Tum Haseen Main Jawan (1970)

Bhappi Sonie month continues here on MemsaabStory with Tum Haseen Main Jawan—notable for being Dharmendra and Hema Malini’s first film together. Their romance is reason enough to watch, but there are plenty of other masala ingredients to keep any filmi fan happy too! Lively songs from Shankar Jaikishan; Helen and Pran as husband and wife; Rajendranath and Iftekhar; and not one, but two misplaced kids. Okay, there are some plot holes you could drive a pantechnicon through, but we’ve forgiven others for worse.

A wealthy man has just died and his will is being read in front of his relatives. The man’s son Ranbir had married a woman named Gayatri Devi against his wishes and been disowned; now he wishes to reinstate his son, wife and their child as his heirs.

This does not go down well with the wealthy man’s nephew Ranjit (Pran), although Ranjit’s lovely wife Jina (Helen) tries to make him see reason. The lawyer has discovered that Ranbir has passed away, and that Gayatri Devi is about to give birth—but her whereabouts are unknown. According to the will, she and her child must be found before February 12 or Ranjit inherits everything. Ranjit orders his man Zorawar (CS Dubey) to find her, and he does: she is in Cochin Hospital, having just given birth to a son.

Meanwhile, at Cochin Hospital the wily lawyer is meeting with Gayatri’s father Raja Sahab (Iftekhar) and sister Anuradha (Hema Malini). He knows that the baby is in danger from Ranjit, and the baby is registered as Anuradha’s to keep him safe. Gayatri has lost a lot of blood and needs a transfusion, but her father and sister’s blood doesn’t match. In confidence, Raja Sahab tells the doctor that Gayatri is not really his daughter.

In another part of town, Sunil (Dharmendra), Romeo (Rajendranath) and their friends are on leave from their ship enjoying themselves at a club. They are entertained by a provocative striptease, and naturally a brawl breaks out. Fists fly; chairs, bottles and glasses are broken; white women pull each other’s hair. The jazz combo continues to play calmly through the mayhem, which cracks me up.

Of course, the sailors end up at the hospital, where Sunil’s blood type luckily matches Gayatri’s. I wonder if there’s a little moralizing here since the doctor keeps repeating that the blood banks are empty at all the hospitals, but maybe I’m overthinking it. Sunil donates a few pints to save Gayatri, flirts shamelessly with the nurses, and he and his buddies are patched up and on their way.

Once Gayatri’s life is out of danger, she agrees sadly to the lawyer’s plan to have Anuradha keep the baby until February 12; it’s not clear to me why they don’t just take the baby immediately to the court and declare him the heir, but I guess then there would be no story. They are taking no chances!

Of course not! Who would? By the way, this film has a wee subtitle issue too:

Sigh.

In spite of the elaborate precautions, however, Ranjit is lying in wait outside the hospital and follows Anuradha and her fruit basket from the hospital. She sees a fruit seller by the road and stops…and in a move which I can only shake my head at, she switches the baby-filled basket for one containing actual fruit and drives off.

What could possibly go wrong? Plenty, of course. Minutes later, Sunil and friends pull up in a jeep and buy—you guessed it!—the fruit-baby basket. Anuradha tells Ranjit when he catches up to her that Gayatri’s baby was still-born and goes back to retrieve him, only to see Sunil et al driving off. They get back to their ship just in time to set sail. All this and only 20 minutes have passed!

In the interests of speeding this review along, suffice it to say that after some comic “helpless men and a baby” adventures; a flight to Bombay; a chance meeting between Anuradha and Jina which blossoms into friendship (Anuradha doesn’t know she is Ranjit’s wife, nor does Jina know that Anuradha is Gayatri’s sister); and a spectacular Helen dance complete with sneezing fits (and bongo-drumming backup dancers):

Anuradha finally finds the baby at Sunil’s house, where she is mistaken as an applicant for the governess post he’s advertised. That’s just fine with her—it seems as good a place to stay until February 12 as any. Sunil comes home after a night out to find his new governess sleeping in his bed. Surprise!

Honestly, the chemistry between them positively sizzles from the get-go. Sunil is impressed with her cooking, and asks her to cook for him and a “friend” that evening. Sunil’s servant Bansidhar (Mohan Choti) is not a fan of this “friend”:

He asks if Anuradha will help him get rid of her and she agrees. Dinner is a disaster, needless to say. They get rid of the next girl who comes to meet him, too.

Bansi tells Anuradha that he thinks she should marry Sunil; Anuradha shyly admits that she finds him attractive. Sunil is furious when he gets home though, and he fires her. The baby cooperates nicely by starting to scream as soon as she leaves.

