to wait till Monday.
"Ramesh ji stopped us and he instinctively said, 'Let's wait till Monday and see what happens. I feel something will click'. And look what happened on the Monday. History got made after that Monday," Big B got nostalgic while walking down the memory lane.
Ramesh Sippy's prediction turned true and Sholay went on to smash all records at the box office. The cult classic remains one of the highest grossing Indian films of all times, adjusted for inflation. The film revolves around two ex-convicts Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) and Veeru (Dharmendra) who are hired by a retired cop Thakur Baldev Singh (Sanjeev Kapoor) to help him nab a notorious dacoit Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan).