Woh Kaun Thi (1964)

wohkaunthi

Raj Khosla is one of my favorite directors. But man, this movie is a waste of time. It’s chock full of red herrings that never lead anywhere (and are never explained), along with clues which are so manifestly obvious that you feel clubbed over the head with them. Plus, it’s boring, with an ending so convenient and contrived that there’s no payoff for sitting through it at all. I don’t know if my dislike of Manoj Kumar contributed to my dislike of this film, but I do know that his presence didn’t help it any. The only bright spot really was Helen, and she was bumped off pretty early on. Sadhana looked gorgeous, but she appeared to be as bored as I was.

If you still want a synopsis, read on! Dr. Anand (Manoj Kumar) is driving home through a rainstorm one night when a mysterious woman in white appears alongside the road. He gives her a lift although she’s so rude and creepy that I would have left her standing there. Red Herring #1: the windshield wipers on his car stop working as soon as she gets in, and only start up again when she gets out. This happens twice in the film (maybe more if I slept through it), but is never explained.

wkt_wipers

She apparently can also see in the dark, since she guides him around potholes, etc. on the way to the graveyard where he drops her off. He watches as the gates open by themselves and she disappears into the mist. I roll my eyes.

Anand is engaged to Miss Seema (Helen), but he’s often preoccupied with his work. She’s pretty understanding about it, and down to earth and I like her. She has also decorated her house with a Gemma statue and the Air India Maharajah (which I would too if I could find one).

wkt_decor

He’s called into the hospital by a fellow doctor, Lata Singh (Parveen Choudhary). I like her too. She’s in love with Anand but he doesn’t notice. Her father Dr. Singh (KN Singh) does, though. A lawyer arrives to ask Dr. Singh to give a medical certification as to Anand’s good mental health: he’s inheriting millions of rupees.

wkt_inheritance

Apparently there are some loony tunes in Anand’s family background, and if he proves to be one of them then a close relative will inherit instead.

Enter close relative, cousin Ramesh (Prem Chopra). They bump into each other at a hospital benefit where Seema has choreographed a duet (“Riki Tiki”) and everyone does the Indian twist. So fab.

wkt_rikitiki

Anand introduces Seema as his fiancee to his cousin (=close relative, yes?). We learn that Ramesh is unemployed (so could probably use a few million inherited rupees). These are of course Obvious Clues #1 and #2.

wkt_ramesh

Seema and Anand romance a little more with another song (“Chhod Kar Tere”) and we are introduced to Red Herring #2, who is always lurking outside Seema’s apartment when Anand drops her off. Her ominous presence is never explained either, and my guess is that she’s just there to creep us out. She doesn’t really creep me out so much as she reminds me of someone I can’t place.

wkt_herring2

While I’m puzzling over that, poor Seema is murdered with a cyanide injection. The Police Inspector (Raj Mehra) appears to suspect Lata and Dr. Singh, which probably counts as Red Herring #3 since it’s an angle that goes nowhere either.

Meanwhile, Anand’s Ma (Ratnamala) isn’t going to let a little thing like the murder of her son’s beloved fiancee prevent her from getting a bahu.

wkt_ma

Anand agrees dully that she can marry him off to whomever she pleases, and then (since it is a stormy night) he is called out to see a patient. He is directed to a huge dilapidated mansion filled with cobwebs, and when he arrives it’s too late. The patient is apparently dead and…it’s the mysterious woman he had given a ride to earlier. I roll my eyes.

wkt_dead

He doesn’t do anything doctor-like (like check for a pulse) but leaves instead, shocked. It occurs to me that Anand is not a very bright guy, and I’m glad he’s not my doctor. Dr. Singh approaches his mother to propose that Anand marry Lata, but she has already found a bride for him. That was quick work, Ma! Dr. Singh appears displeased by this development: Red Herring #4.

On Anand’s wedding day, the bride is veiled. Her name is Sandhya and guess what? No really, you’ll never guess. Well, maybe you will. I did. When Anand unveils her on the nuptial evening, she looks exactly like the graveyard (and dead) girl. Anand freaks out completely. I roll my eyes.

wkt_bride

The rest of the film is as full of suspense and thrills as a drive through the English countryside on a bright, sunny day. Watch as Anand mistreats his new bride! and is further led astray by more Red Herrings! while we’re bashed over the head with more Obvious Clues!

