Sunday, June 20, 2010


Not sure whether I should be separating my jottings when I am writing about a movie with soundtracks. Oh well, until I can come up with a better idea, I’ll keep the movie review and music review separate.

Jewel Thief is a 1967 Hindi crime thriller produced by Navketan films (Dev Anand's production house) and directed by Vijay Anand (Dev Anand’s brother). The music is by Sachin Dev Burman (see my post on the music of Jewel Thief HERE). The film stars veteran actor Ashok Kumar, 1960s heart-throb Dev Anand, Vyjayantimala, Tanuja (mother of actress Kajol) and the beautiful Helen.

The film was a box office hit and is considered THE crime thriller of Bollywood (a term used to describe the Hindi language movie industry in India). I totally agree that Jewel Thief is a movie ahead of its time - when most of the movies produced during this era and the next had issues with story line continuity!

To the movie. Vinay, played by Dev Anand, is young man who finds himself constantly mistaken for a look-alike jewel thief named Amar. Vinay is able to prove that he is not the Jewel Thief and co-operates with the police (whose Commissioner is actually his father) to locate this elusive Amar - only to find himself embroiled in devious schemes that sees him ending up with amnesia and making him the target of every policeman, in India (including his pa, of course).

The acting in this movie is superb although I have to add that Vyjayantimala seems to be at her chubbiest here (yet still able to be quite desirable – you go girrrl) and Tanuja is too cute. I also loved Helen’s appearance and item number in the movie. BTW, one question has always plagued me with pre 1980s Hindi movie – why do most of the western ‘two piece’ costumes always have a nude sheer lining to give it the illusion of a two piece garment when it is actually only a one piece garment! It then does not match the skin colouring of the actress and looks as if a fashion disaster has occurred. If it is a case of modesty, aren’t most Indian attires, like the sari and/or ghangra choli, two pieces of clothing that bares the midriff, with only a wispy bit of chiffon (if that) worn as a sash? Hmmmm…..Go figure!!! And the pointy bras! What's that all about?

Again, nothing to do with the movie, but isn’t the “pom-pom” sari worn by Vyjayantimala a riot? So love the 60s....

So, if you love a good spy movie with plenty of ohs, ahs and twists like the roads in Sikkim (where parts of the movie was filmed), Jewel Thief is definitely a movie not to be missed.

Veen’s rating: 5 stars

NB: Jewel Thief OST post to follow....


bollywooddeewana said...

Great point about the body stockings, i myself i've always wondered, i guess its a case appearing Risque but yet conservative. As for the film the songs, costumes and interiors are what sealed it for me, the film foes on for way too long and at one point i was just waiting for it all to end, its a film i revisit over again just for the songs and not the whole movie. Thanks for the Lp

Veen said...

Hi BD,

Yes, that (body stocking - I like that word) has always intrigued me. So weird!

I have to admit that it did go a tad too long (like most Hindi movies) but at least the movie wasn't too OTT.

Agree - songs, dances, costumes and set were clinchers!


Nasir said...

I am so glad that I found this Blog. Looks like a treasure-house and the get-up is extraordinary.

Among Dev Anand's movies, Jewel Thief is my most favourite after Guide and Johny Mera Naam.

In my opinion, Dil Pukaare Aa re Aa re is the most romantic duet of 1967. Historically, it's the first duet after the breakup of Rafi-Lata in 1963.

Veen said...

Salaam Nasir Saab. Guide is one of my favourite Hindi movies too. I have not watched Johny Mera Naam since I was a kid so I have to reacquaint myself with the movie.

Ooooh? Lata and Rafi had a break-up? I have to ‘google’ this piece of info. Thank you for sharing.

Nasir said...

Salaam to you Veen.
Johny Mera Naam too is interesting. Goldie Anand was a great director. One scene which is rather long drawn at the fag end, involving mistaken identities is a masterpiece - thanks to the direction.

Yes, Rafi and Lata had several tiffs that concerned the Royalty on sales of records, and again regarding Guiness World Record and also during the recording of Tasveer Teri Dil me.n... from Maya. You could refer to my article on Rafi Sahaab at:
which is in several instalments in my Blog.

Veen said...

Thanks Nasir saab, I surely will check out your article.