Jewel Thief (1967)

This is one of those films that have a very interesting—and unexpected—twist that can come totally as a bolt out of the blue if you’re watching it for the first time. Subsequent watchings, no matter how far apart, tend to dilute the suspense a good deal because (unless you have a really frightful memory) you know what’s coming. And somehow, unlike films like Teesri Manzil or Mera Saaya or Woh Kaun Thi?, Jewel Thief lacks other elements that could encourage repeated viewings.

But more on that later. To begin with, a synopsis of what this is all about. The film gets off to a running start, with a series of newspaper headlines proclaiming the activities of a jewel thief who’s been wreaking havoc all across India, driving the police batty and making the Home Minister promise that the government is doing its best to apprehend this mysterious thief.
At an important meeting, the Police Commissioner of Bombay (Nasir Hussain) pledges to catch the jewel thief by January 26.

The scene then shifts briefly to Gangtok, where Shalini (Vyjyantimala) is being awarded a prize for acting and dance by a Sikkimese queen, who makes Shalini promise that she will come and dance at the palace someday. A little boy (Master Sachin) in the audience is especially excited about Shalini’s achievement. His ill luck, as it turns out—returning all alone along a mountain path after the function, he is kidnapped by two ruffians who bundle him into a jeep and drive off.

Back to Bombay, where Vinay (Dev Anand) is trying to get a job. Vinay happens to be the son of the Police Commissioner, who has a very low opinion of Vinay and has turned him out of the house. Vinay has flunked repeatedly all through school and college, but has one redeeming quality: he’s a connoisseur of gems. Now, he goes to the shop of a leading jeweller Vishamberdas (D K Sapru) and offers his services, to find himself summarily dismissed. Vishamberdas has no time for upstarts who think they’re experts.

Vinay is nothing if not enterprising. With the help of a song and some flirting with Vishamberdas’s pretty daughter Anjali (Tanuja), he soon convinces Vishamberdas that he, Vinay, is actually worth a salary of Rs 10,000. Vishamberdas is soon singing Vinay’s praises and admiring his skill at assessing gemstones.
Anjali, who treats Vinay as a boyfriend cum general dogsbody cum best buddy, is also spending plenty of time with him—a task made easier by the fact that Vinay lives next door to Vishamberdas and Anjali.

One day at the shop, something strange happens: a man (Jagdish Raj) accosts Vinay, calling him Amar. It takes a bit of doing before he’s convinced that Vinay is Vinay, not Amar.

And one evening, another man (Thapa) also calls Vinay Amar and tries to return some money he says he’d borrowed from Amar.
This is all very peculiar, but the climax comes at Anjali’s birthday party. Vishamberdas’s old friend (Ashok Kumar) has arrived in town with his sister Shalu (remember Shalini, the superb dancer in faraway Gangtok? The same). They’re staying with Vishamberdas and are there at the party when Vinay arrives—and Shalu immediately comes to him, calling him Amar, her fiancé.
This is too much for Vinay, and he tells Shalu off. There’s a bit of a tiff, with Shalu tearing off her engagement ring and weeping buckets of humiliation and sorrow…

…while her brother fumes and even picks up the cake knife to disembowel Vinay. Finally, the brother recalls one means of identification that can conclusively prove that this man is Amar: Amar has six toes on his right foot.
Vinay obliges:

And Shalu and her brother have to eat humble pie. It seems Vinay and Amar are look-alikes. Many apologies follow. Vinay is gracious enough to accept them, and even more gracious enough to become (as time goes by) Shalu’s friend and confidant. A romance begins to blossom. It runs into some heavy weather when Shalu gifts Vinay a set of clothes exactly like the ones the mysterious Amar used to wear, but Vinay forgives her and life goes on.

Meanwhile, other important events have been happening. A man who’d been present at Anjali’s birthday party and had seen the engagement ring Shalu had flung in Vinay’s face, comes to meet Commissioner Sahib, with astounding news. That ring’s a distinctive one, and the man assures the commissioner that this was the very same ring that was stolen from his house a while back. He even accompanies the commissioner to Vishamberdas’s home to meet Shalu and to positively identify the ring. Amar, it seems, is a thief…?

Vishamberdas’s trust in Vinay at least is growing daily. One day, he takes Vinay down into the basement of his shop, which is stuffed with uncut gemstones that master jewellers work on during the night. His cutters are on leave right now, so Vishamberdas has decided to assign this task to Vinay. He makes an appointment with Vinay for the following night: they’ll meet at 9 PM and Vishamberdas will show Vinay how to go about the job.

