1. Actor 'Amjad Khan' was almost dropped from the project because scriptwriter 'Javed Akhtar' found his voice too weak for Gabbar Singh's role.
2. Initially, 'Dharmendra' was keen to play the role of Thakur Baldev Singh. He eventually relented when the director informed him that Sanjeev Kumar would play Veeru if that happened, and would get the heroine. Sanjeev Kumar had just then proposed marriage to Hema Malini. Dharmendra was in love with her and quickly went back to the role of Veeru.
3. The scene of the killing of Thakur's family by Gabbar is an adaptation of the killing of the McBain family by Frank in Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West.
4. Sholay, despite being a huge hit, received only one Filmfare award (best editing: MS Shinde...The awards for the best film, the best dialogues, the best direction, and others went to Deewar.
5. This was the first film in the history of Indian cinema to celebrate a silver-jubilee (25-week) initial release at over 100 theaters across India.
6. Actor Mushtaq Merchant plays two roles in the film. The first role is as the train driver's infamous train scene. The second role is when Jai Veeru steals a Parsi man's motorcycle. He plays the Parsi man.
7. This film was directly inspired by the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, by Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954), Bandidos (1967) among others. Some critics at the time even began calling it a curry western.
8. Jai and Veeru were named after Salim Khan's college friends, Veerandar Singh Bias, son of a jagirdar at Khajrana Kothi, Indore, and Jai Singh Rao Kalevar, a Pindari warrior and vegetable farmer. Both have passed away.
9." Gabbar Singh" character was so famous that Britannia Biscuits made a commercial with Amjad Khan eating Biscuits. This was the first time that a villain character was used by a company to publicize its products. The advertisement was an instant hit in children and the sales doubled.
10. While the original film was made with a budget of 3 crores, 25 crores were spent on the 3D version, which was released in January 2014.
11. The famous overhead tank scene where Veeru threatens Mausi with suicide and Jai's attempts at proposing marriage was drawn from a real-life incident.
12. The film was shot extensively in Ramnagaram near Bangalore, India. There are huge rocks of granite in this town which formed the backdrop of Gabbar Singh's hideout. As a mark of respect, the people of Ramnagaram renamed a hamlet in the town as Sippynagar after the director of the movie, Ramesh Sippy.
13. The train robbery sequence took about 20 days to film on the Mumbai-Pune line, near Panvel.
14. Sachin received a refrigerator as remuneration for his acting.
15. There was a dacoit named Gabbar Singh around Gwalior in the 1950s. Reports say he used to cut off the noses and ears of policemen.