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Gumnaam
Gumnaam 1965.jpg
Gumnaam
Directed by Raja Nawathe
Written by Dhruva Chatterjee
Based on And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Starring Manoj Kumar
Nanda
Pran
Helen
Mehmood
Music by Shankar-Jaikishan
Release date
24 December 1965
Country India
Language Hindi
Box office 2.6 crore ($5.46 million)

Gumnaam (translation: Unknown or Anonymous) is a 1965 Bollywood thriller film, directed by Raja Nawathe and starring Manoj Kumar, Nanda, Pran, Helen and Mehmood. The film is an adaptation of the book "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie.

The film came to wider attention in the Western world when its opening song "Jaan Pehechan Ho" (a Hindi phrase roughly translated as "we should get to know each other") was included in the opening credits of Ghost World and also used in the 2011 commercial "The Date" for Heineken. This song is sung by Bollywood music legend Mohammed Rafi. The main actor who danced in the film was Laxmi Chhaya. The psychedelic choreography was done by Herman Benjamin, who can also be seen singing the song onscreen.[clarification needed]

Contents

PlotEdit

Khanna is a wealthy man who hires an assassin to murder his rival, Sohanlal, through a staged car accident. He conveys the news of Sohanlal's death to the victim's niece Asha.

Days later, Asha wins a trip to an island in a lucky draw with six others: Barrister Rakesh, Dharamdas, Kishan, Dr. Acharya, Madhusudan Sharma and Kitty Kelly. They travel to the island in a chartered aircraft, which is forced to make an emergency landing. The aircraft takes off, leaving the passengers stranded, along with Anand, a member of the aircraft crew, who denies any knowledge of why they were marooned. They suddenly hear a woman's voice singing an ominous song.

They proceed to the mansion where they are supposed to stay, where Dharamdas later finds a diary. Anand reads aloud the diary's contents to everyone, which reveals that they are all connected to a crime and are responsible for it. The writer of the diary says that he is going to kill all of them - one each day.

As everybody retires to their rooms, Anand spies on them and finds that Dr. Acharya has brought along a bottle of poison and that Dharamdas has a revolver. Kishan catches him in the act, but does nothing. Meanwhile, the butler, too, acts suspiciously and his actions prove that there is at least one more person in the house.

The next day, Kishan spots a ship and tries in vain to send a distress signal with the help of Kitty and Dr. Acharya. Meanwhile, romance is afoot, and Anand starts flirting with Asha while things start to heat up with Rakesh and Kitty. Although everyone is suspicious of each other, Rakesh's prime suspect is Anand. That night, after Kishan is murdered, Anand and Asha find his corpse. The killer left a note which informed the group that Kishan was the contract killer who murdered Sohanlal. The group deduces that Dharamdas is the one who killed Kishan but he pleads innocence. This leads Sharma to ask everybody to give him one day to prove his innocence. The next night Dharamdas is found dead by Anand and Asha. Anand concludes that the culprit was within the group, while Rakesh believes that Dharamdas was poisoned by the doctor.

It becomes clear that everyone in the house was connected with Sohanlal in one way or another. Kitty is then revealed to be Sohanlal's personal secretary. Rakesh, the lawyer, had created Sohanlal's will on Khanna's orders. It is also revealed that Kitty sent the papers of the will to Rakesh as instructed by Khanna, although neither knew about each other. Asha has her own suspicions about Anand, who clams up when she asks him for information about himself. Later, Anand spots Rakesh hiding an axe. Dr. Acharya soon arrives screaming that Sharma has been killed. It is apparent that Sharma was axed to death. The killer has left another note stating that Sharma was Khanna's co-conspirator in Sohanlal's murder.

Anand accuses Rakesh of Sharma's murder, while Rakesh is now unsure of Anand's guilt. Dr. Acharya later catches the butler engaging in a suspicious activity, indicating that he has learnt the butler's secret which causes a scuffle between the two. The doctor enters the dining room and utters Anand's name before he collapses in front of Asha and Kitty, and they realise that he has been stabbed to death. Rakesh now believes that Anand is the killer, but he denies it. Asha, who begins to question her faith in Anand, ends up drinking with Kitty.

The next day Rakesh advises Asha to not to go alone anywhere. Asha tells him that she has been searching for Kitty. Sensing something to be amiss, they start looking for her. Kitty has gone for a swim, but senses that she is not alone. She starts to flee, but the unseen killer corners her and hangs her from a tree. Rakesh and Asha arrive at the scene too late, but his suspicion about Anand is confirmed upon spotting his hat near Kitty's corpse. Rakesh sees Anand and starts chasing him, but loses his trail. In a fit of rage, Rakesh returns to the mansion and tries to rape Asha. She escapes, but runs into Rakesh again just as he is collapsing, revealing two daggers in his chest. The lights in the mansion go out, indicating that the killer has arrived and that she is the next target.