The following night, though, something unexpected crops up. Vinay is just about to leave Shalu (with whom he’s been chatting) when a stranger arrives with a note, purportedly from Amar. Shalu goes out onto the road (where, according to the note, Amar is waiting for her) and is immediately pounced upon by a bunch of goons. They twist off her engagement ring and then race off in a waiting jeep, leaving her by the side of the road, where Vinay finds her.

By the time Vinay and her brother have calmed Shalu down, it’s long past 9. Vinay rushes off to the shop, only to find it closed—and when he goes to Vishamberdas’s home, the only one around is Anjali. She gives him (literally) a song and dance, which is interrupted by the arrival of Vishamberdas. Vishamberdas is surprised when Vinay apologises for having stood him up: “But you’ve spent the last two hours with me in the shop!” Vishamberdas insists.
There is something rotten here. …So they rush back to the shop, only to find that that jewel-filled basement is now a woefully empty basement. Amar, passing himself off as Vinay, has cleaned it out.
Vishamberdas has a nervous breakdown of sorts. The police arrive, but find no clues.

Vinay, hero that he is, outsmarts the police by apprehending an eavesdropper—a skinny little runt whom he threatens to throttle unless all is revealed. The man confesses that he was paid to listen in. And paid by whom? A dancer called Helen (Helen, who else?) who is Amar’s girlfriend and dances at the Roman Nights nightclub.

Vinay, therefore, goes off to meet Helen—who doesn’t suspect he’s anyone other than Amar—and accompanies her home. There’s much billing and cooing, and guess what Helen’s wearing on her finger?

Mystery upon mystery, surprise upon surprise, and this is nowhere close to the end of it all. There’s much more to come, with the action shifting from Bombay to Poona to Calcutta to Gangtok with swiftness. Who is Amar? How is he related to Vinay? Where does that ring feature in all of this? And who was that little boy in the beginning of the film who got abducted?

Very good for one watch.

What I liked about this film:

The music. S D Burman, and very, very good. Raat akeli hai, Yeh dil na hota bechara and Hothon mein aisi baat are my favourites, but there are other lovely ones too, including the beautiful Rulaake gaya sapna mera (the only song in this film written by Shailendra; all the others were written by Majrooh Sultanpuri) and Dil pukaare aare aare.

The suspense. The first time I saw Jewel Thief, I couldn’t figure out who Amar was and where the film was leading—and then, pow!!—a sudden, completely unforeseen twist, and everything fell into place. Vijay Anand, who directed the film too, did a fine job of writing the script for this one, at least if you look at it from a suspense point of view.

What I didn’t like:

The bits that fit around the suspense angle. Unlike, say, Teesri Manzil (also directed by Vijay Anand), which had a well-scripted romance and very plausible red herrings to round it off, Jewel Thief falls a bit flat on supporting plot elements. The motive’s a little weak. Vinay’s romance with Shalu is insipid and unconvincing (it mainly consists of songs). And the characterisations—especially Vinay’s—are sadly lacking. Vinay, for instance, is a somewhat ambiguous character who seems to spend all his time either peering at gems or flirting with anything in a dress (or without).

And that brings me to the second thing I didn’t like about Jewel Thief: the women, except for Vyjyantimala’s Shalu. There were some fine actresses here (including some of my favourites): Tanuja, Helen, Faryal, Anju Mahendru. But they’re wasted; all they do is prance around in slinky dresses and sit in Dev Anand’s lap or flirt with him. Other than contributing to the notion that Amar was a die-hard womaniser (or that Vinay is pretty much the same), they don’t do a thing. Was this an attempt to do a Hindi James Bond, I wonder?

The problem with Jewel Thief is that it hinges on a very important climax, which (no matter how hard I try!) I can’t forget. That is, of course, a huge plus for the screenplay—and though there are some holes in the plot, the suspense is on the whole pretty good. But if you remember what the twist in the tale is, subsequent rewatchings can become a bit tedious; other than the songs, there’s not enough to hold your attention if you know where all of this is leading up to.

And oh, this. Who on earth thought a sari with balls of cottonwool stuck all over it would look pretty? Please.

Still, a must-watch for at least once.

58 thoughts on “Jewel Thief (1967)

  1. I started watching it the other day, but haven’t gone past the song Raat Akeli Hai yet. When I get to the end I will let you know.

    BTW, that sari is hideous, a pretty difficult acheivement!