May I say that Indian baby cradles are awesome? Everybody should have one! Plus one of those swings (jhoola, I think they’re called). But I digress.

When even donning a sari himself doesn’t soothe the baby, Sunil begs Anuradha to come back. Who could resist this killer combo?

Not Anuradha! The next day she takes the baby and visits her friend Jina. As she is leaving, Ranjit’s henchman Zorawar sees Anuradha with the baby and recognizes her. He calls Ranjit immediately; Ranjit goes to the Cochin hospital and figures out everything in about five minutes. So much for all that careful planning!

Meanwhile, back at Sunil’s, Bansi and Anuradha aren’t making much headway with Sunil on the romance front. Bansi suggests that he take Anuradha to a party on board the ship for a little break from the baby; Sunil scoffs at the idea of taking a governess to a party and leaves. Romeo arrives a few minutes later and Bansi talks him into taking her instead. When they arrive, Sunil is instantly smitten.

He can’t quite place her (a sparkly blue wig will do that), and she snubs him. Playboy Sunil is unused to this treatment and pursues her…and eventually figures out who she is.

They seal their love with a lively song, and all is well.

But wait! Ranjit is about to reappear. Also Sunil’s mother arrives to meet Anuradha, and guess what? Sunil has a long-lost sister.

Hmmm. I wonder!

Ranjit shows up at Sunil and Anuradha’s engagement party, and tells everyone that Anuradha is his wife and the baby theirs. He makes Sunil call the hospital in Cochin. The doctor there confirms that Anuradha is the baby’s mother, and Sunil is shocked and heartbroken. Then Bansi discovers that Anuradha has left with the baby.

Will Sunil discover the truth? Where will Anuradha and the baby go? Will Ranjit find them and succeed in inheriting his uncle’s estate? Will Sunil’s Maa ever find her missing beti? Could even Pran be capable of killing a baby?

Celebrate Bhappi Sonie month with Memsaab and watch it to find out!

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21 Comments to “Tum Haseen Main Jawan (1970)”

  1. The subtitles say “I’ll mislead him. I’ll tell that Gayatri Devi’s son was still-born”.

    Unfortunately, that sparkly blue wig featured in Ugly Ugly Bollywood Fugly.

    Arrgh! Seeing the baby next to that electric saw just makes me squeal!

  2. “Hide the baby in this fruit basket????” Did they atleast take out the fruits first?? LoL!!

    Isn’t it funny how in these movies everybody is related to each other? Ah, well, at least Sunil’s mother didn’t lose Anuradha in the fair.. ;-)

  3. It’s one thing to read the white subtitle against white background in a still—but when the movie’s moving along at a good clip you just give up on reading some of them!

    I loved the sparkly blue wig, but I thought it was hilarious that THAT was the look that made Sunil notice her finally—as his governess she looked lovely in beautiful sarees.

    Yes, the baby and the saw made me cringe—I’m pretty sure there were not many safety standards being followed there.

    And the fruit basket—they took some of the fruit out, and cut an airhole for the baby. Good thing too, cause he was in there for a while. I love how kids are always getting lost at fairs in India.

  4. I love how they’re always hiding children in fruit baskets. I believe the same thing happens in another Dharmendra/Hema starrer – “Dream Girl!”

    (That blue sparkle wig is awesome, but I’d prefer to own that chiffon sea-green sari Hema has on in one of the stills.)

  5. Pran and Helen married? white women pull each other’s hair?? Babies in baskets???
    i love this!
    Ima thinking i need a kid so i can get one of those cradles- now ive no idea how the heck im gonna ship it to LA….ah well :) That white bed also looks really good- but a bit effiminate for a bachelor living alone ..ah well- this is begining to read like a carpenter’s comment :D

  6. I’ve seen Dream Girl and don’t remember the fruit basket…but I don’t remember what I had for breakfast today so that means nothing. And Hema looked gorgeous in this film. Lovely sarees!

    Shweta, get one of the swings, they are almost as good. Or, knowing India, you could probably ask someone to make a cradle big enough for you and they’d do it! :-)

  7. heh, sounds as crazy as ever! Dharam when young was *very* drool-worthy…I am not a Hema fan, so won’t comment on her. But memsaab, that green sari – the pattern on it was probably hand-painted – it was all the rage in the early 70s – my mother had a beige sari that she pained with big Georgia O’Keeffe type flowers. You should be able to do it fairly easily now with a plain chiffon sari.

    Shweta – LA should have large Indian grocery stores – our local ones here in TX all cary some furniture from Gujarat (owners are Gujarati) and I’ve seen similar ones on sale – $300 and up I believe :-)

    M

  8. “Dream Girl” had a subplot with an orphan baby being hidden in a fruit basket and then accidentally sent to Dharmendra’s house and Hema has to dress up in an elaborate disguise to get it back.

