When Chandra Barot set out to make Don, it was not with the idea of giving birth to one of India’s most iconic thrillers but to make a good film for a good cause. No one involved with the making of the film foresaw the kind of overarching impact it would have, not only in terms of its success at the box office but in spawning a cult phenomenon that would stay strong more than three decades later—with its slick theme, fantastic music and unforgettable dialogues, that is what Don became.
The journey of Don was not an easy one. Shot over four years, it faced several hurdles before making it to the theatres. While the casting and music of Don have now acquired legendary status, there were some close shaves before it all came together: Iftekhar’s role of the cop was eyed by a big star of the 1960s; getting Kalyanji-Anandji to compose the score called for a delicate balancing act; it was only thanks to the shrewd advice of a mentor that the super-successful ‘Khai ke paan Banaras wala’ was included at the very last minute. And, wonder of wonders, it was not Amitabh Bachchan who was paid the most for the film!
Through a fast-paced narrative born out of interviews with the cast and crew, and supplemented with rare photographs from the director’s archives, The Making of Don tells a tale that is as compelling as the one that finally made it to the big screen. Engaging and captivating, this is the story of one of Bollywood’s most memorable classics.