  2. Hee hee….that sari is really hideous.
    It’s been quite some time since I watched this movie. Totally agree, it’s a one-time-must-watch. When i had seen it the first time, which was during my school days, I was all confused, couldn’t understand what was happening, and then the twist, a totally unexpected one. I had thoroughly enjoyed watching it. And music was excellent! But watching it again was not much fun.


  3. Ohh! That sari!! LOL!

    I have mixed feelings for this film. A couple of songs have such a haunting melody which make me long to watch the film again, but when I do, your point about what happens when you do, is proved.

    I love the palace scenes and dance, which is fabulous. I read somewhere that it was all filmed in one take.
    Dev Anand seemed to have been quite a favourite with the Royals there.


  4. My only problem with this film was Dev Saab‘s hairstyle – his trade-mark puff was conspicuous by its absence and I must admit that I missed it! I thought he looked rather flat without it, deflated in some way. :D For the rest, you are right about its reduced masala quotient. Its the masala stuff that makes Teesri Manzil a better re-watch, but Jewel Thief, I think, makes a much stronger impact because of its well-developed suspense and tightly focused story.


  5. I so agree with you on the cotton wool sari’s i always think the same when i’m watching the song it was picturised with, its FUGLY. I agree with your criticism 100%, once you’ve seen the suspense it becomes tedious to watch unlike Teesri manzil which you can just watch over and over and still have a fun ride, plus Jewel thief just runs on a bit too long it could have been 20-30mins shorter, Still though the songs make sure it does the rounds on my dvd player plus the film ha some fab fashion and uber cool interiors which bollywood501 has picked out here and the poster is one of my favourite ones, i love it so much, that i actually got it printed onto a vest


  6. bawa: Will be looking forward to hearing all about your take on the film! Enjoy.

    sunheriyaadein: The first time I saw this film was back in the 80’s, I think – and just like you, I was pretty confused. The climax was really climactic! Since then, I’ve seen it a couple of times, and somehow that punch is lacking…

    pacifist: Dev Anand was quite the popular hero, wasn’t he? I remember listening to a delightful anecdote he related about being on the road for the filming of Nau Do Gyarah. They stopped for a night at Shivpuri, which back then was infested by dacoits. In the middle of the night, there was a thunderous banging on the door of Dev Anand’s room, and when he opened the door, there was a grinning dacoit outside – who wanted Dev Anand’s autograph, no more.
    Being a favourite with the Chhogyal of Sikkim and his family must’ve been quite an improvement!

    bollyviewer: Yes, as a purely suspense film, I think Jewel Thief is hard to beat. But the masala element makes Teesri Manzil a better bet for a rewatch. I don’t remember how many times I’ve seen that, but even though I know what’s coming, I don’t mind… with this, it gets a bit of a drag.

    bollywoodeewana: Oh, I love the poster too! One of the best old film posters I’ve seen for Hindi cinema – in fact I’d been contemplating using that as screen cap # 1 for this post. :-)


  7. Thank you! I was just about to post a comment telling you I couldn’t click the links. I think there was a link on that ‘printed onto a vest’ bit too, was there? Would love to see how the poster translates onto an item of clothing!

    P.S. Am in the middle of reading that interior designs post. Excellent! And so true (except for that ‘light fixtures in Helen’s house’ bit; those light switches are pretty much standard fare in Indian houses, even now).


  8. I just loved the movie when I saw it. I must have been 16 or so! I remember writing a detailed letter to my sister how impressed I was about the film and which songs I liked.
    I remember that the song “Behte hai kya uske paas” was deleted in the telecast. And since I liked it so much at the first viewing and the fact that I distinctly remember the climax, I’m very unsure about a rewatch!
    It is said that the famous art film director Mani Kaul used to show this movie to his students in Pune as a good example of masala detective story film.

    “all they do is prance around in slinky dresses and sit in Dev Anand’s lap or flirt with him.”
    How true! Nobody would call HIM a male nymphomaniac because of that! (Re.: Hawas)

    “Who on earth thought a sari with balls of cottonwool stuck all over it would look pretty? ”
    Is that a saree? I thought it was a muffler or a scarf or a cross of both.

    @ bollywoodeewana: thanks for the bollywood501 link! Didn’t know about it! Was sitting with my mouth open in front of the screen!


  9. I did think this such a waste of some great actresses. Completely unnecessary, really (except possibly Helen – she plays a key figure in the story); Faryal and Anju Mahendru could easily have been dispensed with, and Tanuja – lovely, bubbly Tanuja – was doing what, pray? I’d better go off and see a couple of good Tanuja films now!

