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Sholay (English: Embers) is an Indian film directed by Ramesh Sippy. It is the biggest hit in the history of Bollywood, India's Hindi film industry. Released on 15 August 1975, it stars Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri and Amjad Khan.
The movie, shot in the rocky terrain of Ramanagara (actual city in Karnataka), is the story of two petty criminals hired to capture, for a bounty, a ruthless dacoit by the name of Gabbar Singh.
Sholay is the highest grossing film of all time in Indian cinema. It has earned Rs. 768,81,00,000, equivalent to US$ 160 million, after adjusting for inflation.
When first released, the film was declared a commercial disaster. Word of mouth convinced movie-goers to give the film a chance and soon it became a box-office phenomenon. It ran for 286 weeks straight (more than five years) in one Mumbai theatre, the Minerva.
Sholay racked up a still-record 60 golden jubilees across India and doubled its original gross over reruns during the late 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. Sholay was the first film in the history of Indian cinema to celebrate silver jubilee (25 weeks) at over a hundred theatres across India.
The film was produced by G.P. Sippy and directed by his son Ramesh Sippy. It was written by scriptwriters Salim-Javed. R. D. Burman contributed the music. Anand Bakshi was the lyricist. It was the first Hindi (and possibly Indian) movie to have a stereophonic soundtrack.
Sholay was released on 15 August 1975 in Mumbai. On 11 October 1975, the film was released in several other Indian film distribution districts. It earned Rs. 3,84,41,00,000 equivalent to US$ 88 million,and remains the highest grossing movie of all-time in the history of Indian Cinema.
At Mumbai's Minerva theater, it was shown in regular shows for three continuous years, and then in matinee shows for two more years. Even in 240th week of its release, Sholay was packing the theaters. Sholay grossed about 35 crore rupees in its first run, a record that remained unbroken for the next nineteen years. Sholay ran for more than five years.
The film showcased two real life romances. Amitabh married Jaya Bhaduri, who played the widowed daughter-in-law, in 1973, during the filming. Dharmendra married Hema Malini, his second marriage, in 1980, five years after the release of the film.
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