Naughty Boy (1962)

Kishore Kumar is one of those actors (Mehmood being another) who either makes me laugh out loud or completely irritates me. The script, direction and supporting characters make the difference usually, and I think that’s the case (and by “case” I mean problem) here too. Even though Shakti Samanta directed, after about the first hour I was fast-forwarding through more than I watched—not only is the frantic slapstick not funny, but the Curse of the Second Half derails what little entertainment there is. The story manages an interesting turn in the middle but then resolves itself in the stupidest manner possible. Plus the supporting cast are grating—even Madan Puri as a buffoonish bad guy just isn’t funny. In fact Edwina, who watched some of it with me and appears in two songs, asked me how on earth I can sit through such stuff.

She seems quite amazed at my tolerance for total crap, but I’m sure it comes as no surprise to any of you who come here regularly.

There are a few redeeming factors: SD Burman’s songs are charming and beautifully choreographed by Surya Kumar, and Kishore’s love of singing shows in his sparkling renditions (although Manna Dey sings for him once!). I think his son’s stamp is all over the music as well although he isn’t credited. Heroine Kalpana looks very pretty, although she doesn’t have much to do besides put up with Kishore and his buddies and their juvenile antics. I also loved the animated credits (courtesy someone named Albert Zacharias), although when the credits are one of the best things about a film that’s not a good sign.

Kishore plays Pritam, an office worker having trouble finding a place to live in the big city of Bombay. He runs into an old friend one evening by the name of Jagdish (Sunder), who invites Pritam to come and live with him. Jagdish lives in a colony owned by Munnidevi (Praveen Paul), a woman disappointed in love, who thus forbids all the denizens of her chawl to engage in any romantic shenanigans (including marriage).

Jagdish has two other roommates, Bhimsen (Kundan), who is a boxer; and lovelorn poet Viyogi (Krishnakant), who has the most annoying falsetto voice ever ever ever. I don’t know what anyone was thinking letting that go by. Dr. Jadibuti (Om Prakash) is the eyes and ears of the colony and he has a soft spot for Munnidevi although it goes nowhere. I am sad to say that I will never see Om Prakash in quite the same way due to Edwina telling me what a lecherous grabby guy he was—not exactly the benign tipsy grandfather of his usual onscreen persona *sigh*.

In any case, Pritam soon meets a pretty girl by the name of Neena (Kalpana) (everybody says “Neena” although it’s subtitled “Meena” throughout) on a rainy day when their umbrellas blow away and collide.

He is instantly smitten, but of course she…not so much (the obligatory sharp “Shut up!” which always makes me laugh). Neither of them notice that they’ve inadvertently exchanged umbrellas by the time they manage to disentangle them. Pritam had borrowed Viyogi’s, which was given to him by his long-lost sweetheart, so he has the perfect excuse to seek Neena out again to retrieve Viyogi’s precious chhatri. He tracks her down with help from the local street vendors and for some reason disguises himself as an umbrella repair man instead of simply going to her house and asking for the umbrella back.

It’s apparently just to amuse us, because she soon figures out who he is (his false mouche falls off) and it doesn’t further the story any, but never mind. There are many little diversions like this, which rather than entertaining just drag the film’s pace down. She tells him that she has left Viyogi’s umbrella at a friend’s house, but that she’ll have it by the evening. She is also clearly amused by him although he doesn’t seem to realize that she likes him.

Neena lives with her Mamaji (Kanu Roy) who has a friend named Mr. Mathur (Madan Puri in a Hitler mustache), just arrived home from travels abroad. Mathur is obviously interested in Neena as well, and invites them to visit him at his newly purchased hotel.

Pritam now fakes a heart attack in his office in order to meet Neena that evening as planned. He also sings a lovely little ditty “Nazaren Milaake Jo Duniya Ki Nazaron” which takes him along the street past the vendors and into a little club where Edwina is dancing! The two of us shriek in unison: “That’s you!” “That’s me!” and I say smugly, “I told you so.” Since she was a favorite of choreographer Surya Kumar and it’s a 1962 film, I figured she would show up at some point.

But poor Pritam: when he shows up at Neena’s house to get the umbrella, the maid gives it to him and informs him that Neena has gone to Poona. Her sister Beena (Laxmi Chhaya in a blink-and-you-miss-her appearance) is getting married. Neena’s uncle is a teacher of classical music, and Pritam decides to ingratiate himself with Mamaji by becoming his student. There is a lot of raucous Carnatic-style noise for comic effect which quickly gets on my last good nerve, but Neena is pleased to see Pritam there when she returns home.