    Oh, that’s a sari, all right. If you watch Dil pukaare aare aare, you can see more of it – for instance, towards the end of the song, when there’s a long shot of them walking together. The pleats of the sari have lots of cottonwool on them too.

    P.S. Just saw your latest comment. Yes, it is awful, isn’t it? And on someone like Vyjyantimala, who was usually well-dressed (if overdressed, as was the norm) onscreen…


  10. I have written about this film too.
    I feel the execution is stylish and script is taut. The twist is great and the songs are simply lovely!!!


  11. Yes, it’s the songs that make me watch Jewel Thief repeatedly. Not just great music and superb singing, but very well picturised too (if you can ignore that hideous sari in Dil pukaare aare aare)!


  12. It has some of my most favourite-est songs. And since I do have a frightful memory, I can re-watch as many times as I want. :)

    Yes, the film, or parts of it, are indeed shown at the Film Institute, Pune, as fabulous song picturizations. Technically extremely, extremely good.

    And a very taut script.


  13. Vijay Anand was very good at this sort of stuff, wasn’t he? I was just looking at the list of films he directed, and they have some of my favourite song picturisations ever: Nau Do Gyarah, Guide, Tere Ghar ke Saamne, Jewel Thief


  14. “Vyjyantimala, who was usually well-dressed (if overdressed, as was the norm)”


    Yeah, she would at times go a lil overboard with her tinkles and makeup. That is why she looks so good in Sangam, where she couldn’t indulger herself in such things and even in Amrapali like wow!


  15. Yes, she was lovely in Sangam, wasn’t she? And in some of her earlier films, especially Sadhana; she was really good in that, and looked beautiful.

    But, you know – I think heroines in the 60’s were generally too overdressed to be realistic. Look at Asha Parekh in films like Pyaar ka Mausam or Teesri Manzil, or Sadhana in Waqt and Aarzoo, etc… too much jewellery, too much glitter in their saris, too outrageously huge hairdos.

    No matter. I still love all of them and think they were gorgeous! :-)


  16. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who finds Jewel Thief underwhelming on the re-watch front. For all its style and cool looks, the film is a tad – boring. I think the casting of matronly Vyjantimala in the lead role may be part of the problem. I wish the perky, gorgeous Tanuja had played the part instead. But then we wouldn’t have gotten the fabulous “hothon mein aise baat.”


  17. I don’t think Vyjyantimala’s matronly, but I do think both she and Tanuja are wasted in this. Both were excellent actresses in their own way, and both get very little screen time to do them justice here. Poor Vyjyantimala is restricted to a couple of emotional scenes and a bunch of songs; Tanuja gets Raat akeli hai and a little flirting. One of them would’ve been fine; why two? And then that bevy of other women…

    Once is fine. More than that, tedious.


  18. I personally find Vyjyanthimala’s dance in ‘Hothon me aisi baat” overrated. She did some splendid dancing in other films (Amrapali and others) , but here I have a feeling she is just moving her hands like a windmill, particularly at the beginning and at the end of the song. No footwork or proper hand movements.
    I read an interview where Vijay Anand was complaining that shee wouldn’t report on time for the shootings and for ‘Hothon pe aisi baat’ she just didn’t turn up saying that she is Vyjyanthimala and doesn’t need any rehearsals, whereas Waheeda would be very punctual and reported on time even at 4:00 am for the dance rehearsals for Guide.
    It shows!


  19. I’ve heard some not very nice things about Vyjyantimala towards this period in her career, and a little later as well… for example, there was an interview with Dharmendra in which he said that during the shooting of Pyaar hi Pyaar, she was rather standoffish and didn’t say a single word to him. Must have very difficult to work with!

    You know, the more I hear of and see Waheeda Rehman (there was this lovely interview with her a few months ago – she was looking gorgeously regal and dignified), the more I like her. She’s very elegant, yet very sweet (“at home I used to be called the ugly duckling…” and “the camera was very kind to me”). Wonderful lady.


  20. I have only heard praises of Waheeda Rehman’s professinality and cooperation during the shooting.
    Wasn’t this the time when Vyjayanthimala was going through the tumultous relationship with Raj Kapoor? May be she was upset because of that.
    I read it in Times of India once that Nargis once stopped the car of Morarji Desai, the then home minister of India and tried to persuade him to allow Hindu men to marry twice and when he declined, showered him with the choicest of expletives.
    Is this the Raj Kapoor effect on otherwise sane women?