It does try hard, I’ll give it that; but in the end it’s just a silly film, and worse, predictable. Even the climax is lethargic and heavy-footed. The songs by Madan Mohan are lovely, although the repetition of the “ghost” song (“Naina Barse Rimjhim”) gets old after a while. I know that this is considered one of Raj Khosla’s best, but maybe I’ve read too many good mystery novels or something (I am a mystery buff). I would recommend watching Anita or Mera Gaon Mera Desh or Kuchhe Dhaage instead of this one.

Edited to Add: Thanks to reader Nandu Narasimhan for this piece of trivia and the song!

One little piece of trivia about the song ‘Naina Barse’. Apparently, Lata Mangeshkar was down with a bad throat around the time the song was to be recorded. And the recording could not be pushed because the shooting schedule of the song couldn’t.

Enter Madan Mohan, master composer. He recorded the song in his voice so that Sadhana could lipsync to it. Which she did!

Madan Mohan’s version of the song:

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53 Comments to “Woh Kaun Thi (1964)”

  1. I was planning to watch this one eventually due to it being such an important film in Sadhana’s career. But, based on your review, I think I’m gonna give it a pass, thus freeing up time for watching more Mohd. Hussain movies. Thanks for taking the bullet on this one, Memsaab! :)

  2. NP, Todd…I have Jaal Saz coming, so looking forward to that! ;-)

  3. This was a fun movie…with the famous Sadhana and her “cut”.

  4. I guess a lot of people thought so, and she is gorgeous, but I was bored out of my mind…

  5. Haven’t seen this movie but heard a lot about it. Apparently it was one of those super hit movies those days.

    I do like the songs in this movie though. Manoj Kumar in the movie puts me off!

    I have been trying to get hold of “Anita” after seeing the song “tum bin jeevan kaise beetha pucho mere dil se” on DVD – alas no success so far

  6. Red Herring #2 reminds me a little bit of Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammy in Gone With The Wind. But anyway, this movie looks like a total suckfest. Glad you watched it and saved me from the same! LOL

  7. She carried a mini gadget called “wiperanimatron” that controlled the wipers, as well as the door to the cemetery. ;)

    It could’ve easily been made into a vampire movie though – what with Sadhna’s habit of sucking….blood.

    By the way, do you have any horror movies in your arsenal? Halaku? Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche? Or, Jaani Dushman?

  8. Unfair, says I. It was made at a time in India when just making a “rational” ghost movie was an USP by itself : ).

    Manoj K. specialised in OTT hamming. In every movie. So not much to look forward to … cept that Helen looks good, Sadhana looks totally floating beauty , and the songs.

    Naina barse is a total Lata favourite, and you left out “Jo Humne Dastaan Apni Sunaayi”.

    I wonder what you would make of Mera Saaya then : )

  9. This is where we should agree to disagree ;-)…I actually loved this movie, red herrings and obvious clues notwithstanding. Probably because the first time I saw this was when I was a kid, and the flaws in the movie weren’t that obvious to my meagre intellect! (Well, all that mattered then was that both Sadhana and Helen were so lovely!). I’ve always thought of this as one of those flawed but entertaining films, and the music was superb – my favourite is Lag jaa gale.

  10. There is a completely crazy remake of sorts of this movie with Shatrughan Sinha and Neetu Singh, the name of which I cannot remember. it has out of focus camera shots, bizarre segues, red herrings galore and an explanation that will blow. your. mind – coz it’s whack! You have to see it if you can find it!

    I love the songs of this movie though.

  11. I remember watching this movie a long time ago & also thinking that it dragged on quite a bit …

    The songs, however, were definitely a redeeming factor & also the lecherous Prem Chopra – my favourite villain !

    Have to also agree with AKM, the movie has to be put in the context of the time it was made & also original audience it was aimed at.

    The early-mid 1960’s Hindi-film going public I don’t think had much exposure to ‘Film-Noir’ type movies & must have thought the scenes were very gripping. I think Raj Khosla succeeded on that front.

  12. Ok, this is pretty unbelievable. Teja and I were watching ‘Anita’ last night, and he was trying to remember the name of the other mystery film with Manoj Kumar and Sadhana which we couldn’t remember. And here it is today.

