CID 909 (1967)

cid909_brain

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!

cid909_conference

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.

cid909_microphone

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.

cid909_files

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.

cid909_sophia

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.

cid909_tuntun

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.

cid909_909

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.

cid909_rosy

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).

cid909_yaardilruba1

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.

cid909_glasses

Sophia’s radio is cleverly disguised as cat-eye sunglasses, as long as you ignore the wires coming out of them, and the microphone.

cid909_parcel

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.

cid909_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).

cid909_shetty

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.

cid909_relay1

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.

cid909_beach

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.

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52 Comments to “CID 909 (1967)”

  1. Why have I not seen this? All of a sudden it’s like I’m not even me. And did you say Feroz Khan, Mumtaz, Helen AND Bela Bose? Fantastic. I rate it a ten, and I haven’t even seen it.

  2. OMG! I’ve just gotten dvds for reporter raju and cid 909 and am set on watching them this weekend- similar thought processes or what?? am totally excited about feroz and helen and mumtaz dazzling me.

  3. This is my kind of movie!! Wonderful!

    Miss Julie Gonzales Disilva Govewalla has already improved my day about 100% and I haven’t even seen the film yet… :D

  4. Todd: Must.see.CID.909…it was sort of subdued compared to Shikari or Aaya Toofan, but it was chock full of goodness nonetheless. Bela Bose was absolutely FINE, and there was lots of her!

    Shweta: Oooh! Can’t wait to hear what you think of both of them! I am now onto Apradh, which I finally found with subtitles and I am not sure I ever want it to end.

    Filmi Girl: I will have you know that I put that screencap in just for you :) The faces that Tun Tun makes are one of the VERY best things about Hindi movies, period. Have you seen Anita? I think it contains her best scene of all time.

  5. Helen looks beautiful! So does Mumtaz –but not enough screencaps of her :-( . And, in hindsight, isn’t it funny that Feroz Khan & Mumtaz are now related to each other — Fardeen, Feroz’s son, has married Mumtaz’s daughter Natasha, and seems to be a happy couple!

    *sigh* Everybody in Bollywood are related to each other!! :-D

  6. Mumtaz does look gorgeous in this, but for some reason I couldn’t get any clear screenshots of her. There was too much beauty going on all the way around!

    I guess she and Feroz have remained good friends throughout their lives—Fardeen and Natasha grew up knowing each other, so it’s not such a strange thing I guess that they ended up together.

    But yes, B’wood is quite incestuous! :-)

  7. I have not seen Anita but I will go about fixing that immediately! I have a huge pile of DVDs that I plan on watching while on vacation. It’s amazing how time consuming just living my regular life is… I either need more hours in the day or just more of them to devote to Bollywood blogging. :D

  8. Apradh is AMAZING- saw it yesterday! I will screen cap it tonite then, and try to post w/ u- a weird kind of watch along if u will :D

    • I may not be able to finish watching it tonight, but will try :) Saturday for sure!!!! (family is here for the holidays and they aren’t all quite on board with Hindi movies yet, sigh)…

      And FG, my post on Anita sort of describes the scene (with a screen cap) although of course watching it is much, much better!

  9. ohh wowowow this looks great, another feroz and mumtaz movie where there at the beach and are in their tight skivvies! lol whenever they go to the beach I remember apradh!

  10. I loved CID 909, just watched it a few weeks ago…the only downfall was:

    A. not enough Tun Tun
    B. not enough Shetty (does anyone know if he is still alive?)
    C. it would have been so fantastic in color!

    But, the fab (to use your description) Bela Bose was just that, and made up for anything lacking! She looks so good in an mod 1960s avatar (especially her hairstyle) and she has such a cool role in this film, too.

    Greta, I can’t wait to see your write up of APRADH…it is a splendtastic movie!

    And for Filmi Girl: ANITA is one of my faves! I hope you will enjoy it too (just be sure to get the one without the messed up subtitles).

  11. Rum, Feroz’s trunks were v.v. tight indeed :-D

    Michael: agree completely re: Tun Tun and Shetty, and I too wished for color the whole way through!!!!! We are twins. And yes, Bela was great. Again I say—as with Laxmi Chhaya, Padma Khanna, and Kumari Naaz: WHY? Why was she not the most famous heroine in the world, why?

    Also, I got another copy of Anita and the subs are perfect :-) I liked it too much to live with bad subs.

  12. And while I am at it, have you all picked up JAAL SAAZ starring Dara Singh and Bambi?

    Bambi is now my new favorite Hindi actress (she plays a young lady who desires to be a female James Bond, and of course she gets her wish). I don’t think she had much of a filmi career, however, but she is so cute.

    It is out on DVD now by KMI.

  13. Oy. Another Nehaflix order begins.

    I must admit to being wary of anyone named Bambi though. Unless there are four legs and a white tail and big brown eyes involved.

    And Mike, why are you not blogging?????

