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Sholay: The Making of a Classic Paperback – International Edition, May 24, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


There has never been a more defining film on the India screen. Indian film history can be divided into Sholay BC and Sholay AD.''' --Shekhar Kapoor

An extremely readable book. --Financial Express

The fascinating story of how a four-line idea grew to become the greatest blockbuster of Indian cinema...With the skill of a consummate storyteller, Chopra describes Amitabh s struggle to convince the Sippys to choose him over Shatrughan Sinha and the last minute confusion over dates that handed the role of Gabbar Singh to Amjad. All this and much more. --Financial Express

About the Author

Anupama Chopra was born as Anupama Chandra in Calcutta (now Kolkata) to a Bengali family.

Besides this book, she has penned the following books, A Truly Motivational Book, One Book For Life Success, King Of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan And The Seductive World Of Indian Cinema, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Book), and First Day First Show: Writings From The Bollywood Trenches.

As a film critic, she reviews movies for NDTV 24/7 and The Hindustan Times. She is a contributing editor to Vogue (India) and a columnist for Mumbai Mirror. She hosts a film based show on a popular English entertainment channel, Star World.

Anupama Chopra follows a very breezy style of writing which instantly strikes the right chord with her readers.

Chopra grew up in Mumbai and Hong Kong. She graduated from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, with a BA in English Literature and earned her MA in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She won the Harrington Award for magazine journalism while at Medill. She is married to famous Bollywood filmmaker and director, Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014029970X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140299700
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By XYX on January 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
It is a nice short book and if you are a Sholay fan then it is hard to put down when you start reading. I started it at night, read most of it before sleep and read the remaining few pages as soon as I got up in the morning. It is a must have if you belong to Sholay cult.

Author being the daughter of the director of the Sholay has a Godly admiration of Ramesh Sippy and her grand father G. P Sippy. Due to that, there is some deficit when it comes to giving credit where it is due. For example, as it is evident to who has seen both movies, this movie owes a lot more to an earlier movie "Mera gaon mera desh". That Ramesh Sippy helped Dharmendra by getting Hema malini interested in him, is shown in positive light when in reality, he acted as a house breaker for an already married Dharmendra. It also sounds curious that as director and essentially the producer as well, he did not find it objectionable when Dharmendra was spoiling the shooting by bribing technicians to screw up during shoot so that he can hold Hema malini longer in his arm. I do not think any director will like it if it is done at his own expense and time. There are a few places where the credits are not rightly attributed. For example, the name Gabbar Singh is just a variation of "Jabbar Singh" of mera gaon mera desh which inspired it. Outcome of a flipping of the coin plays a crucial event in both movies. The pivotal characters in both movies (Jayant vs. Sanjiv Kumar) have both lost either one or both arms. The Dharmendra's suicide scenes are lifted right from an old and obscure Kishore Kumar's comedy film (I think "Half ticket").

The book claims that MacMohan had only one dialogue in the entire movie, namely, "poore pachaas hazaar" and became famous because of it. It is inaccurate. The other dialogue attributed to him is "Yeh le chidi ki rani" just before Ahmed (Sachin) is kidnapped.

Despite all these, it is a book you will closely relate to if you are a Sholay fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sursubbu on September 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is not very hefty as far as coffee table books go but it's lavishly decorated with tons of stills from the movie, including double-page spanning frames that give you the full widescreen perspective and reproductions of all the posters made. It also has stills of paintings done by several artistes on he theme of Sholay. Not surprisingly, most of them deal with Gabbar Singh.

As for the text, Anupama Chopra's prose is breezy...breezy enough to finish reading the book in one session, but still it's worth going back to several times, to feast upon the lovely artwork and relive the many entertaining anecdotes that pepper this account.

Definitely a great buy for afficionados of Hindi films.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very well written book about the making of one of the greatest movies ever made. Readers will enjoy learning of the events that happened as the movie was being planned and filmed. There are many photographs (I wish they were clearer pictures, but I suppose, given that it is forty years since those photos were made, these might have been the only ones available) that add color to the already colorful narrative.

I couldn't help thinking that this book may as well be classified as an "inspirational" book. When you have put your heart and soul into a project, you can be sure of its success, no matter what your critics and distractors may tell you. Your role may seem small and insignificant (as Sambha felt), but you can never predict its impact on the audience.

The then little-known actor Amjad Khan would have never dreamt that the role that he so nervously tried to enact would turn out to be a towering performance, and his character Gabbar Singh would become a 'phenomenon'. There are many such inspiring tidbits one can gather from reading this book.

Now that I know the massive scale of this movie project, and the hard work and dogged determination that went into its making, my respect for its makers is heightened and reinforced.
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By Rakesh Gupta on March 8, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Chopra's book is expected fare from a Bollywood insider. The making of a film with iconic status has many ways of handling it. We have here the focus on music and songs but no conceptualising of any Indian or foreign trends. The action is dealt with reference to Westerns, Kurusawa and foreign technicians deployed under duress. But again conceptualisation of the Western and what SEVEN SAMURAI stood for. It has description of back breaking train scenes, but no reference to Gunga Jamun's train scene or Satyajit Ray' train scene in his famous trilogy. Again, no conceptualisation. There is Saleem-Javed Screen play, the Asrani, Macmohan and Amjad Khan sketch, but no comment on before and after knowledge about screen play writing or Small but effective characterisations. Post Sholay the books mentions what happens to the characters. The book carries the author's biases and prejudices about the dramatis personae linked with the film and Bollywood. If we discount knowledge and objectivity, please do read the book for a glass of adulterated juice- good pace bad knowledge.
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By Amazon Customer on October 28, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a decent read. Especially if you are a Sholay fan. I have watched this film about 10 times and grew up listening to dialogues and songs of this film. It was nice to go in to depth of making this genre bending movie which lies somewhere between spagheti western and typical action comedy. I would recommend this book to all Sholay fans out there.
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