News Hindi

Don was a title no one approved of, recalls Amitabh Bachchan

The action thriller was written by Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar, produced and filmed by Nariman Irani, and directed by Chandra Barot.


Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan said no one had approved of the title of his 1978 hit Don because the makers felt it was not fit to be the title of a Hindi film.

Don clocked 41 years on the silver screen on Sunday, 12 May. Bachchan, 76, took to his blog to write about the film.

'Don was a title that no one in the market approved of. They [the makers] never understood what it meant and never felt that a name such as Don was material for the title of a Hindi film. In fact, truth be told, for many it was quite an amusing title,' Bachchan wrote.

The Piku (2015) star recalled that the film's title sounded phonetically like a then popular undergarment brand.

'There was at the time a very popular brand of vests, the baniyan, carrying the name Dawn. Don sounded much like that brand of undergarment in the popular market and there was consternation in titling a film that conveyed an undergarment,' he continued.

It was only because of the popular Godfather series of Francis Ford Coppola that the word Don got publicized, Bachchan said.

'Much later of course, with the Godfather series, the word garnered enough publicity and reckoning, to be respectable enough, but till then initially it was in the realm of humour,' he wrote.

The film revolved around Don, a wanted criminal who dies of wounds sustained in a police chase. Police then insinuate Vijay, a look-alike of Don, into his gang in an attempt to trace the extent of its activities and the mastermind.

The action thriller was written by Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar, produced by Nariman Irani, and directed by Chandra Barot. It also featured Zeenat Aman, Pran, Iftekhar, Helen, Om Shivpuri, Satyen Kappu and Pinchoo Kapoor.

Talking about Irani, Bachchan wrote: 'The most humble, quiet and loved DoP of the film and also the producer, courtesy Salim-Javed, in an effort to help him... never lived to see its success.'

Bachchan said Irani lost his life while saving a child from a collapsing outdoor set. 'He ran to save the child. Saved him, but fell in the process and injured his hip. He was hospitalized, complications crept in and sadly he never came out of it.'