  14. That sounds incredible!
    I guess the workings of the peace bomb aren’t explained? Or could the film itself be the peace bomb?

  15. I have never heard of this movie before! Trust you bloggers to come up with rare finds.

    I am tempted to watch this movie on reading this review. However I am not too fond of B&W movies. Sigh!

    Good review.

  16. Good review Memsaab. Where is Bela Bose nowadays.

  17. Oh, this sounds absolutely delightful! But yes, like houseinrlyeh, I’m a bit confused about the peace bomb – what’s it supposed to do? Shower flowers?

    Whatever. This is something I really want to see soon.

  18. Sigh. I really NEED this film. I’m in danger of becoming averse to films. This should save me.

    And the Peace Bomb. Sigh again.

  19. Ha ha ha …the peace bomb (falls off the chair)…maybe it could have been in the famous shoe…

    Only a Hindi film could come up with that one!

  20. houseinriyeh: No, sadly the “peace bomb” formula is never decoded for us. Many things were not really adequately explained in the workings of this film, but it didn’t really matter :)

    Anonymous: I’m not opposed in general to B&W (in fact Guru Dutt’s films would have lost something had they been in color) but this one would have greatly benefited from it. Maybe it can be the next film to be “colorized”??!!! I’ll do it!

    V Manohar: I have no idea what happened to Bela Bose, but maybe someone reading this will, and will enlighten us!

    dustedoff: Ooh, great image of a bomb exploding with flowers…Flower Power!

    Banno: Noooo! You cannot become averse to films! Retreat into the warm embrace of the oldies, and it will regenerate you :)

    bawa: LOL @ peace bomb in the shoe. If only.

  21. I find that I also own Apradh. Sad, really, when you get to the point where you don’t know what movies you own and which ones you don’t. Anyway, maybe I also will try to watch it and knock out a review in the coming days. (Likely not until after the holidays, though.)

    Jaal Saaz sounds like a movie that I will marry.

  22. I keep a spreadsheet of the films I own (and the ones I’ve seen but don’t own, it’s all color-coded) because I kept buying the same ones over and over again. That habit built up my sister’s Hindi movie DVD collection, but it wasn’t really my goal…

    I have three copies of Apradh. I kept being promised subtitles, but that promise was not kept until the third try. It was worth the persistence, though :)

  23. Ahh, there are so many movies to watch! Every time I read a review like this, I add another title to my already looong list!:) Sounds like this one is worth the time, though…and gosh, the women look gorgeous in the screencaps,don’t they?

  24. Holy mother, I want a peace bomb or two–it’d make our holiday get-togethers liveable! This movie looks awesome. Yay for Mumtaz!

  25. Nida: the women ARE gorgeous :-) Makeup goodness galore!

    ajnabi: LOL @ holiday get-togethers..hope yours are peaceful without the bomb!

  26. Shetty, the tough guy of those days died in 1980s. His two sons,Rohit Shetty and Hriday Shetty are directors though. Rohit Shetty directed Golmaal.

    What a detailed and intricate plot ! Did the filmmakers actually though up such a plot.

  27. Oh *sad* re Shetty…he must have still been pretty young. I didn’t know that Rohit Shetty was his son! thanks for that information :-)

    It was an intricate plot, but there were many details missing if you know what I mean. Still, lots and lots of fun! To my knowledge, completely original too. Mohd Hussain was nothing if not original!!!!!

  28. I got my copies of both this and Jaal Saaz in the mail today (thanks for the heads up on the latter one, Michael). Looks like I’ll be starting the new year off with a Mohd. Hussain-a-thon.

  29. Oooh! I can’t wait to read your take on them :-)

  30. I must buy this and see. Thanks so much.

    Something crossed my mind yesterday, and fell into place as I was reading the responses to your review.

    Laxmi Chhaya reminds me of Mumu so much. Her dancing moves may be a tad too much for even the Mumu of the sixties, but her eyes and her vivaciousness are so reminiscent of Mumtaz.

    Sad. She was the Mumtaz that didn’t make it.

  31. waah. Great tongue in cheek description of the goings on like for instance-Sophia’s radio is cleverly disguised as cat-eye sunglasses, as long as you ignore the wires coming out of them, and the microphone.

    I must watch this movie for such cleverly disguised contraptions and more. The fact that the movie had Mumtaz and co will also help.

  32. Dear Membaab,

    Can I borrow the pics of Shetty for an article on my blog? With a link back to the Memsaab Story ofcourse.

    You have a wonderful blog here, and though I’ve missed most of these movies, it was fun reading about some here. Also I totally agree that colorization would have ruined Pyaasa, which otherwise is a treatise on shadows and imagery.

    Also there is a facebook fan page of Shetty which I guess uses your screenshot – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shetty/127202496568?v=info – but a wikipage is missing.

    Looking forward to your reply *and secretly hoping that it will be favorable*

    Shantanu.