    I’ll have to get some screencaps of the scene – it was very funny!

  9. *gasp* not a Hema fan???? I thought I was sacrilegious for not liking Raj Kapoor!

    I wish my mom had worn saris. Am v.v. jealous of those kinds of memories! :-) And Indian grocery stores carry baby cradles? I could see Gemma in one of those.

    And I’m digging out Dream Girl again. Remember that I really liked it!

  10. I don’t much like Raj Kapoor (or his descendents, apart from Sashi Kapoor) either, FWIW! :-)

    Hema – eh. My mother grew up in Delhi and was acquainted with Hema’s family – I grew up with tales of Hema’s stuck-up attitude towards other S.Indians in Delhi (at the time, Delhi had a very tight-knit S.Indian community) – her mother was, apparently a right royal b****h as well. Unfortunately my mother and her sisters had more than a passing resemblance to Hema (families probably connected somewhere along the family trees – we belong to the same community) and as a child I used to be told I looked a lot like her – all of which combined into a dislike of the person, long before I ever saw a movie of hers – unfortunately, I saw Sholay first – and her Kareena-Kapoor act in that sealed my dislike. I saw other movies later, and the dislike was tempered, but my first reaction to her movies tends to be “meh” rather than “wow”! Recently my dislike has grown again – for foisting Esha on the film industry :-), her holier-than-thou attitude on her marriage to Dharam – I still find it a very hypocritical stand, her political leanings, and her very asinine (at best) remarks on N.Indians in Bombay etc.

    M (now in expectation of being lynched)

  11. Memsaab doesn’t believe in lynching, but does believe in freedom of speech and thinks the world would be incredibly dull if everyone had the same tastes :-)

    Interesting childhood story! and, yes, she should be punished somehow for Esha.

  12. I could add some more to M’s story.

    My family too was based up in the North (yes i am also from the same Iyengar community as Hema and M). Our family knew Hema’s aunt who at that time is supposed to have told my family that her niece is a talented bharatnatyam dancer and will be shortly coming in movies.

    I too have heard Hema’s Amma being a snob.

    All this is from olders in the family.

    I have seen quite a few of Hema’s movies and do like her in some.

    Esha has neither talent nor looks – pity considering how talented Dharam and Hema are!

    cheers

  13. Dharmendra really was drool-worthy when he was young, isn’t it? Its pains me to see his bloated face and body now. Though Hema still looks gorgeous. Did you catch her in Baghban? Her face is the only watchable thing in that sob fest. Great blog! Its a trip down memory lane. I had almost forgotten I had watched so many 6os and 70s Hindi movies on Doordarshan while growing up. Makes me want to dig up those dvds again.

    Btw, my mom used to look like Hema Malini when she was young :) No relation! AND she had the most gorgeous collection of chiffon sarees.

  14. Hemamalini is looking very cute in those pics.Thnks for the info that this was tre 1st movie.

  15. Anonymous: Thanks for your story too! I just read Hema’s biography (by Bhawana Somaaya) and it sounds like her mother was a bit of a trial to her too. I find it interesting that Esha looks so much like Hema, and yet isn’t pretty. Strange how small differences make a big difference!

    Ima: I think he still looks good, but maybe that’s because age is catching up with me too :-) Hema is still gorgeous—I got to watch her shooting in January with Rekha—they both still look amazing. And I would love to have a look at your mom’s sarees!

    Sanket: She is beautiful. She’s only 22 in this film, I think.

  16. I have a HUGE subtitle issue with my copy of this movie – namely that the DVD has no English subtitles (despite boldly proclaiming on its cover that it does – sigh). Very annoying – watching hindi movies without subtitles is just too much work for lazy ol’ me, so I may never get round to this one, especially since I haven’t been able to find a replacement DVD. And it’s a shame, because from your review, it looks like a really fun watch!

  17. Pet peeve! So annoying!!!

  18. Yeah, Indian baby cradle and swings are cool – I also like Indian multi-coloured balloons like that ones in Chashme Buddoor.

  19. Lovely review. A mere narration of Romeo’s antics (dropping his towel, dressing in a sari) would doubtless strike jaundiced viewers as just dumb
    , unfunny and tasteless. But the genius of the screenplay is in making the antics simultaneously cute, funny and likable! And it all has to do with Romeo’s motivation for dropping his towel, wearing the sari etc. :) Very well handled Bhappisaab!

  20. I totally *heart* Bhappi Sonie :-)

  21. In my boyhood..it was my favourite film..even now also i watch in CD several times when i m in mood.Bhappie Sonie is the great entertainer…i think David dhawan is inspired by him.

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