    Did you like ‘Anita’? Sadhana looks gorgeous, but I must confess we gave up on it after he reached Nainital, which was way too soon perhaps. Maybe we need to see it with more patience.

  13. Anonymous: The music is very lovely, and I will no doubt listen to the songs still. Just don’t need to see the film again :)

    ajnabi: Maybe that’s it! I was thinking some actress from early Hollywood, and she’s probably the one.

    Amit: Ooh I want gadgets like that! I do have Jaani Dushman, but not the others. I’m not a big fan of horror films in general because even the badly done ones scare me.

    AKM & Asli Jat: Maybe. But I wouldn’t want to say that, because to me it sounds patronizing to filmmakers and audiences both. I mean, other very good films were being made and appreciated, and some of them had “new” themes. But I am more than willing to say that my western sensibilities and expectations do color my view of Hindi films, naturally :-) I did like Anita a lot—I thought it built the suspense and maintained the mystery just fine, unlike this one (maybe he learned something from making this one!)…

    dustedoff: Maybe if I’d seen it as a kid I’d have liked it then and it would have nostalgia value, but I didn’t and so it doesn’t :-) Agree completely re: the songs, though—they are very very lovely.

    Amrita: Oh, I want to see that! I’ll research what films Shotgun and Neetu did together and you can pick the title of the right one for me :-)

    Banno: This IS getting weird, how we are on a parallel watching track! Fun though!!! I did like Anita, although the subs were messed up on my first DVD of it which was painful. I liked it enough to get a second copy where the subs are fine, though, and I really do like it very much. Might benefit from a two-installment watch :-)

  14. I think I liked WOH KAUN THI? but it was near the beginning of my Bollywood watching experience, so I don’t recall a lot about it ( I do remember there being a lot of plot holes). I can say for sure that I preferred BEES SAAL BAAD over this one as far as bhoot films go, but by how much I do not recall. I may need to see it again.

  15. As usual, a lovely review, Greta.

    There were 2 movies of the 1960s that I saw for the first time only a couple of years ago (and was desperate to see them but refused to get a DVD…I know, I know…I am a bit weird :-).
    The two movies were : Woh Kaun Thi and Neel Kamal.
    The reason I wanted to see them was, no, not Manoj Kumar, but their songs.

    On one of my trips to India, they happened to come on telly in quick succession.

    First Woh Kaun Thi. I remember feeling very “flat” after the movie. For one, it was a Raj Khosla movie and I am a big fan (I loved “Bambai Ka Babu”). The songs were lovely, especially “jo humne dastaan” (which I actually like more than “naina barse”). But I felt that somehow the movie could not hold me after the first 45 min or so. Maybe I should have seen it “in its time” and “in a theater with the right acoustics” but anyway, it just left me not too thrilled about the movie.

    But this was nothing compared to Neel Kamal. My expectations were very high – so there was a good chance they would be dashed anyway. But I will not be exaggerating when I say that I would consider this as one of the worst movies I have EVER seen – and I have seen a few ;-).

    I don’t want to digress too much (I don’t know whether you have seen Neel Kamal – if not, pls stay very very very very far away. If you have, my commiserations).

    Anyway this is about Woh Kaun Thi (which means “Who was She” ?) All I can say is “Frankly, I don’t give a damn”.

  16. Purely by co-incidence, I saw another “suspense” movie only yesterday.
    “Shart” – with Sanjay Khan and Mumtaz (produced by Raj Kumar Kohli).
    It has some similarities with Woh Kaun Thi. Also has (unanswered) red herrings all over the place, has a similar type of role for K N Singh…

    I don’t want to throw in spoilers but let me just say that it still managed to hold my interest for about 75% of the movie (which is way more than Woh Kaun Thi managed). Then…..

  17. Michael: I still have not watched Bees Saal Baad, but I need to. And I know what you mean about seeing Woh Kaun Thi early—I used to be a lot more forgiving of Hindi films than I am now, but that I think is a good thing :)

    raja: I have Neel Kamal (Raaj Kumar is in it, yes?) but I haven’t watched it. Haven’t quite been in the mood, and now it will move even further down! I need to see Bambai Ka Babu, though, clearly :-) Haven’t seen Shart either—sounds like it suffers from the all to well-known Curse of the Second Half?