  21. LOL!
    But I can’t believe it.
    How can one stop a minister’s car considering the number of people around him? Even for Nargis they wouldn’t be lax – I think.


  22. @ dustedoff: Even I can’t believe it, but he had such a ‘success’ with women. He must have had that something.

    @ pacifist: I do think it was possible, since in the 50s there wasn’t much security around the minister. And Raj Kapoor and Nargis were very chummy with Nehru and the congress party.
    The article which I read wasn’t a reminiscence of somebody but in a column something on the lines of 50 years back. So it was an original article from the early 50s.


  23. Yes, I guess way back then security wasn’t as much of an obsession as it now is. Harvey, did the article say what Morarji Desai’s reaction to her tirade was? I’d love to know!! ;-)


  24. “All they do is prance around in slinky dresses and sit in Dev Anand’s lap or flirt with him”

    I need to watch this again, especially as I remember MUCH preferring it to the “meh”diocre Teesri Manzil. I think you’ve hit on something that seems to be true of every Dev Anand film. Even if he is supposed to a Bond-like character here, EVERY movie he’s in seems to revolve around his galactically ginormous self-conceit. No film showcased this more than did ‘Guide’ (the ending of which still makes want to throw things at him every time I think of it), but even in a generic romance like ‘Kala Bazaar’, his firm conviction in the certainty of his own Messiahship seems inescapable, and his brother MUST take some blame for being the enabler. So I think the waste of female talent you talk about in ‘Jewel Thief’ is likely only partly due to the Bond parallels, and at least partly due to Dev’s sharing the view of Zaphod Beeblebrox – “If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” For all of that, I adore the songs, just as you say.


  25. You have a point there, I think. In fact, the other day I was talking about Teen Deviyaan to a friend, and I had the same observation – three women prancing around one man? Signs of egotism, definitely. And Teen Deviyaan doesn’t even have a suspense element that could use the Bond excuse!


  26. Dustedoff, did you try emailing me from my list of links? Someone did from here, but its possible they forgot to remove the extraneous “B” from the address. If it was you, please feel free to get my personal address from Tom Daniel. :)


  27. Nope, not me. But I did check out your page, and experienced a moment of serendipity. Years ago, I used to use a website (I’ve since forgotten the name) as a combination dictionary/quotations reference/etc. Noticed it on your site – it’s – and am very grateful!


  28. Ah Serendipity – how nice that nasty Ravan’s home ends up being such a desirable thing in English. Sita’s revenge for the whole trial by fire fiasco, I say. :)


  29. More coincidence! Just two days ago, I was telling my husband the root of the word ‘serendipity’. But Sri Lanka is so pretty, it fully deserves that appellation…

    I LOVE your comment about it being Sita’s revenge for that Agni Pariksha fiasco. :-)


  30. Vijay Anand did mention somewhere that Vyjayanthimala was not very cooperative throughtout the making of the film.

    Also the point about she not speaking to Dharmendra at all during Pyar Hi Pyar (1969) is also true. In fact neither he nor the director Bhappi Sonie were formally introduced to her!


  31. There is one big reason why I can see this film repeatedly, and so we mildly disagree on something:)))

    (BTW, I have written this episode earlier on another site, as well as on my blog, but hopefully some repeat publicity is OK in this case. I promise to tie it up to something more relevant.)

    This is the first Hindi film I saw outside India, place Tehran Iran, year 1971, dubbed in Persian. That is, the dialogues were dubbed in Persian, the songs were original. Iranians were crazy about Hollywood and other Western films, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a reasonably big crowd. They were very knowledgeable about Hindi films, and some of them discussed Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor & Vyjanthimala. I remember bugging my fellow Iranians moviegoers (my father’s colleagues) to translate what was being said on the screen. They in turn would ask me for song translations. Everyone liked the movie, and one of my father’s Iranian colleague even bought Dev Anand’s famous Jewel Thief cap.

    Essentially, this episode could be titled “Watching Jewel Thief in the land of one of the Original Jewel Thieves”. Think Nader Shah, and his (to borrow a phrase from Hercule Poirot) purloining/abducting the Peacock Throne from the Mughal Palaces in Delhi/Agra. The Iranian Crown Jewels are certainly one of the world’s largest collection of jewels, probably the largest. ( I did get to see them, and they are magnificent; certainly on par with the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

    Here endeth the reason, but there is still more.

    All this of course leads to, Oh! where could I have read about Shahjehan & Delhi & Murders in the Red Fort, & a 21st century outlook detective transposed back to the Mughal Era :). Especially, since I really have never explored Delhi, and have never seen the Red Fort.

