Golden Eyes: Secret Agent 077 (1968)

(Because 007 would be so unoriginal!)

I can only imagine that director Kamal Sharma was left a small legacy by his grandmother or someone, and jumped at the opportunity to make the film he’d been dreaming of since he saw his first Bond movie: “I have IDEAS! Many of them stolen, almost all of them bad, but I won’t let that stop me!” Most of his tiny budget went into helicopters and probably Helen, with nothing left over for an actual script or any production values. The lack of subtitles is even almost welcome, since the chaos onscreen is such a bombardment to the senses that having to read too would have made my head explode. In any case, I can say with certainty that I have no clue what happens, except that several different gangs of people are all vying to grab a “formoola” for some sort of bomb for which the dastardly “Chinese” are willing to pay a premium price.

These nefarious Asians have an underground lair staffed by people in brightly colored containment suits, presumably in anticipation of acquiring the bomb since for the time being there isn’t that much for any of them to do but stare at the spurious wall decor and their crazy leader who waves his arms about and laughs maniacally.

The Indian gangs trying to outdo each other in the race for the formoola have various and sundry listening and recording devices which they somehow manage to set up in random locations *just in time* for the other party to arrive and be spied upon. My favorite is a cosmetic-compact controlled bug that is a…well, bug.

This innocuous ball-point pen was easily converted into an antenna-microphone combo:

Mostly, though, these mechanisms of spying are conspicuously large and many are endowed with flashing lights. You know the drill.

All this skulking and spying results in attacks being launched and repudiated (or not) and then the cycle begins again; there is really no story that I could decipher beyond that. I never did figure out which people had the formoola at any given time, and I admit that it was never really important to me either.

What is important is that we have Helen at her most glam, acting as Chief Bad Girl for Mr. Madan (B.M. Vyas):

Plus, Shabnam, Madhumati, Rani and Jeevan Kala (plus another girl—Khurshid maybe?) form a group of Fembot-Dancer-Assassins working (and dancing) for another guy in sunglasses, who owns a fantastically tacky club called “Arabian Nights.”

They arrive, they kick ass, and they leave—and I love them.

Mr. Rakesh (Sailesh Kumar)—Agent 077—is himself a disappointment. We meet him in true super-sleuth fashion, surrounded by a bevy of lovely girls (one of whom appears to be picking lint off him or something) at the Sun ‘N Sand Hotel.

He is sort of awkward and milquetoasty, but still manages to attract Good Girl Mumtaz, although the hows and whys of that remain shrouded in mystery. Mumtaz (the niece or granddaughter of the bomb’s inventor, I think) is underused, mostly engaged in sighing after our Secret Agent or trying to seduce him in fluttering nightgowns—but she IS given top billing in the opening credits! Yay for Mumtaz!

There is a host of character actors playing gang leaders and henchpeople, some of whom I know and others I recognize but don’t have names for (and some I don’t remember ever seeing before at all). Mystery man Nazir Kashmiri appears sans mouche as Dr. Verma (he’s a good guy, presumably):

and Rajan Haksar and Ratan Gaurang are painfully caricatured Chinamen:

As is the case with many of these B- and C-grade movies, the music is pretty much the most fabulous thing about it. Music Director Baldev Nath has come up with a couple of loony dance numbers, as befits a cast so heavily weighted with dancing talent. Ted Lyons’ Cubs play under the leadership of his brother-in-law Suno in “Yeh Aankhen Teri Hain Teri Katil” (Ted says he was one of the dancers in the crowd, although the picture quality is so fuzzy and the movements of the Fembot-led crowd so frenetic that I can’t find him).

Madhumati has another short dance (no lyrics) dressed as a sparkly green bird, and thankfully Helen gets to dance too (“Ulfat Ki Nishani Deke Chale Woh“), accompanied by the Fembots in the gaudy Arabian Nights club as Mumtaz and Agent 077 look on disguised cleverly as sheikhs.

She has another number too, “Gulshan Pe Ghata Chhayee,” for oodles of Helen Happiness.

In all, this film has a lot to offer fans of our dancing girl bahens and charactor actor bhaiyyas. If you require nuanced acting, a plot that isn’t laughably nonsensical, and a production budget that’s higher than the contents of your kid’s piggy bank, you probably should look elsewhere.

This is also true if you prefer your Secret Agents to be on the more manly side, although I did grow kind of fond of Agent 077 by the end.

After all, I had Fembots.

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58 Comments to “Golden Eyes: Secret Agent 077 (1968)”

  1. Fembot-Dancer-Assassins…of my HEART!

  2. This guy Kamal Sharma seems to have done his homework (or is a big Bond fan), for ‘Goldeneye’ was the name of Ian Fleming’s house in the Caribbeans. How does the name fit in this story, by the way?

