javed akhtar, sholay, dharmendra, hema malini,

Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan are regarded as the greatest screenwriters of Hindi Cinema. The duo wrote some of the most iconic Hindi films of the ’70s, like Sholay, Deewaar, Zanjeer, Don, Haathi Mere Saathi, Yaadon Ki Baarat, and played a key role in crafting the ‘Angry Young Man’ archetype. Talking about their film Sholay, it starred Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini in key roles. The film released in 1975 continues to enjoy cult status even today. In an exclusive chat with Arbaaz Khan on The Invincibles, Javed Akhtar reveals how Sholay had failed at the box office and film fraternity even held condolence meeting.

Javed Akhtar recalls film industry held condolence when Sholay failed

Salim-Javed worked with Amitabh Bachchan when he had given 11 consecutive flops in his career. However, Zanjeer catapulted him into stardom after which whenever the three collaborated movie was also given the ‘superhit’ status. During the candid chat, Javed Akhtar recalls the time Sholay was considered but how he had Salim Khan had confidence it would earn over 1 crore.

He shared, “Jab sholay release hui toh film industry mein uski condolence meeting bhi hui. Sab kuch hogaya ki bhai bahut afsoos hua ki paida hote hi marr gayi. Uski obituary likhi gayi. First week me ek trade magazine ne ek special issue Wednesday ko likha why sholay failed? (When Sholy released, film industry held a condolence meeting. Everyone regretted that film tanked within few days of release. Infact obituaries were written. I also remember a trade magazine wrote a special issue that Why Sholay failed?). It was a 3-page article that was published 5-days after release. All the pundits gave their opinion why the film can’t work? It was because the basics were wrong. The idea is wrong, characters and situations are also wrong, how would it work?

He further added, “Sabne apni ray di. (Everyone had given their opinion). But in that same week Salim-Javed gave a full page in the trade guide that we guarantee this film will do over Rs 1 crore in every major territory. I am not boasting anything as it is a historical fact which can be checked. No film had done 1 crore till that time. Toh log humpe haste the. Hum bhi galat saabit hue kyuki film me 1 crore se jyada kiya. Magar humko yakeen tha. (After the article, people laughed at us. But eventually, we were proven wrong as the film did over Rs 1 crore).”

During the interview, Javed Akhtar also mentioned why he and Salim Saab were confident about their projects. He also discussed how the two got their names printed on film posters and demanded that writers should be paid equal to actors.

Watch the full interview here:

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Javed Akhtar recalls getting disappointed when he won no awards for Rock On; says, “No one appreciated that”

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