This leads to a lovely duet “Sa Sa Sa Sa Re”—oh the songs are such GOOD FUN.

It’s now obvious that Neena likes Pritam as much as he likes her, but he stumbles along cluelessly for a while making excuses to see her (which she generally doesn’t understand). We get more fun songs to help things along, like this one when he hopes to meet her at the movies and gives her a single ticket but she sends her uncle instead, not wanting to go alone. Communication is not Pritam’s strong suit!

Possibly it isn’t Neena’s either.

After a LOT of hemming and hawing and tiresome completely unnecessary machinations on Pritam’s part, they finally admit their love for one another. Then Neena receives a telegram from her father (Shivraj) asking her to come back to Poona, and on the way there her train derails and crashes into a gorge. Neena’s name appears on the list of those killed and we are treated to Kishore Nahiin Face.

Pritam grieves for all of about ten minutes and Edwina and I both remark on how quickly he bounces back from despair. His colleagues from the office arrive to take him out for a picnic and he goes after some token protests. At this point Edwina tells me that the girls in his office are played by Saroj Khan (2nd from right front in both screen caps) who we all know found fame later as a choreographer (her mentor was choreographer Sohanlal); her close friend Teresa (far right in both screen caps) who later married Memsaab favorite Oscar (they are still married); and a dancer named Tina Misquitta (far left in first screen cap, second girl from left in the second) whose daughter Kimi Katkar later became a model and actress in the 1980s.

Of course a picnic would not be a picnic without a rollicking song, and what a treat this one is too (Teresa is featured front and center in the striped skirt). I love the Brazilian flavor of it!

While Pritam is thus frolicking with his office pals, Dr. Jadubati gets a surprise when Neena shows up looking for Pritam. She asks him whether Pritam is doing all right after the news of her “death” and doesn’t *quite* get the answer she’s hoping for.

Furious and heartbroken, she decides to teach him a lesson and instructs Dr. Jadibuti not to tell Pritam that she is alive. She poses incredibly unconvincingly as an entertainer from Finland named Edna (!) hired to work at Mathur’s Hotel Vienna, and Mathur is encouraged to believe that she might marry him. At this point my flagging interest is revived somewhat in the hopes that there might be an interesting twist behind Pritam’s lightning-fast rebound.

Will this tangle be sorted out? Will Pritam fall for Edna (well, yes, in about five minutes flat)? Did he really love Neena, and if so why didn’t his sorrow last more than four days? Will Neena forgive him and tell him the truth or will she marry Mathur?

In all, there are some intermittent funny scenes and dialogues, but essentially you have to sit through a lot of idiocy for what turns out to be no real good reason (I think the film’s message can be summed up in the phrase “time heals all wounds and quickly too when your film is going over budget”). Kishore is hit-and-miss, sometimes endearingly goofy and sometimes a little too much—he does shine especially in the musical moments, of which there are plenty. I didn’t hate this movie by any means but I’ll probably not sit through it again, although I will definitely keep the songs on my playlist. If you do want to check it out, it’s available with subtitles on Youtube—but only on an unsubtitled VCD otherwise. Eyeroll.

This one is my favorite: Kalpana is just stunning, and naturally Edwina is there too with sister Marie and friends.

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51 Comments to “Naughty Boy (1962)”

  1. I find it hard to sit through such movies too. It is obvious the audiences in those days could put up with a lot. I picked the song which had Edwina in it to watch, the last one. It has her trademark hairdo.. so delightful. Kalpana looks really stunning in this dance.

    • I added the first one last night after Tom put it up for me (thanks Tom!) :) She is lovely in both of them. And yes, Kalpana was quite beautiful in that last one. Pretending to be Finnish really worked out well for her!

  2. Such a shame that you didn’t enjoy it – Kishore looks so cute and those wonderful songs make it seem so tempting, it is no fair to be disappointed. Alas, it was a treat to watch the songs with you and Edwina!

    • It was fun in places, especially the musical places, but overall just such a dumb story with badly contrived excuses for OTT slapstick. Kishore can be so much fun, but he needs to be managed well (like Mehmood) and he just wasn’t here.

      And we were happy to see you too!

  3. I think Kishor Kumar (and Mehmood) can be quite grating too, if allowed to go overboard by a bad script, and a soft director. But I love animated credits, the hand-drawn ones, they always announced that a film was going to be ‘fun’. Even if it wasn’t, we didn’t always know it as kids.