  3. Sans mouche Nazir Kashmiri appears to have a real Kashmiri Nose :)

  4. Hi,
    This 077 (really, the pits of inventiveness, this name!) looks like a yesteryear Ravi Kissen.

    • He does, actually! And yes—I saw the 077 and started laughing: why bother?! Really?! :D

      • Actually I think he also looks a little like Vinod Khanna (the screen shot above Mumtaz and Nazir Kashmiri). The Fembots (nice tag) look fun but I will probably pass on this till I finish my huge pile of must-sees (with Dharam and sans Dharam).

  5. I guess Helen and Mumtaz are but the only high points in the film. Right???

    • Actually for me the Fembots (Rani, Madhumati, Jeevan Kala, Shabnam and ?Khurshid?) were the highlights of the film. Helen is always a Very Good Thing too of course, but she didn’t have that much to do (although two dances—YAY!) and neither did Mumtaz, even though she was nominally the star of the film (according to the credits anyway).

  6. >this film has a lot to offer fans of our dancing girl bahens and charactor actor bhaiyyas.

    :-D
    Love this terminology.

  7. Ha ha..lovely review. You have the knack of making even the most ridiculous movie interesting. You should be in marketing. :-)

    I remember Sailesh Kumar from Kaajal. He was OK but is bumped off early on in the movie.

    Btw, did you know that MacMohan passed away a couple of days ago ? I got to know just this morning.

    • Ridiculous…yes, that’s the word to describe this that I was looking for! :) Actually I did once work in marketing, but I suck at selling things I don’t believe in, which was almost everything I was supposed to be marketing at the time.

      I did know about MacMohan :( Was glad to see that at least his passing seemed to be noticed. I can picture him along with Amjad Khan on a cloud reliving the highlights of their careers :) Arre O Sambha!

  8. >I can picture him along with Amjad Khan on a cloud reliving the highlights of their careers :) Arre O Sambha!

    What a beautiful thought! *sob*
    (Me and my squishy dil)

    What I didn’t know was that he was Raveena Tandon’s maternal uncle and that his real name was Mohan Makhijani.
    I was glad to see Amitabh Bachan remember him on his blog.

    • :) Yes…it’s amazing how all these people are related to each other! I realized that he had died when traffic to my blog jumped and most of it was related to my post on Cha Cha Cha which had a screencap of him…that’s usually how I discover anyone in Hindi cinema has passed away.

  9. Hee hee. That’s what I did throughout the entire movie. *This* is what I call a “feel good” movie.

    :-D

    • It is really so BAD. But very enthusiastic! :) Were there actual plot logistics involved, or did I really not miss anything?

      • I’ve watched a LOT of exploitation movies in my time (especially European – loads of fembots, femkillers, femanythings in those) and what I learned very early on was that logic and cohesion usually went out the window after about 5 minutes. “What the hell is going on here?” “No idea, it’s an Italian movie.” “Ah, that’s alright then”. I’m guessing Goldeneye follows this tradition of film making, and thus I may want to see it :)

        • It completely follows that tradition :) It’s also exactly why I belong to torrent sites despite my almost complete lack of technical ability. They provide treasures that nobody else seems to be interested in making available…

  10. Those radiation suits look like the same ones from Spy in Rome. Though this movie appears to make Spy in Rome look like an actual James Bond movie by comparison.

  11. Oh, and by the way, did Radio Shack get a set design credit? They should have.

    • I really need to see Spy In Rome. This one is a Bond movie’s tawdry crack-whore niece.

      Radio Shack is positively glam compared to the sets on this film (except the blinding Arabian Nights set).

  12. Oh my gosh. SO. AWFUL. Although one has to wonder if “Goldeneye” was inspired by this tragedy. ;-) (And seriously, what is UP with Rajan Haksar’s makeup? He looks like a half-melted plastic doll.)

    • The melted plastic doll is Thapa, and he always looks like that. Very shiny skin pulled tight over amazing Nepali cheekbones :D

      Ian Fleming and Cubby Broccoli I feel sure would have sued had they known about this. (Is that even a sentence?)

      • Ha! Now I feel like a total idiot–and jerk to boot! The print quality’s so bad I literally thought it was a mask.

        • No, no—I think it’s a very apt description :D But yes, the quality of the print is abysmal, although the colors are like Skittle vomit (not that I actually know for sure what that looks like)…

  13. The song/dances you linked to are amazing so I must give this film a rating of Fantabulous, even though I have never seen the film!

    • Well those are the BEST songs, and they are by far the best thing about it…but they are enough to make it totally paisa vasool, especially when I got the film for FREE.