    OK,granted there are serious differences between the Dev Anand character in Jewel Thief and Muzaffar Jang; and so this leads me to the real relevant question to be discussed —
    “What is closest inspiration for Muzaffar Jang ?”, In other words,
    “Who would you want to play Muzaffar Jang in a movie”.
    I will keep this question as a comment for your next post, since in all likelihood it is going to be on another detective mystery.


  32. Oh, I loved that little reminiscence about your watching of this film outside India! That must’ve been quite an experience. :-) Certainly sounds like one… somehow, I’ve never had the time to go film watching when I’m travelling. The only time I’ve watched films was when I was in Singapore, staying with friends, who insisted on watching Signs (hmmm. yawnnnn), and once in Mumbai, where I’d gone on work and colleagues took me for a night out – to see the then-latest version of Pirates of the Caribbean. Nothing else, otherwise.

    The Iranian Crown Jewels look gorgeous! I hadn’t known they included the Darya-e-Noor (and oh, that aigrette at the top of the Wikipedia page is lovely). :-)

    No, no… please! Don’t even think of equating Muzaffar with Dev Anand’s character here. MJ’s not got women crawling all over him, and he is certainly not the debonair, fashion-conscious, jewel-loving type. But yes, we can discuss that in the next post… which is a mystery, of course.

    BTW, the question of “Who would you want to play Muzaffar Jang in a movie” has been answered in numerous interviews. ;-)


  33. Sorry – I didn’t mean online interviews. I meant interviews with reporters, are in book launches etc. Here’s a clue: think recent blockbuster films, set in Mughal times. ;-)


  34. Frightful memory. I saw this one recently and I had to run when it came to the part when the villians… uhm… activated plan B, shall we say that? But oh my gosh, the twist was… WOW. Just, wow. And Honton Pe Aisi Baat had me (literally) biting my fingers off! Just keep away the toy cars next time I watch this or else the TV is going to take a serious beating.


  35. Jewel thief is a thriller classic. There are hardly any fights.excellent songs and excellent picturiasation . Dev anand looked very hand some without his trademark puff.Dev is at his best.vijayanand’s direction ,screen play superb. It is out and out dev anand movie. Never before and never again one can expect a movie of this kind in its genre.


  36. Hi
    Can some one tell How did Ashok Kumar reach the jewellers vault after it was robbed?Amars voice on the various phone calls were dubbed by Vijay Anand, so the suspense stays to hide the real Amars identity..


    • Sorry, I can’t help you right now, because it’s been ages since I watched the film and have forgotten the finer details of it. Plus, I don’t have the time to rewatch it right now…

      But keep an eye here; hopefully someone else will be able to provide an answer.


  37. in jewel thief anju mahendru character doesn’t add much but tanuja and helen have significant roles. i liked jewel thief but any day teesri manzil over it. i love the opening scenes paper headlines. ashok kumar was the jewel thief it was the x factor. i didn’t like dev anand character being always with girls.


  38. Lots of stupid predictable comments here about the sari. Clearly from people who know nothing about Indian cultural history. Probably a lot of white-British right-on liberal racists whose narrow-minded horizons can’t stretch beyond current fashions.


  39. I watched this movie with great excitement as aasma k nichey was my favorite rangoli song. but i was disappointed as this movie did not entertain me. i will prefer johny mera naam and chupa rustam over jewel thief.


  40. Not being extremely critical, but how in the WHOLE world Ashok Kumar zero’s on to Dev Anand and and then comes up with this duplicate plot in short time? I don’t get the plot at all, Dev Anand is an expert gems smith but then is also son of commissioner, who investigates the robberies. There are more questions than answers in the movies………….. And that Sikkim plot was even weirder.


    • I have to admit it’s been too long since I watched the movie to remember all the twists and turns, but I’m sure you’re right. Very few Hindi films – especially back then – bothered to stop up all the plot holes.


  41. Vyjayanthimala was adequate in Jewel Thief and brilliant in the dance Hothon pe aisi baat but she was at the near end of her career and was losing interest in her acting career so i gather perhaps that was the reason but she will be remembered as a great artiste and one of the best dancers from that era.


    • Agree on both counts. Great dancer and a great actress. You just have to see her in films like Sadhana and New Delhi to see what a fine actress she could be in films that allowed her to be more than just arm-candy for a hero. Plus, for me a major plus point is that – like Waheeda Rehman – Vyjyanthimala was one of the very few South Indian actresses whose Hindi didn’t have a trace of an accent.


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