  18. It is Ab Kya Hoga! Get yourself some vodka and screen it for company today!

    Neel Kamal has Waheeda Rehman being gorgeous but apart from that it’s a TERRIBLE movie of a downtrodden woman whose reputation is destroyed because she (wait for it!) sleepwalks! It has Raaj Kumar and he gets to do nothing except pine. It also has Manoj Kumar and he gets to do nothing but whine. Yech.

    Bees Saal Baad is a lot better and a lot more creepy! I think Mithun also made a movie of the same name which was terribly funny but it’s the Waheeda one that I love. Oh and Kohraa which also stars Waheeda and is a remake of Rebecca (I keep telling people about this movie so pardon if I’ve already bent your ears about it).

  19. Oh my God, you don’t like Manoj Kumar either? He has no charm at all. The only roles I could more that simply tolerate of his, is in the films Roti Kapada aur Makaan to some extent. Another of his, Gumnaam, was supposed to be a mystery/horror flick that just didn’t work for me (except for the first few minutes during the night club scene). I guess we are to used to crime TV shows (law and order, CSI etc) that many hindi films of that genre seem so predictable.
    And didn’t Parveen Choudhary play the same “I’m secretly in love with the male lead” role in the Sadhana and “doctor” Shashi starrer Prem Patra?

    Thanks for the review, and Happy new years!

  20. Amrita: I will look for it asap! :-) Neel Kamal sounds just dreadful. Could be fun for a vitriolic review though. I hate Manoj Kumar, though, seriously. Kohraa I think I’ve seen and liked it! :-)

    Stella_1: No charm whatsoever. Gumnaam would have been a much better film with Shammi as the hero!!!!! I do love Gumnaam, but it’s despite MK’s presence. Poor Parveen is always the wallflower, which is a shame because I think she’s lovely. I’m not sure about Prem Patra, but you are probably right ;-)

  21. This was definitely not one of Raj Khosla’s best. But Sadhna was seriously gorgeous here, and I cant get enough of the songs. It was pretty much the same with the other Raj Khosla thriller Mera Saaya – all the buildup to the climax and then a flat anticlimax! It does have Sadhna and Sunil Dutt – eye candy x2 – so its more watchable than this. After this, I never did get round to Anita, but if its better I will give it a shot.

  22. Join the club Memsaab ie not liking Manoj Kumar. Beats me – how the audience those days could tolerate his movies! The only movie i could tolerate was “shor” – coz of songs

  23. bollyviewer: I’ve seen Mera Saaya, but it didn’t make much of an impression because I don’t remember anything about it except that it has Sunil and Sadhana.

    Anonymous: I couldn’t even tolerate Shor :-) I don’t know, I just don’t like him. Poor guy.

  24. Why do all these mysterious women in old Hindi movies wear white sarees? I know it looks suitably creepy on black and white, but still… Even after we moved to color, the white sarees persisted. Can’t we have a ghost wearing a kanjeevaram saree instead? Or, for that matter, shorts and a t-shirt?

    ~r

  25. I quite liked Woh Kaun Thu when I watched it years ago. It played on TV when I was in a college hostel — we couldn’t make sense of the plot, but somehow it managed to work.

    Whatever its faults, you gotta give it credit for spooking a whole bunch of hormonally addled male teenagers :-)

    ~r

  26. Thanks for the warning review memsaab. I am a big fan of Asha and would choose her over her didi any day, but I was seriously tempted to find this film on the strength of Lata’s simply sublime performance in Lag Ja Gale. It is one of her most beautiful songs ever, along with Aayega Anewala. Now I will trust your judgement and enjoy the song without wasting time and money finding the movie.

    • Oh you are nice :) I love Aayega Aanewale (and I really love Mahal too) but this was just so disappointing, especially coming from Raj Khosla.

      But we all have our off days :-) and given other treasures he made, I find it totally easy to forgive him for this one.

  27. Memsaab,

    One little piece of trivia about the song ‘Naina Barse’. Apparently, Lata Mangeshkar was down with a bad throat around the time the song was to be recorded. And the recording could not be pushed because the shooting schedule of the song couldn’t.