  14. From the descriptions, I thought that it was a Mithun Da movie that was being discussed. It turns out that the hero was someone else. He was one decade before Mithun da, otherwise I am tempted to call him poor man’s Mithun Da. Does he do any “Densing” in this movie ?

    Your review is just hilarious. As Raja has stated, you should be in marketing. In fact, you have already given great publicity to many forgotten movies and actors already. Too bad that the Bollywood world has not realised and appreciated your contribution in popularising movies like Secret Agent 077. By the way, does our Secret Agent 007 move about in a car marked “Secret Agent 007″ in bold letters ! As you can see, I am feeling “nostalgic” about Mithun Da after reading this review.

    • I presume that you are thinking of Gunmaster G9’s advertising vehicle…no James/Rakesh did not indulge in such tacky gimmicks :) although he (Mr. Rakesh, Agent 077) is no better at “densing” than GG-9.

  15. Talking about MacMohan, here is a link to a heart warming song. I never liked Macmohan till I saw this song: Yeh jhuki jhuki jhuki nighaen teri Music by Usha Khanna in Aao Pyar Karein http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x35yho_yeh-jhuki-nigahen-teri_music

    • Oh that is TOTALLY fabulous—he is so so cute! He’s very cute in Cha Cha Cha too, looks like he’s having such a good time with all the dancing going on :)

  16. Wow! what an film !! just loved it !!! All my favorites are together in a film. Helen, Madhumati, Rani, Jeevan Kala and of course Mumtaz are all together in a film with songs and dances given to all. No disappointment with songs or dances. The music by Baldev Nath is just awesome. But i guess all of them was a group dance (except that Helen song ‘Gulshan Pe Ghata’) isn’t it? Madhumati didn’t have an solo dance. Well nevertheless, it was awesome with lots of fun.

    • Mumtaz sort of had solos (I guess technically duets, but poor Rakesh was such an invisible type of person that she might as well have been on her own) :P

  17. This looks, sounds, and probably is simply wonderful. I have to say it’s maddening how you get to see these films. I thought to myself when reading this review – I bet this isn’t on DVD. And lo – it isn’t…

    • I wouldn’t call it wonderful, I would call it wonderful IN PLACES but not very good overall. I’ve just made the effort to educate myself on where to find things like this online, anyone can do it ;)

  18. I do not have words to express how badly I want to see this. I think of all of us in the comments should start a tree to mail a copy around :)

  19. “Most of his tiny budget went into helicopters and probably Helen, with nothing left over for an actual script or any production values.” See, here is a person with an instinctive grasp of what good movies are made of!

    I really need this soundtrack, don’t I?

  20. this looks like the bomb! i was shocked by your love of kites, with that awful fake-hollywood new bollywood vibe. but now there is THIS, pure love, perfect little pastry of ye olde skool. no plastic, just pure soul.

    • Well, I would not choose to watch Kites over many of the older films I love for sure, but given what it was, I thought it very nicely done :) Better than most of the fake-Hollywood movies that modern Bollywood is making in droves now!

      There is LOTS of plastic in this, but I know what you mean ;)

  21. Good Heavens memsaab – where on earth did you ever find a copy of this? I’ve been looking literally for years now.
    Brilliant overview and blog!
    Wouldn’t this make an excellent candidate for an upcoming personalized DVD treatment ala Wahan Ke Log?

    • Someone converted a vhs tape to digital and uploaded it on a torrent site :) It’s the best way to get Indian movies, IMHO…I am not sure that subtitles would much improve it to be honest, although certainly I never MIND seeing things like this subtitled!!! Raja’s translations too are probably too superior in quality to match the visuals :) Above all—were Tom to be subjected to this abysmal video quality I fear his head might explode, and that would be Bad. Because we need him.

  22. No love for Golden Eyes, eh memsaab? :)
    Any chance you might email/pm me with that information? (believe me I’ve searched) I assume you would rather not post it and didn’t see any way to contact you directly. Cheers – John

  23. I was going through this article the other day when i came across the name, Sailesh Kumar, which the article itself challenged nobody would know of. I immediately googled it and came up with ‘Golden Eyes’ as one of his films which i re-googled and lo! What do we find here..well who else than memsaab! Should have anticipated that result with your ‘unique’ taste of Hindi films. I need to watch this one now!

    ‘appears to be picking lint off him’! lmao

  24. Ah..forgot to mention that memsaab was the first google result there..ahead of imdb :)

  25. Looks like even the name 077 was copied! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Agent_077
    Did I see Edwina in one of the songs: Ye Ankhe teri hain’ or am I mistaken?!

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