Movie of the Week: Gumnaam

There are few things as enjoyable to me as watching old movies and once in a while you get to see adaptations of even older movies in a foreign language; the term is “Gold” ladies and gentlemen.

We’re rekindling the Movie of the Week series with Gumnaam released in 1965. Essentially a Hindi cinema adaptation of the Hollywood film, And Then There Were None (1945 Twentieth Century Fox) which in turn was an adaptation of the book of the same name by Agatha Christie (1939).

Taking that rich line into account, the movie then pours in all of the wacked out Indian goodness all over (including the obligatory music and dance numbers with the 60’s vibe). The interpretation is “unique” to say the least and the beginning features a song and dance routine that is legendary even by Bollywood standards.

The song Jaan Pehechaan Ho, was so popular, it was featured in credits of the movie Ghost World and, more recently, all over the place in Heineken commercials. I have to say the commercial does try to capture the wackiness of the original routine with clever gimmicks, however nothing there really compares to the actual scene in the movie.

The scene features Laxmi Chhaya as the masked front lady. The vocals are by the legendary Mohammad Rafi with lyrics from Anand Bakshi, music by Ted Lyons and His Cubs and the choreography by Herman Benjamin.

Behold, the original…

Believe it or not, this is actually in the thriller genre and the rest of the movie follows quite faithfully to the original 1945 production.

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