Sholay — the Original Climax (Gabbar is Killed!)

This was Ramesh Sippy’s original ending (and I think the better one) but he eventually bowed to distributor pressure and of course the Emergency censors. This was supposedly meant to be a kind of commentary on the futility of all violence. The ‘trade’ found it too dark. Again one wishes there were a DVD release with this ‘director’s cut’.

But here’s another deleted scene from the film:

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27 Responses to “Sholay — the Original Climax (Gabbar is Killed!)”

  1. The second scene is excellent. Makes me want to see the film again…

    That deleted ending is certainly better than what the film actually offered. Sanjay Kumar’s face says it all.

  2. Yeah, I first encountered this a few years ago. No death for Gabbar is a cop-out, given the violent, vengeful world of Sholay.

    It wasn’t just distributor pressure but political pressure from the government, or at least that is what I have heard…

  3. Thanks satyam, had not seen these before.
    I think Ramesh Sippy left him alive for a sequel ! ! LOL

    • LOL, I remember seeing the sequel many years ago, “Ramgarh Ke Sholay”, with the doubles of Amitabh, anil kapoor, and superstar Kishore Bhanushali, and Gulzar-esque lyrics like:

      “Raapat rola mat karo
      gili gili gich pich mat karo
      haathon mein mere haath do
      tum hum se pyar jhat pat karo”

  4. Gulzaresque lyrics – LMAO !!!
    Satyam, I tried to publish a post but this is so much different than NG.
    I would need a tutorial.

    • Rocky, it’s actually quite similar.. just go to posts, then add new, and finally ‘publish’. But this is a newer version of wordpress and hence the dashboard is itself more cluttered..

  5. I could not find a place to paste the link. plus it has the main body and has the summary column. which one do we use?
    It also has a column for tracking back- do we use that or not?
    and you say it is similar ! LOL

    • Just click on ‘add new post’ (right below ‘Posts’). At this point it’s quite like NG. Forget the summaries and everything. Just put everything in the body. You can put a link here or like NG do a live link (type a word, highlight it, click the link icon, add the link address in the box, check ok, and you will see code). or else just put in the link. When you’re doing anything in a new post you’ll see the Visual/HTML options. I think you should use the latter as you might find it easier.

  6. Good stuff. I can’t remember what Sholay’s climax was. Gabbar is not killed, I thought he was, no?

    • No sandy, as Sanjeev is about to kill him the cops show up, prevent the murder, and lead gabbar away in handcuffs…

    • Sandy: Only sinners don’t remember Sholay with precision! By the way a great film on the ‘morality-of-remembering-everything-about-Sholay-on-the-path-of-becoming-a-true-Indian-citizen’ was Jhankaar Beats!

  7. Interesting.
    It is fine as it is. Dont mess with perfection.

  8. Like this ending more as it shows flow of emotions from pent up rage and frustration from Sanjeev as well as giving Dharmendra closure for his loss .

    God , what a loss to Indian cinema Sanjeev Kumar was ?

  9. well I remember it and I feel everyone shud…
    I still remember I was quite young at that time & still today I wanted gabber to be killed!!!! not only that a brutal death a bad death..a death that shudhave gone in history..ok m bit ott here …

    but my real reason is..:-
    see I saw movie first in 90′s on tv & @ that time big b was the god of indian cinema …so u guys get it I just cudnt believe that my hero bachan was killed by his goons but then too he goes to jail only!! he shud have been killed & that’s why I hated sanjeev kapoor & dharmendra for not killing the guy who killed bachan.

  10. The 2nd ending is way much better. Gabbar being led away in handcuffs makes me,as an audience,feel cheated and frustrated. After all, he had been arrested and sentenced to serve 20 years earlier but managed to escape.

    In my opinion-Gabbar’s death should have been gruesome.His character coolly, massacared Thakur’s entire family including his young grandson.
    Gabbar’s death, the stone faced Thakur Baldev Singh’s breakdown and Veeru comforting him (despite the recent loss of his friend and probably his only family, Jai ) do justice to the otherwise fantastic script and give both Thakur, Veeru and the audience closure.

  11. I saw ‘Mera Gaon mera desh’ recently and strongly believe that Javed-Salim were inspired by it…..they definately took a lot from that……you guys would have to watch it to know what i’m on abt….but sholay is 100 x better.