    Enter Madan Mohan, master composer. He recorded the song in his voice so that Sadhana could lipsync to it. Which she did!

    Lata then recorded her well-known version. A clip of the Madan Mohan recorded song is there on a 5-CD collection of the composer’s best works.

    I have the song and can post it here, if you can tell me how.

    Nandu

  28. My pleasure. One more piece of trivia on this song.

    Madan Mohan talks about it in the clip. He had composed the tune 18 years earlier, but couldn’t find a situation to fit it in.

  29. Wow,thankyou so much for posting the Madan Mohan version of Naina Barse,I’ve been listening to the soundtrack of Woh Kaun Thi lots recently,and I came to read your review to find out if the film was worth getting.Sadly it seems it isn’t,but that’s more than made up for by the song!
    Madan Mohan really did have a lovely voice,I wonder why he didn’t sing on more of his soundtracks,I know other composers did.
    Anyway,I do apologise for posting this comment this late,I just wanted to thank you (and Nandu-ji) for the song.It made my day :-)

    • Glad you enjoyed it :) You might like the film, lots of people seem to have. I just didn’t find it very good. But certainly the songs are lovely, lovely, lovely.

  30. watch gumnaam instead of this.

  31. I agree with you about the red herrings, Memsaab. However, I thought Sadhna made it all worthwhile.

    At first, I resisted her charms since this was the first movie I saw of her and I thought maybe Meena Kumari would’ve been better in terms of the whole enigmatic, mysterious thing.

    But Sadhna won me over (not easy to do for many). She is irresistible and almighty. *bows to her*

  32. What a coincidence! I heard the song “Naina barse” on the radio last night after a long time. Though i have always preferred Asha to Lata, i do like this song very much. Her voice is truely mellifluous!
    Thanx abt the review of the movie. Some movies with really good songs can be so disappointing. Movies like Neelkamal as also Talash ( the VCD of which i had to do a lot of “talaash”) were such letdowns. I saw Neelkamal on TV and quarter way through the movie, i switched off the TV. As for Talash, after all the Talaash, I saw a bit and then fastforwarded to the end… Thank God!

  33. Thanx for posting the trivia abt Madan Mohan as also the clipping ot his version. He does have an amazing voice. Wonder why he did not sing more often as a playback….

  34. I was scared for a few days after I watched this one, but now attribute it to the b&w status – the kohl around Sadhana’s eyes looked scarier than it was. A sixth-grade teacher was once telling her class this story during an afternoon free period and my friend was in that class – spooky stuff like Qabrastaan ka darwaaza khula and the girl entering Qabrastaan and the doors closing behind her – details like this built up my fear. But what a predictable end it was – I have always lamented the fact that one can look at the starcast of a Hindi film and guess pretty accurately who the hero and heroine are and who the villains are likely to be.
    Ab Kya Hoga – now that one I’d like to see again, have forgotten the `scary’ bits – I think Vinod Mehra and Moushumi Chatterjee featured in one.
    Neel Kamal – big letdown, unbearable to sit through.
    Bees Saal Baad – the old one, would you believe, they actually revealed the end on a certain `Phook Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan’ episode on Doordarshan?
    In recent times, Bhool Bhulaiyyan gave me a good scare.

  35. I cannot understand why some people can’t stand Manoj! In his time he was a big star and a crowd puller too. I think when he got into the “Bharat” stuff seriously he became top heavy & a bore. Otherwise he was quite handsome (especially in the earlier years) and gave the much needed variety to the Hindi movie hero line up.

    In the same token I cant stand Helen if repeated all the time! Couldn’t they find other ‘gori ladkis’ for club dance & murder scenes in Hindi movies those says. She was so type cast with that same sinister smile on her face only to be stabbed or shot dead in the last scene!! Poor thing.

    Woh Kaun Thi was best remembered for the beutiful young Sadhana and Madan Mohan’s music.

    Madan Mohan – what a composer he was – he & Shanker Jaikishen were my musical gurus!

    He was my one of my musical guru – the other been Shanker Jiakishen !

