Salaam Bombay! (1988)

 |  Crime, Drama  |  7 October 1988 (USA)
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The boy Krishna is abandoned by his mother at the Apollo Circus and she tells him that he can only return home when he can afford 500 rupees to pay for the bicycle of his brother that he ... See full summary »



(dialogue), (story), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shafiq Syed ...
Krishna / Chaipau
Hansa Vithal ...
Manju Golub
Chanda Sharma ...
Sola Saal
Raghuvir Yadav ...
Chillum (as Raghubir Yadav)
Anita Kanwar ...
Rekha Golub (as Aneeta Kanwar)
Nana Patekar ...
Baba Golub
Anjaan ...
Child at the circus
Amrit Patel ...
Circus Boss
Murari Sharma ...
Ticket Seller
Ram Moorti ...
Mad Man
Sarfuddin Qureshi ...
Koyla (as Sarfuddin Quarassi)
Raju Barnad ...
Irshad Hashmi ...
Mohanraj Babu ...
Chandrashekhar Naidu ...


The boy Krishna is abandoned by his mother at the Apollo Circus and she tells him that he can only return home when he can afford 500 rupees to pay for the bicycle of his brother that he had trashed. Krishna is left behind by the circus and he takes a train to Bombay. Krishna is called Chaipau by the street children of Bombay and he works delivering and selling tea for Chacha, who owns a street bar. Krishna befriends the heroin addicted Chillum that sells drugs for the drug dealer and caftan Baba Golub, and the girl Manju Golub, who is the daughter of Baba with the prostitute Rekha Golub. Krishna dreams on saving 500 rupees to return home, but the life on the streets of Bombay is not easy. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tea | street | job | drugs | prostitute | See All (114) »


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Salaam Bombay  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$2,080,046 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Most of the young actors who appeared in the film were actual street children. They received dramatic training at a special workshop in Bombay before they appeared in the film. See more »


Krishna starts off with eight glasses of tea. One glass is broken by Sweet Sixteen when he offers her a drink. He is then seen walking back to the tea stand with eight full glasses, but when he gets back he has seven empty glasses. See more »


Rekha Golub: [To Baba] Just like a customer.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ending credits: no guts no glory 52 locations 52 days what problem? no problem See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Best Films of 1988 (1988) See more »


Daar Laga Ley
Written by Sachin Dev Burman
See more »

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User Reviews

Probably my all-time international favorite!
3 February 2000 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

This film has haunted me since I saw it in 1988. Mira Nair's production is all-enveloping and makes you feel as though you live within what is for me a completely different lifestyle and place. The saturated colors of the sets alone would have stayed with me these 12 years, but I find that so has the plot, the movement of the camera, and the overall tenor of the work. Probably the only other film that has stayed with me in such detail and with such power is Wim Wenders's _Wings of Desire_, a completely different kind of work. Both films are alike, though, in their ability to encompass the viewer and take her to another world that she will not soon forget.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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