Bollywood classic Sholay released in 3D after restoration, legal fight

Bollywood classic Sholay released in 3D after restoration, legal fight
The iconic Indian film, which stars Amitabh Bachchan (above) is an action adventure about two petty thieves hired by a police officer to exact revenge on a ruthless bandit.

MUMBAI - Almost 40 years after one of Bollywood's most famous films broke box office records, "Sholay" (Embers) has been restored for release Friday in 3D to a new generation of moviegoers.

The iconic Indian film, which stars Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Amjad Khan and other Bollywood greats, is an action adventure about two petty thieves hired by a police officer to exact revenge on a ruthless bandit.

The movie, which borrowed heavily from the Westerns of the time, proved so popular after its release in 1975 that it screened for five years at a landmark Mumbai theatre, the longest ever run in India at the time.

Producers Shaan Uttam Singh and Sascha Sippy said they wanted to restore the original film for new generations of movie watchers, while also giving it a 3D boost.

Singh said the technical process took three years to complete, and was estimated to have cost more than $3 million.

"First we scanned and digitised the original negative and then it was restored," Singh told AFP.

The background score was also modernised, while leaving the dialogue untouched. "We pepped up the music a bit to make it sound modern," said Sippy. "We first had to fill in the negative where there were holes, digitise the film, strip the sound, keep the dialogue, re-record all the sound and music and also convert the film into 3D," Sippy added.

Sholay opens across Indian and United Arab Emirates cinemas on Friday in 2D and 3D. The classic, which, like all Bollywood movies, includes a love story, will be released in other countries later this year.

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