    • I saw him in his heavy Bharat avatar first which irritated me so much that pretty much just the sight of his face gives me a visceral negative reaction. Perhaps if I’d seen him in his early 60s mode first I wouldn’t dislike him so much, but to me he is just the guy who made movies that seriously piss me off :)

  36. Very funny review of a disappointing movie! Though even if I had read it earlier it might not have stopped me because the movie was on my to-see list for over a decade from the times of late-night college-hostel discussions. Sadly, it began to frustrate before the first scene was done and the characters and plot only got messier.

    The central character of the doctor is the most OTT unreal of the lot – a ridiculously illogical, spineless, harebrained, thick-skinned fellow that makes the manoj kumar factor insignificant. The plot telegraphs its Vertigo derivation early on with the mental stability question. The rest is dilation with pointless scenes. “Eventual pointlessness” makes red herrings. “Instant pointlessness” is scenes like the atrocious “comedy” scene of the 2 servants toward the end. Of the Khosla movies you mentioned I’ve seen Mera Saaya and it would seem featuring the evil/anonymous “judwaa behen” (twin sister) is a regular deus ex machina in his films. At least Vertigo used a more plausible “doppelganger” explanation. At any rate, resolving an identity suspense by conjuring up a twin is a cop-out that insults the audience, e.g. The Prestige (2006). I’d like to see triplets sometime – maybe good sadhna, evil sadhna, and deliciously evil sadhna… I’ll book in advance!

    Btw, the magic wipers could be explained by the servant accomplice in the doctor’s house connecting a duplicate wiper switch under the passenger side floormat. This switch could also have a 5-second delay option. Our lady in white switches it off with her toe when she sits and switches it on with delay when getting off. Accomplice later removes evidence of the switch.

  37. Hi memsab,

    I am reading your blog for the first time. I reached here while trying to search for reviews about this movie. I watched this movie on youtube – somehow stumbled upon the song ‘lag ja gale’, and was so intrigued by Sadhana’s beauty that i had to watch it. Must say it was a big let down. The plot was very weak. As someone who carefully watches the expressions of the actors, i was surprised to see Sadhana (who was later revealed to be the good one or it was not clarified that she was the evil one) suggestively smiling after every conversation/confrontation with Manoj Kumar. It is as big a loophole in the plot as not explaining why the wipers stopped. And as opposed to many people, i think Sadhana did not act well (actually it was director’s fault, it seemed she asked Sadhana to play the role of mysterious girl throughout the movie). She is completely blank in most conversations, which would have been okay had she been intentionally doing it (being the evil one :)), but it does not suit the climax. Apart from that, the Simla portion was completely unnecessary. Manoj kumar was acting okay in some parts but was completely hamming in the others. He especially screwed up the song ‘Lag ja gale’ with his strange expressions. Had the director been more careful with the script, this movie could have been a decent 90 min. thriller instead of being a 150 min drag.

    • Yes, the thing about mysteries is that you need to tie up the loose ends! Otherwise they are just contrivances…and this film was full of contrivances :( Very disappointing. Songs are good though!

  38. Why didn’t I read your review before watching this movie last night and wasting two plus hours of my time? I clicked on the link provided by Edu on FB, and started watching it and wondered why I was watching, but persisted till the end, and fast forwarded at times till the whole thing was explained by this guy who never showed up during the course of the movie until the last scene. How did he know the entire background, and if he did, why didn’t he reveal at least part of it to Anand? Best of all, how did he appear at the very last moment, to be able to conveniently get rid of the villains? Why did the wipers in the car stop working and how did the mystery woman see through the driving rain? Can I get her to sit beside me when we have our downpours here because I can’t see even when my wipers are working at full speed? What a hole-ridden story! If only I had come here before watching that movie!
    By the way, I also don’t like Manoj, but the young Manoj here was better than the guy in his subsequent movies. In any case, the movie was a waste of time, money, and Sadhana, and the only good thing was the music, which explains why everyone in my school was raving about this movie at the time.

    • Aww Lalitha, at least you can say you wasted two plus hours of your time in an effort to back up my POV :D And the songs ARE good…and young Manoj as you say is infinitely more bearable than the one ten years later!

  39. I don’t really comment much on blogs, but this one I really had to! Unlike most others, I personally enjoyed this movie a lot. The plot is not the strongest part of the movie, but it (just) works.

