Amitabh Week: 40th anniversary of Don and Trishul
Exactly 40 years back, this week saw not just one but two blockbuster movies of Amitabh Bachchan released back to back. Trishul and Don which released on 5th May and 12th May in the year 1978 respectively took the nation by storm. Let’s celebrate the 40th anniversary of this “Amitabh week” with some rare trivia about these two super hit movies.
While we all know that Shahrukh Khan had a remake of Don in 2006 ( Don, the chase begins) and a sequel as well in 2011 (Don 2), a lesser known trivia is that the 1st remake of Don was in 1979 itself in Telugu by legend NT Rama Rao (NTR), called Yugandhar. There was also a Tamil remake by legend Rajnikant called Billa. Helen repeated her Don role in Billa.
The producer of the movie, Nariman Irani was in severe financial problem. Amitabh, Zeenat, Pran and director Chandra Barot decided to help him. They approached Salim-Javed who gave them a rejected script. Sadly, Irani died before the film was complete but it was a big hit and his widow was given the profits so that she could pay off her husband’s debts.
Tanzania based Chandra Barot left the country for London due to safety reasons amidst political turmoil. He was a banker with Barclays Bank and had visited his sister in Mumbai, only to stay on in India. Don was his only major movie.
Barot’s mentor was Manoj Kumar, whom he had assisted for Purab aur Paschhim. Barot, showed the script of Don and Manoj suggested adding the song “Khaike Pan banaras wala” as he thought the script was too tight. The song itself was originally planned for Dev Anand’s Banarasi Babu but was edited out. It was probably destined to be filmed on Amitabh and is an integral memory for us. The song played a big part in making the movie a hit.
“Yeh mera dil” is a super hit song of Don. This inspired the rap group “Black eyed peas” for their Grammy winning song “Don’t phunk with my heart“. Kalyanji Anandji were honoured for this rare achievement of a Hindi song inspiring a Grammy winning song.
If remake of Don had legends NTR, Rajnikant and superstar SRK, Trishul was remade in a movie starring legend Kamal Hassan. Trishul played an important role in reinforcing Amitabh’s image as angry young man, along with other landmark movies like Zanjeer, Deevaar, Sholay and of course Don.
Amitabh-Sanjeev Kumar confrontation is one of the important aspects of the movie, and while Amitabh indeed had an author backed role, one must accept that Sanjeev Kumar held his own against the superstar.
Trishul also starred Raakhee. Shashi Kapoor and Hema Malini featured as a romantic pair. Songs were a highlight of the movie. One particular song “Mohabbat bade kaam ke cheez hai” brought together 3 legends, Kishore Kumar, Yesudas and Lata.
Trishul is the first Hindi movie to mention a computer which was unknown in India in 1978. In the movie, Shashi Kapoor called Raakhee a computer.
This was Poonam Dhillon’s debut movie. She and Sachin had a very lovable and a huge hit song “Gapoochi gapoochi gam gam” in the movie. In Bigg Boss season 3, which is the only season of Bigg boss which was hosted by Amitabh, Poonam Dhillon said that in Trishul there was a scene where she falls down and Amitabh takes her in his arms and drops her home. Her friends used to tease her and ask her how it was to be in the superstar’s arms.
To end the Don and Trishul Trivia, for best actor award, Amitabh Bachchan in Trishul lost out to none other than Amitabh Bachchan in Don.
Happy 40th anniversary Trishul and Don.
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