After suffering through the last two films, I really needed a dose of Mohammed Hussain, maker of low-low-low-budget zany B-movie fare. Fortunately, I had just the thing on hand: a film starring Feroz Khan, Mumtaz, Helen and Bela Bose, with appearances by Tun Tun and Master Shetty! Music by OP Nayyar, choreographed by my new best friend Herman! A plot about a scientific formula written in code for making something touted as a “peace bomb”! I settle into my chair with a happy sigh.
The story is riddled with plot holes, coincidences and loose ends, but moves along at a good clip.
The film opens with five men wearing silvery paper bags on their heads conducting a top-secret conference in the basement of a ruined building. They are scientists, and are there to discuss a new formula which they have each had a part in developing. This formula will “create an uproar in the world” and prove that India is second to none!
Alas! There are traitors in their midst! The Professor (Brahm Bhardwaj) and his friend Mr. Wong (Rajan Haksar) kill the three other scientists and make off with their parts of the formula. To be fair, the Professor doesn’t seem as enthused about the whole thing as Mr. Wong, but Wong assures him that such sacrifices are necessary. A microphone conveniently hidden in a nearby bush picks up the conversation.
This microphone belongs to one Mr. Vasco (Mohan Sherry), a rival of Wong’s, whose henchman breaks into the Professor’s research laboratory that night and makes off with the formula (breaking many glass test tubes in the process, and blowing the lab up by mistake).
Cut to the offices of the CID, where people are very very busy indeed.
A very agitated Professor arrives to meet the CID Chief (Uma Dutt). He tells the Chief that if this formula falls into the hands of enemies, it will be very very disastrous (I wonder how a formula for peace in the wrong hands can be a bad thing, but never mind). Despite his unfortunate connection to Wong, the Professor seems quite sweet. He tells the Chief that the formula is encoded, and that the only people who can decode it are himself and his daughter Reshma.
Meanwhile, Vasco has discovered for himself that the formula is in code. Luckily, one of his people has the inside scoop.
Sophia (Helen) is an old friend of Reshma’s and Vasco orders her to use that connection to entrap Reshma.
At the Professor’s home, Wong (who has suddenly grown a full beard) is also threatening to do Reshma some harm if they don’t get the formula back. Reshma (Mumtaz! looking gorgeous) interrupts briefly, and then coffee is brought by her governess (Tun Tun) who introduces herself.
All this goodness, and we’re only 19 minutes in! I sigh again, happily.
The CID Chief asks one of his lackeys for the file on “909.” CID Agent 909 (Feroz Khan) is sleeping when someone breaks into his room and attacks him. He has just rather easily defeated this villain when his bedside lamp begins to flash on and off and beeping fills the room. He takes out his hidden radio and answers the summons.
He flies to Bombay and meets the Chief, who explains his new case to him. Raju (909′s real name) grasps the intricacies immediately, and promises to keep a close eye on Reshma, whose life may be in danger. He’s clearly a bit of a ladies’ man, to say the least.
Sophia has in fact come to see Reshma at home, and invites her to come and see her “last program.” I foresee a Helen song coming up!
At a studio, a dance instructor is putting her students through their paces.
She is Raju’s partner in the CID, and her name is Rosy (Bela Bose). She shimmies and shakes along with her students and it’s just so fab. She greets Raju fondly when he arrives, and he asks her to follow the Professor while he keeps tabs on Reshma.
In a nightclub, Sophia sings the lovely “Yaar Badshah, Yaar Dilruba” as Reshma watches (along with the Air India Maharajah).
During the song, a man arrives and lures Reshma outside, where she is bundled into a car and driven away. Raju, who has shown up as well, is distracted long enough by Sophia to miss it, but he soon gives chase in a taxi. Luckily Reshma is a pretty plucky girl, and she manages to escape on her own. Unfortunately, she goes to Sophia (who is home by now) for help. Sophia asks her to wait, and contacts Vasco from her bedroom.
Sophia’s radio is cleverly disguised as cat-eye sunglasses, as long as you ignore the wires coming out of them, and the microphone.
Vasco’s goons show up promptly, but Raju is hot on their heels. He rescues Reshma (some great karate-chopping dishoom-dishoom), although for some reason he lets her believe that he’s a bad guy too. He takes her to his home and locks her up, but Reshma is not the type (as we’ve already seen) to stay down and out. She makes various attempts to escape, even pretending to flirt with Raju via a lively song.
But all her attempts fail: after all, he is James Bond CID Agent 909! He contacts Vasco and offers to exchange Reshma for one lakh rupees. Vasco’s goons arrive at the rendezvous with a suitcase full of cash and take Reshma away, leaving Shetty to keep watch on Raju. Reshma yells at Raju (“goonda! badmash!”) as she’s dragged off, and he looks after her with a slightly remorseful look on his face (and notes the license number on the car).
Shetty just never really changes much over the years, does he? Amazing. Anyway, Raju soon overpowers him and takes off in pursuit of Reshma and Vasco’s men. He has a whole lineup of CID buddies waiting to pitch in and we’re treated to a high-speed relay race.
The villains in the end are no match for Raju’s wits, and Reshma is rescued along with the formula, although Vasco himself gets away in a speedboat. The Professor is elated to have his daughter and his formula back, and Reshma is clued in on Raju’s real identity. She is of course now smitten by her rescuer, and they celebrate their new-found romance on the beach, where Reshma wears a swimsuit, Raju some very small tight swim trunks, and Rosy and friends serenade them dressed as gypsies.
A new plot twist is introduced as Reshma tells Raju that her mother disappeared some years ago and her father has been unable to locate her. Things begin to develop rapidly now as Rosy hides out in the trunk of Wong’s car, and is taken to a secret location where he has a warehouse of some sort manned by Chinese workers (one of whom keeps yelling “Chinese dialogues!” at a sleepy Chinese woman for no reason that I could discern), and where he’s been hiding the Professor’s wife Paro.
Pretty soon the whole gang is there: Vasco, Raju, Reshma and the professor and there’s a surfeit of action including more songs and dances, a public catfight between two village women over a man, and a cruise ship where Rosy does a hula dance. Reshma is menaced by a blow torch, Wong’s beard disappears again, Sophia reappears, and much, much more!
I am happy again. Really, it doesn’t take that much.