I was positively filled with glee when I saw this DVD. Shashi! Pran! Zeenat! Dadamoni! Thievery! Mid-70s! I was not disappointed. Truly fabulous funky music from Kalyanji Anandji adds to the fun. And in one of those “only in Hindi movies” coincidences, Anwar Hussein from Aaya Toofan was in this too. I can’t even count the times when I’ve noticed an actor in a film, and then he or she shows up in the next ten films I watch.
He plays Amarchand Rathod, leader of a gang who kidnaps children for ransom. When he is caught by Inspector Kumar (Pran) his men kidnap Kumar’s oldest son so that the Inspector won’t testify against him in court. It doesn’t work, and he is sentenced to life in prison after ordering his men to kill the boy.
Amarchand’s wife, who is horrified to discover his activities, rescues Kumar’s son with the help of Shankar (Ashok Kumar). Shankar promises to return him to Kumar and his family, but on the way he stops in to have a drink at a bar.
Inside the bar he runs into a career thief named John (David), who accuses Shankar of ratting him out to the police. They fight and John is kicked out of the bar. Outside, he is told that the boy belongs to Shankar, sees his opportunity for revenge, and takes the boy away. When Shankar discovers this, he goes after them—but John has vanished with the boy.
Years pass, and Inspector Kumar’s younger son Shyam (Raza Murad) is now a police officer as well. The elder (Shashi Kapoor) has grown up as Bholanath and is a petty thief like his mentor John. He is in and out of jail, as is his partner in crime Sharmili (Zeenat Aman). They meet up every evening to share the day’s take, although they are always trying to con each other too.
Suddenly, a new gang begins a reign of terror over the city, robbing and murdering rich citizens and leaving only a plaque on the scene of each crime.
Inspector Kumar and Shyam are assigned to the case, and begin the search for “Number Seven.”
One day Bhola and Sharmili steal a briefcase, assuming it is filled with money; instead it contains the manuscript of a book called “Chori Mera Kaam” (“Stealing Is My Job”). Disappointed, they treat themselves to a nice dinner at a restaurant and are thrown out when they can’t pay. Sharmili lands in front of a car and pretends to have been hit.
Bhola sets up a huge fuss over his “wife’s” injuries. The unfortunate driver, a man named Pravin Chandrashah (Deven Verma) is distraught and begs Bhola not to call the police as a crowd gathers.
They load Sharmili into the car to go to the hospital. On the way, she pretends to expire, and Bhola agrees not to turn Pravin over to the police for the price of Rs 50000. They “bury” Sharmili (who hides while Pravin is busy digging the grave) near some ruins at Borivali. Spying on them is Shankar, who sees everything.
Pravin is a book publisher, and when Bhola goes to get his Rs 50000 the next day a writer is there too, demanding his royalty payment.
Of course Bhola’s ears perk right up—he’s got that manuscript, after all! In the meantime, Shankar catches up with Bhola and Sharmili and “convinces” them to share their loot by telling them he saw everything.
Oh! the irony.
Bhola then blackmails Pravin into publishing the book, and surprisingly, it is a huge hit. It contains all sorts of advice on being a master criminal, and not getting caught. Pravin is ecstatic and decides to throw a big party where the author—Bhola—will be the guest of honor.
Inspector Kumar, too, has read the book and is impressed by the author’s intelligence.
Number Seven is none other than Amarchand Rathod, who has somehow been released from prison (good behavior?). The book attracts his attention, too, one passage in particular.
At the party, Bhola is in over his head. Attendees are expecting a literate, educated man, which Bhola is not. But Shankar shows up and rescues him by posing as his secretary. Amarchand is there in disguise, and asks Bhola if he knows a good mask-maker. Shankar replies that of course he does, but they won’t tell who it is.
Sharmili comes to the party too, but has to stay hidden so that Pravin won’t see her. Unfortunately, she overhears Bhola and a pretty reporter flirting, and her jealousy renders her incautious.
She convinces Pravin that she is Sharmili’s twin sister, and blackmails him into giving her Rs 50000 to keep quiet. She also has a fight with Bhola, who is first bewildered and then pleased when he realizes she is jealous.
Amarchand has people making masks for him, but he is not pleased with any of them. He orders his henchman Shetty (Shetty!) to kidnap Bhola and Shankar. Shetty tracks down Bhola as he’s watching Sharmili flirt with some guys.
Shetty gets rid of Sharmili’s hangers-on, and Bhola romances her with a song. He gives her his heart a little too literally though.
At the end of the song Shetty kidnaps Bhola, and then Shankar, but they manage to escape. Meanwhile, Pravin has decided that Sharmili is lying, and he makes Bhola and Sharmili dig up the grave.
Luckily, Shankar has put a fake body inside, and Pravin flees in terror. Meanwhile, a huge auction of royal jewels is going on, and Inspector Kumar is in charge of security. Amarchand has finally managed to find a good mask-maker. He knocks out and kidnaps Kumar, and then as Kumar he loots the auction.
Of course Iftekhar is the Police Superintendent! Elsewhere in town, Shankar is visiting Bhola when John comes in. They recognize each other and Shankar tells John about the child he kidnapped. John is aghast; they immediately tell Shankar who he really is. Shankar asks them not to tell Kumar or Shyam since he’ll be a disappointment to them.
But when the news hits that Inspector Kumar is the infamous gangster called “Number Seven,” clever Shankar figures out that it must be Amarchand and he must have found the mask maker. They decide to help Kumar. Naturally they’ll also need help from Sharmili—and disguises!
Can they save Inspector Kumar from hanging? Will he ever find out that his eldest son is alive? And who is the real author of the book? Watch Chori Mera Kaam to find out!