As the killer approaches Asha, she faints. He carries her into a secret room in the mansion and revives her. Sharma, who is the killer, tells her that he convinced Dr. Acharya to help fake his own death. To avoid leaving a trail, he also murdered the doctor before resuming his killing spree. Anand appears on the scene and reveals that he is a police inspector, while Sharma is an escaped convict named Madanlal.

Madanlal overpowers Anand and Asha and ties them up and recounts his story: Khanna, Sohanlal and he were partners in smuggling. When Madanlal was caught by the police, the other two convinced him to take all the blame. After Madanlal was convicted and jailed, Sohanlal raped his sister and she later committed suicide. Sohanlal and Khanna also killed Madanlal's brother. Khanna had Sohanlal killed to usurp his money. Every person Madanlal had killed so far was involved in the plan to murder Sohanlal. The "ghost" singing the ominous song is revealed to be the butler's mentally ill sister. Madanlal killed Khanna and ensured that his targets "won" the lucky draw.

Madanlal plays a game of Russian Roulette with Anand and Asha, while the butler stealthily frees Anand. When it becomes obvious that Asha will get the bullet, Anand suddenly attacks Madanlal. In the melee that ensues, Madanlal escapes from the mansion and runs towards the shore. A plane full of policemen arrives and Madanlal is promptly arrested. Anand, Asha, the butler and his sister leave with the plane.

CastEdit

SoundtrackEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Planet Bollywood          [1]

Critic Shahid Khan rated the soundtrack 9 out of 10 stating, "Gumnaam is sometimes unfairly overlooked but I believe that it is one of Shankar-Jaikishan's best albums".[1]

Song Singer(s) Notes
"Jaan Pehechan Ho" Mohammed Rafi Picturised on Laxmi Chhaya and choreographer Herman Benjamin;[2] features in the opening credits of Ghost World. Also featured on the CD Bollywood Steel Guitar,[3] a various artists compilation released in 2008 by the Sublime Frequencies record label.
"Gumnaam Hai Koi" Lata Mangeshkar Cover version of title song of Charade by Henry Mancini.
"Ek Ladki Hai Jisne Jeena Mushkil Kar Diya" Mohammed Rafi Picturised on Manoj Kumar & Nanda
"Jaane Chaman Shola Badan" Mohammed Rafi and Sharda Picturised on Manoj Kumar and Nanda
"Peeke Hum Tum Jo" Asha Bhosle and Usha Mangeshkar This comical song was picturised on Nanda and Helen
"Gham Chhodke Manaao Rang" Lata Mangeshkar Picturised on Helen. Also known as "Iss Duniya Mein Jeena Ho Toh Sunlo Meri Baat".
"Aayega Kaun Yahaan" Sharda Unused in the movie, this song was included in the soundtrack.
"Hum Kaale Hain To" Mohammed Rafi Picturised on Helen and Mehmood

According to film expert Rajesh Subramanian, a cold war prevailed between Mehmood and Manoj Kumar during the making of the film[citation needed]. The latter even tried to influence the director to discard the song "Hum kaale hain toh kya hua"[citation needed], which has picturised on Mehmood, from the film. However, the song was retained and it went on to become a hit[citation needed] and one of the highlights of the film. An English-language version of the song titled "The She I Love" and sung by Mohammed Rafi[citation needed] was also recorded.

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

Gumnaam became a box office hit. It was the 8th highest-grossing film in India in 1965, grossing 2.6 crore.[4] This was equivalent to $5.46 million in 1965,[n 1] and is equivalent to US$42 million or 275 crore[6] in 2016.

Awards and nominationsEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ 4.7619 Indian rupees per US dollar in 1965[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Gumnaam Music Review by Shahid Khan". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Trivia time #33". Memsaabstory.wordpress.com. 14 December 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  3. ^ "Bollywood Steel Guitar". Amazon.com. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "PACIFIC Exchange Rate Service : Foreign Currency Units per 1 U.S. Dollar, 1950-2016" (PDF). Fx.sauber.ubc.ca. p. 3. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  6. ^ "Yearly Average Rates". Ofx.com. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  7. ^ "1st Filmfare Awards 1953" (PDF). Deep750.googlepages.com. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 

External linksEdit