Sangati Jogwar

News Highlights

  • The original Don starring Amitabh Bachchan faced a lot of hurdles during its making.
  • There is an interesting story behind the reason why Don was made by Chandra Barot and Nariman Irani.

Ranveer Singh will now star as the lead star in Don 3 after Shah Rukh Khan decided to quit the franchise. The first two installments from the franchise received a good response and fans were eagerly waiting for the third movie to come out.

While SRK as Don has been able to establish his own popularity, it was none other than Amitabh Bachchan who was the original Don in the movie released in 1978.

The film is looked upon today as a cult classic which inspired Farhan to remake the story with SRK. But very few people know that Don was made with Big B and Zeenat Aman in the lead because a man wanted to help his friend pay all his loans. Similar to Don, the story that leads to the making of Don and the entire process is very interesting.

A flop film’s loan led to production of another cult classic

Nariman Irani was a famous cinematographer of Bollywood during the 70s. After working for long years in the film industry he felt that he should produce a movie. Hence, he produced a movie titled “Zindagi Zindagi.” But it was a big flop and Nariman could not recover the Rs 12 lakh that he had burrowed for it. Thus, he had a loan of INR 12 lakh which was a big amount in those days.

Nariman Irani then diverted his focus once again to cinematography and in those days, he was working with Manoj Kumar for “Roti Kapda Aur Makaan.” Here he met Chandra Barot who had returned to India after he could not find a proper occupation in England for earning.

Chandra Barot had been working with Manoj Kumar for more than 7 years as an assistant director. Both Nariman and Chandra became good friends and used to spend a lot of time with each other after the shooting was wrapped up. Once or twice, Nariman demanded some money from Chandra.

Initially, the latter happily gave him some money. But when the demand became big, Chandra asked why Nariman needed so much money. At that time the cinematographer revealed to him about the loan. Since his salary at that time was not much, it was impossible for him to repay the big amount of loan.

Chandra decided to direct a movie for Nariman

He convinced Nariman to produce yet another movie and even was able to rope in big names such as Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman as the lead star cast. But the journey of making Don was full of hurdles. Now there was a search for a good story. Chandra came to know that a good story was lying dormant with Salim Khan which many leading actors including Dharmendra and Jeetendra had turned down.

Chandra Barot decided to make a movie based on this story. Nariman’s sister came forward in the moment of crisis and helped the team overcome financial hurdles. But later on, Pran, who was supposed to play an important role in Don met with an accident. The biggest shock came when Nariman Irani died when the movie was not even half complete.

Money or no money we will complete the film: Amitabh Bachchan

Chandra Barot was determined to complete this film so that the loan of his friend could be repaid. Big actors like Amitabh Bachchan assured Chandra that they will complete the movie even if do not get paid for it. In 1978, the movie was released to a lukewarm response in the first week. But with mouth publicity, it became a superhit in the following weeks and to date is considered one of the biggest hits of Amitabh Bachchan’s career.

The film recovered most of the production cost and profit in huge amounts and then, Chandra Barot was able to repay the loan of Nariman Irani.