    • Mera Gaon Mera Desh was an iconic film in its day, specially that number towards the end (maar diya jaye). Made by the well-known Raj Khosla who started out with a number of Dev Anand films including most famously CID, then did important 60s hits like Woh Kaun Thi and Mera Saaya, then had Do Raaste with Rajesh Khanna (did a couple of others with him), had Mera gaon mera desh around the same time, late in his career did Bachchan’s Dostana which Johar’s father produced (and which was one of the inspirations for Farhan’s Don for its ‘cool’ Bachchan persona). This last was really his last hurrah but he had a number of significant moments for two and a half decades.

    • Quite right.
      Actually stories have been recycled over and oer again ever since the first films came about.

      Deewar, which I absolutely love is also not so original.
      First there was the mother in Mother India who shoots her son,
      Gunga Jamuna (another fabulous film) had a police brother and daku brother, the former shooting the latter – just like in Deewar.
      Even the death of Parveen Babi in Deewar is like that of Vyjayanthimala in Gunga Jamuna.

      The lost and found siblings have been going on for a long time.

      Satyam doesn’t agree, but the prototype of Don was already there in China Town and before that IS Johar in Mr India in 1961 (you may notice, even the names are being recycled)

      But I have to say that the inspirational films that follwed the original were very well made and among the best Indian films.

      • I don’t disagree with that Oldgold but the question is: what’s the most canonical version among them? And once again the best example here is Shakespeare. All but three of his plays rely on unoriginal material, some of which was very well-known in its own right. For example some of his plays follow Plutarch’s narratives for the classical stuff, the English history plays follow Holinshed closely, so on and so forth. All these original sources were famous but once Shakespeare took them on he became the “school of the ages”. Of course one could go back even further than those film examples you’ve quoted and find all sorts of mythological tropes in these films. So the question isn’t as much whether something is completely new (presumably “nothing is new under the sun”!) and much about how it is ‘refashioned’. Homer himself relied on lots of stories that were all completely known to his audiences but he gave them canonical form. The same is true for the Greek dramatists. One could say the same for painting. So many important themes keep reappearing but the titanic artist makes it his own and becomes a reference point for that theme or idea. In music similar examples could be offered. It is about that ‘re-ordering’ of elements that is important. So again I don’t disagree with you at all but the Don (1978) to China Town relation is not at all like the Don (2006) to Don (1978) one. In fact with this film it is even more plainly obvious when they’re even using the lines and songs of the original film!

        On a related note for me Deewar isn’t a titanic film because of its basic plot-line but because of its socio-political critique where it far exceeds that of Gunga Jumna in just about every sense imaginable. similarly it is a much more ‘complicated’ film than Gunga Jumna in terms of the many more perspectives it introduces. With some of those other great scripts from that period this is again something I’ve constantly stressed. There’s always a lot more going on than meets the eye. But I’ve never primarily focused on the plots. One of the best examples here is Kaala Pathar which takes off in very direct ways from Conrad’s Lord Jim (though we should be so lucky to have such writers today who draw similar inspiration from literary stuff!). There are lots of ‘sources’ either way.

  12. yes, and i also believe vinod khanna was first noticed in this film as a one of the members of that band of dacoits

    • Khosla then did Kachche Dhaage with Vinod Khanna and Kabir Bedi and it’s worth watching.

    • though Vinod Khanna had been seen in important supporting parts before this in Aan Milo Sajna and Saccha Jhuta. Of course that very year as Mera Gaon.. he also had Gulzar’s superb Mere Apne.

      • oh yes. and ‘sachcha jhoota’, in my view, ranks as ‘rajesh khanna’s more enjoyable performances (i may be i minority but i never liked apaet from this and anand). and though i liked mere apne, did not find reena roy’s act great by any means (her make-up of an old withered woman was horribly done)- i enjoyed shatru, mehmood and asit sen(i think he was there in the film) here

  13. oh, thanks much for the info. i quite like vinod khanna. my fav performance of his is in gulzaar’s achaanak. btw i wonder why khosla didn’t work with bachchan after the superhit ‘dostana’. also read sumwhere that mahesh bhatt worked as raj khosla( so this may be the reason why khanna featured in bhatt’s debut film ‘lahoo ke do rang’ as well as ‘jurm’- which i quite enjoyed)

    • Bachchan started doing very few films after the early 80s. Don’t think other than Desai or Mehra or Sippy he thought of anyone as a sure thing (there were rumors of a falling out with yash Chopra post-Silsila and of course they didn’t work together after this for two decades). And because anything he appeared in was as likely to be a box office success I don’t think he had reason to be more astute in these matters. Bachchan in this sense is the only star I can think of for whom some of script-selection though regrettable at one level seems completely understandable at another! But Dostana though successful was in any case not the Yaarana kind of hit.

  14. typo-bhatt worked as raj khosla’s ‘assistant’

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