    • Of course you can :) Thanks so much for asking!!! (I think there are quite a few on here if you do a search for “Shetty”)…And yes, some movies are made with black & white photography in mind, and the cinematographers use it so well it should not be made in color. Sadly, some that should be made in color though are made in b&w for budgetary reasons. But that’s okay too. I’ll take them!

      ps I am so joining the Shetty Facebook group. Thanks for the info!

      • That was real quick. Thanks a lot. I found two pics of Shetty on Memsaab Story and hopefully, will use both. I am mildly surprised and pretty overjoyed that I found this blog through Google, because these are the only two pictures of Shetty that I could find using both Google and Bing. I had asked friends for screenshots but your blog post answered all my prayers!

        Thanks again! :)

        *and Pyaasa is one of my favorite films, and thumbs up for your love for movies*

        Cheers!

        Shantanu!

  33. Any idea as to who is the girl with Mumtaz in the song “Dhadka to hoga dil zaroor”?

  34. Who is that guy withthe cigar in his hand (1st snapshot) and the guy next to Helen (tall man with a mustache)

  35. it seems Hriday shetty is Shetty’s legal son and Rohit Shetty from another wife. read this somewhere recently that Hriday objects to Rohit calling himself Shetty’s son

  36. I saw parts of Apradh on TV recently and was aghast at the torrid bedroom scenes involving Feroz Khan and Mumtaz.How strange that their children got married !

    Bambi has done another movie “Phir Bhi” 1970 which was about a girl and her mother falling in love with the same man – i think it was inspired by an American movie – don’t know which one.

    As regards Bela Bose, I will share what I read long ago. You may remember there was a religious movie called Jai Santoshi Maa. That movie was the biggest hit in 1975 along with Sholay. Bela played the vampish character in this movie. The movie spawned number of religious movies in Bollywood with the hope that the success of Jai Santoshi Maa would be recreated. But none of the other movies could come close to the success of Jai Santoshi Maa. Not even its remake that released 3 0r 4 years ago.

    Anita Guha played the eponymous role and Marathi actress Indumati Paigankar played the lead. The hero (don;t remember his name) eventually did a no of other religious movies. He married Bela Bose. They produced some of the movies (religious ones of course) and were literally on the streets. When the journalist who interviewed him saw that Bela and her husband lived in a chawl (a low residential accommodation) in Andheri, she was shocked.

    Bela’s husband mentioned that for some strange reasons everyone who acted in Jai Santoshi Maa suffered for some reason or other. Whether it was a coincidence or some kind of a ritual that they had not followed, he described how all those who acted in the movie struggled in their personal lives. Believe me this is not apocryphal/

    So sad, isn’t it ? People losing money after producing movies… Needless to add, everyone associated with Jai Santoshi Maa including Bela Bose vanished without a trace !

  37. Found this in her Bio on IMDB:

    “Her real-life husband Ashish Kumar was the leading man in the film. She married him in 1967 and gradually eased out of films after giving birth to two children-a daughter and a son. Of all her films, her favorite roles were as Jeetendra’s foster sister in “Jeene Ki Raah” (1969), followed by another film “More Man Mitwa.”

  38. Saw this film too , the same Print as you saw, memsaab!
    `Chinese Dialogues’, Indeed! This is the subtitler’s subtle way of saying that he /she does not understand the gibberish they spoke, if it ever had meaning in the first place!

  39. Finally, a movie on your site I haven’t seen, looks incredible. I hope it’s available on line. I have seen the one where Feroz played a journalist. He does really weird twist and shout dance number! Can’t wait to see it. By the way ,has any one ever heard of a movie called Khoj from 1970 ,not the one Rishi or do yaar with VK and SS .thanks

  40. Dr. No No! Just watched it. A chuck full of goodness. So many things to love,the satin sheets over the heads, the microphone on the tree! And rosy’s dance class.123456, chacha,why did she go up to six? Sorry but I have to go back to my dance practice…123456 chacha…123456twist….

  41. A must see for Shetty fans. I just realized he has several parts in the movie, he is seen in the beginning with a wig on ,I bet the ‘peace scientist with the satin pillow sheet over his head who gets shot was also him. I think recognized Shetty’s bulky body and the way the suit fits him. And then half way through the movie he shows as we know and live him. How brilliant is that? Loved how the director kept coming up with new transmiterr radio devises,well they actually looked like regular radios. Except for the brilliant one for Helen. Very resourceful. And all the random code names…calling x114 callingx114!

  42. Seems to me like the poor writer wrote an hour and half James Bondian thriller and then had to keep going on for three hours. Funny how little Feroz’s ‘style changed through the years and the scene on the beach is very similar to the sizzling Mumtaz in the bikini in Apradh. In fact the editing and action scenes remind me a little of Apradh. Can some tell me what a ‘peace bomb’ is anyway? A Gandhi bomb?

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