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Salaam Bombay! (1988)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 7 October 1988 (USA)
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:
Hansa Vithal ...
Manju Golub
Chanda Sharma ...
Sola Saal
Chillum (as Raghubir Yadav)
Anita Kanwar ...
Rekha Golub (as Aneeta Kanwar)
Anjaan ...
Child at the circus
Amrit Patel ...
Circus Boss
Murari Sharma ...
Ticket Seller
Ram Murthy ...
Mad Man (as Ram Moorti)
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


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Salaam Bombay  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nana Patekar accidentally got stabbed by the child actor. The actor did not understand the director's instructions properly. See more »


The day Chaipav escapes the Child Reformation Home, the Superintendent and his assistant are watching the Semi-Final of the 1987 Cricket World Cup (as evident from the commentary), which was held on 5th November, 1987. But when Chaipav returns to the red-light district the same day, a procession can be seen carrying a huge Ganpati idol, so the day must be Ganesh Chaturthi (installation day) or Anant Chaturdashi (Ganpati Visarjan- immersion day). However, in 1987, the dates for Ganesh Chaturthi and Anant Chaturdashi were 28th August and 6th September, respectively. Thus, the semi-final and Ganesh Chaturthi/Visarjan did take place on the same day. 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 Zomergasten: Episode #5.3 (1992) See more »


Where Do I Begin?
Music by Francis Lai
Lyrics by Carl Sigman
See more »

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User Reviews

Lost Childhoods
22 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

A brilliant but sad film in which we follow abandoned Krishna on his quest to make enough money to return to his village. Along the way we meet the street kids, prostitutes, pimps and dealers he shares everyday life with.

An amazing aspect is that all the child actors in the film are real street kids picked after attending workshops run by Nair and friends. In particular the central performances of Krishna, Manju and Coalpiece (his songs!) are superb. Despite their hardships there are some great moments when you see glimpses of the playful kids within.

The film never wanders into over-sentimentality and at times its hard to believe you're not watching a documentary. Hindi-film music and escapism seeps into everyday life, actors mingle with ordinary people and the whole film is shot in real locations around Mumbai that just drip with atmosphere. This sadly includes the chiller room which was filmed as they found it along with the soul-crushing 'Flowers that never bloom' prayer.

The story wanders and can be slow but this only serves to draw you into their world and leave you sad and angry at the end - at the loss of childhood for these kids and countless others. Still relevant today.

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