    Thought Sadhna acted very well (and was great looking too!), songs were amazing and so was the music. Overall effects were nice especially when combined with black and white.

    Manoj Kumar was average – it was not one of his strongest movie, but he still doesn’t harm the movie.

    Overall may not be a great movie when considered the elements are considered individually, but as a package the movie was fantastic. And, I still cannot stop myself listening to the absolutely fantastic songs.

  40. I saw the movie for the first time when I was 14. I really liked the spooky scenes like the gate opening , Manoj Kumar in the dilapidated building, the eerie picturization of naina barse etc., & the songs are really captivating particularly lag ja gale & naina barse & to some extent Aap kyon roye. Madan Mohan ji really excelled & full credit to late Raja Mehdi Ali Khan sahib for the lyrics. A good movie to watch if you do not bother about answers for a few glaring questions & discount the performance of few actors . I have a tip for those who want to see the film now . Please see only first half or maximum 70%. Don’t let your curiosity overcome or be prepared to get disappointed during the climax
    & coming to other thrillers like Mera Saya & Anita, Manoj was much better in Anita & perhaps to some extent in Gumnaam . I really do not understand whenever Mera Saya is the topic, people mention only the title song but there is that super melody naino me badra chhaye for which both Dutt saab & Sadhanaji score 100% for their acting skills and again it is the combination of Raja Mehdi Ali Khan & Madan Mohan
    Regards
    AVRR

  41. I am surprised by the comments on the movie. Amateurish as it may sound now the movie was a super hit – can anyone deny that? Please watch Do RASTE again and I am not sure many will like it now because Mumtaz hardly had any role in it and the plot was very much predictable. The 1983 superhits like Mawaali, Himmatwala, Justice Chawdhury can’t be watched now because we have seen much better fare in Bollywood.

    Yes, Woh Kaun Thi has its flaws. But music made up for every flaw. Sadhana was beautiful and she did convey that sense of mystery with her pauses and eyes. Parveen Chaudhury was beautiful too, fresh from the success of Professor but alas, she got saddled and stamped with sister and friend roles before she eventually quit movies. In Bollywood, talent has, at most times, been shown the door.

    Memsab, I do not know if you have seen a movie called – Banarasi Thug that starred Manoj Kumar, Malika [Mumtaz's sister] & Vijaya chaudhury – parveen’s younger sister in real life. There is a song in the movie – Lage Nahin Mora Jiya – where Malika has danced so well, perfectly in sync with the tune and the song has been sung by Usha Mangeshkar, Similarly, the 1961 release Ramu Dada had Salim Khan (Salman Khan’s dad), Sheikh Mukhtar [who eventually migrated to Pakistan and sadly died in penury) and the movie also had great music. But how many actors and actresses manage to survive?

    Actresses and actors survive if their movies are hits in quick succession. Producers brand them lucky. Sadhana was one such star who became lucky because of hits like Woh Kaun Thi but eventually with movies like Arzoo, Waqt, Geeta Mera Nam, Inteqam, Ek Phool Do Mali her metamorphosis into an actress of substance was complete. In the movie – Gaban, she played the lead character Jalpa with panache and brought Prem Chand’s character in front of our eyes,

    The eponymous song – Naina barse was initially shot in Simla and as the record played by Lata hadn’t yet reached Simla, Sadhana had to act with Madan Mohan’s male voice as the playback. I saw some comment that Simla was not needed in the movie. But there is a justification for that in the movie. Simla provided that eerie feel to Woh Kaun Thi.

    I feel that despite the flaws Woh Kaun Thi is much better than some of the trash that is dished out today.

  42. WKT(1964) is one of my favourite Hindi movies, becuase of Madan mohan and Sadhana. The three songs of Lata “naina barse”, “lag ja gale”, and ” aap kyon roye” are gems. Lata rates “Naina barse” as one of her best. The film was a big hit and was remade in Tamil and Telugu with Jaya lalitha , CM of Tamilnadu playing heroine. It was nominated For Filmfare best music and best actress awards and won best cinematography award. Infact, WKT’s success had Khosla directing Sadhana in two more suspense thrillers: Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967 film).
    Personally, its one my favourite movies for its music and that beautiful lady, sadhana. I saw the movtie in late seventies , after moving to Hyderabad from a remote town in Andhra.

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