Chhupa Rustam (1973)

A visual feast of a movie—another Vijay Anand fun-filled frolic, with beautiful scenery, fabulous fashions and an engaging plot that moves along at a good clip. It has Hema Malini at her gorgeous best, Dev Anand as smooth as ever, and—best of all—Vijay himself in a role he clearly relished. Bad guys Ajit, Prem Chopra and Premnath are as baaaad as only they can be. It’s obvious that a good time was had by all in the making of this film.

It was filmed in Himachal Pradesh, and the landscapes are breathtaking:

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A great deal of the action takes place in the snow as well, affording the costume designer (who sadly is not named in the credits—I looked!) ample opportunity for finding the finest fake fur and outdoor wear you have ever seen.

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There are a lot of screen shots in this post: I’m not kidding when I say this film is a visual feast.

Anyway, our tale begins with Professor Harbanslal (AK Hangal) lost in a snowstorm, radioing his son that he’s found the famous lost golden civilization in the Nangla Valley but doesn’t think he will live through the storm. We are tantalized by a glimpse of a beautiful golden temple. Our professor then spots a tent—salvation! But wait…the tent is occupied by Vikram Singh (Ajit) and his smarmy son Bahadur (Prem Chopra). When Professor Harbanslal reaches them, they recognize him instantly because they too are looking for the gold in the Nangla Valley.

They are also holding multi-millionaire Rajendra Jain’s wife and son hostage in order to force him to marry his daughter Ritu (Hema Malini) to Bahadur, thus gaining control over his wealth—which includes ownership of the Nangla Valley! Rajendra and Ritu cave when Vikram sends them a little token that he’s taken from Mrs. Jain:

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Yikes!

Cut to Ritu and Bahadur’s wedding scene. Ritu looks a little like the bride of Mr. Spock in her wedding finery:

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Natwarlal (Dev Anand) and friends are performing; it’s the first of many outstanding songs by SD Burman (“Hum Chhupa Rustam Hai”) (translated on my DVD as “I’m a cool cat”).

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The song ends with Natwar abducting Ritu from the wedding. On the way to his hideout, his car breaks down and they hitch a ride with Jimmy Fernandes (Vijay Anand):

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Of course, Jimmy is not what he appears to be (a lost character from Speed Racer?) … and he shows up at the hideout later to kidnap Ritu as well:

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Who are Natwar and Jimmy really? Does Ritu escape Bahadur? Does anyone find the lost golden temple, and are Ritu’s mother and brother ever rescued? The answers to these questions form the rest of this elaborate story.

Ritu and Natwar fall in love:

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They are really adorable together. Hema looks breathtaking in this film too.

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Jimmy charms the boots off of Bindu, Bahadur’s long-suffering girlfriend:

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Such sartorial splendor!

I can’t leave out Premnath—he is so wonderfully evil, and there is another great song where Ritu tries to elude his lecherous grasp by pretending to get drunk:

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But all’s well that ends well, and a very very good time it is too!

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11 Comments to “Chhupa Rustam (1973)”

  1. This sounds so great! The Dev-Vijay partnership created the film that might be my all-time favorite Hindi film, *Jewel Thief* – and another high-fashion, mountain landscape romp by the two of them just sounds delicious. Throw in the delectable Hema Malini to boot and I am SO there.

  2. You WILL NOT regret it!

  3. Vijay Anand also directed Johnny Mera Naam starring Dev Anand and Hemamalini – a super hit film that made hema malini the dream girl and a superstar.

    Other films include Blackmail – Rakhee, Dharmendar and Shatrughan Sinha as the villian.

    Vijay Anand also acted as the hero in two hit movies – Kora Kagaz with Jaya Bahaduri and Mein Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki ( a kind of soppy family story) with Asha Parekh and Nutan. Both these movies were a big hit in India.

  4. I’ve written about Johnny Mera Naam elsewhere in this blog…and Blackmail is one of my favorites too. I also like Kora Kagaz and I even liked Mein Tulsi Tere Angan Ki, as self-sacrificing as the women were in it :-)

  5. I don’t know how I missed this when you posted it – I MUST SEE IT. A zillion kinds of fab and silly goodness!

  6. Carla and I watched it last night, although I didn’t pay close attention (her awesome new hookah distracted me ;-)…it’s is quite silly and fabulous. Severed fingers! Fur mittens! Bindu! Vijay Anand! Prem Chopra, Ajit AND Premnath in all their villainous glory!

  7. THIS WAS A SUPERHIT I SU[PPOSE?
    CAN SOMEONE GIMME THE DVD/ VCD OF THE MOVIE VIA MAILS?
    OR ANY OTHER WAY?

    BTW CHUPA RUSTOM WAS D MOVIE WHICH GAVE DEVANAND THE TAG BEING TOO HANDSOME FOR HIS AGE.DEV BEING 1922 BORN AND HEMA A 1948 BORN STILL THEY LOOKED IN THE MOVIE AS IF THEY HAD JUST A 3 YR DIFF BETWEEN THEM
    SO devanad STARTED TO BE CALLED AS evergreen

  8. this sort of completed a trilogy of thrillers jewel thief,jhonny mera naam,by the anand brothers,what stars,shame on the current khans not bieng able to make even 1 movie in this class,the qawwali was written by neeraj.

  9. I saw Chupa Rustom recently. Really enjoyed the movie esp Vijay Anand and Bindu’s roles. The songs were really fab. Some of them I have heard on the radio while growing up but didn’t know they were from this film. It was a pleasant surprise to hear and see them all over again. Yep Hema was gorgeous. However I found Dev Anand a bit too old for her – age difference does show. Locales are beautiful indeed. But we can also see the fake snow scenes esp the one where bindu is on the floor – looks like sand with silver paper strewn all over. Overall paisa vasool for the VCD I bought recently from India.

  10. CHUPPA RUSTAM may 6,1973 I remember the release date,as our school vacations have began same very day,we were in third std and have just begun to understand cinema,we saw it almost twenty times no surprises,as the same was released in the cinema which belonged to my only close friend ,who has even now been more than brother to me.Back to movie, Let me clarify first whenso ever I write acomment on any movie Ido not have to into snops of the movie,as they are right there in my memories itself and close to heart.The movie beguns with overview of nangla valley ,and the numbering(titles) hold your breath,inside railway tracks,this was craftmen ship of genious VIJAY ANAND(respected goldie uncle),the hunt for gold beguns,nowhere anywhere the movie looses it pace,though. Dev saab had touched fiftieth birtday ,but in the movie itself it seems that dev saab is twenty five.Such was hold of goldie uncl:e that its difficult to figure out who is better goldie uncle the actor/or goldie uncle the director such was grip of movie that he outshone everybody in the movie,be it comic angle with Prem uncle/love angle with bindu aunty,and well iched role for Premnath da/Ajit da the director goldie uncle justified presence of each and everybody,yes how can I forget all lovely songs,and cinematic beauty of Simla coincedently both the brothers (Chetan saab/goldie uncle)captured the Simla best goldie uncle with this one and Chetan uncle in KUDRAT 1981,just watch both the movies and understand what genious both were.RAVINDER MINHAS,JALANDHAR CITY PANJAB,minhas35@yahoo.com.

  11. I liked it when I saw it on Ajanta cinema in West Delhi. But it hurted me when it could not celebrate its Silver Jubilee any where in India, a barometre of a successful film during those days.

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