    I haven’t seen ‘Naughty Boy’, but I think I wouldn’t mind seeing it once, even of FF.

    • These credits were awesome, really cute and funny and introducing the next set of names perfectly. They really do announce a film as fun, don’t they? As I said, I didn’t hate the film, it made me laugh in places and the songs are perfectly delightful—with a FF button you might get some fun out of it :)

  4. memsaab, if it grated on your nerves (your last good one? That’s a good one (pun unintended)!), then I’m definitely giving it a miss. I’ll listen to the songs on raaga or dishant or something. I remember Madhu mentioning something about Kalpana + Naughty Boy, and I don’t think it was complimentary. Thanks for taking one for the team!

  5. I watched this a couple of years ago, and hated it so much I couldn’t even bring myself to review it. It was just not worth the effort. But yes, did you notice – it was released in the same year as Professor, and in both Kalpana played a girl named Neena who falls in love with a man named Pritam?

    • I didn’t think about the Neena-Pritam thing at all, mostly because once a film is done I always forget what the character names were. I can’t remember everything! I didn’t hate this, I enjoyed parts of it, but overall it’s not really worth sitting all the way through.

  6. I remember watching this not so long ago and there are a few things that I remember very well from the movie.

    First, the songs. They are just so delightful. Typical SD Burman light numbers.

    Second, how brief the mourning period for Kishore is and how quickly he gets back to enjoying life with his friends, as if nothing had happened at all. That was just SO unreal.

    Overall, I did not really mind the movie very much. But that’s because I did not have any expectations. I have seen so many Kishore movies of this type by now that I’ve almost come to expect nothing in terms of a storyline. *sigh* Unfortunately, many of his movies had a weak script – but that’s not his fault. In fact, they were almost always salvaged (if at all) only by songs and Kishore’s slapstick comedy. Yes, a lot of the comedy is OTT but then a lot of Bob Hope’s was too – and he was insanely popular in Hollywood in his time, wasn’t he? Granted that Hope’s jokes were funnier but that’s more a script-writer’s problem,

    Third, (especially now that you’ve reminded me of it), the extremely irritating falsetto voice of Krishakant. What was the point of that? If it was meant to be funny, it clearly wasn’t. I remember almost wanting to punch him everytime I heard him speak – and I am not a violent person by nature. :-)

    Fourth, I remember being thrilled at seeing Edwina in the songs. It must feel really good to be able to see a movie, featuring her, in her company. Am sure she must be feeding you with a lot of stories as you watch the movie together. :-)

    Thanks a lot, Greta, for this review. And oh, that piece of inside info about Om Prakash is going to make me see him in a different light also from now on, I think.

    • The way Kishore was sad for all of ten minutes was so dumb, and to then make the entire second half revolve around something that stupid without any kind of surprise was tiresome.

      Bob Hope also gets on my last good nerve :) But I love the Three Stooges. Go figure.

  7. Thanks for the incredibly fun review! I showed my mom the pictures and we both gushed over how-old-is-Saroj Khan-anyways-she’s-still-so-active, and how-Kimi-looks-so-much-like-her-mom, and other general awesomeness. I love your reviews, but honestly, I love the small tidbits of random Bollywood info even more.

    Why is this movie titled “Naughty Boy” anyways? Makes me crack up just thinking of the ‘naughty’ things Kishore must be getting upto :)

    • Saroj was such a cutie pie, wasn’t she? All of those girls were very pretty. I’ve had a lot of fun getting random tidbits of info from Edwina, and she’s very kind to let me share some of them—including the not-so-flattering—with you :)

  8. The movie may be intolerable, but the nuggets of information that you collected while watching this movie with Edwina are priceless. Littleknown facts about Kimi Katkar’s mother, Oscar’s wife etc are invaluable information and it adds considerable to our knowledge about unsung artists of the past.

    • I would have loved to watch more films with her, but she finds them hard to sit through. She mostly just enjoys the songs…I guess a lot of people are like that, wink wink :D

  9. So sad (horribly sad!!) to hear this about Om Prakash!!! I couldn’t read beyond that line….He was my absolute favorite….always saw him as a fun loving grand-dad…*sigh*

    • Well pretend you didn’t read it :D I think I can still enjoy his performances as a loony old man, just be happy you were never a pretty young thing who had to deal with him on a set! I am sure he’s not alone in that characteristic, not by a long shot.

  10. Om Prakash lecherous and grabby? Another of my delusions crushed! Even Edwina couldn’t sit through this and you did? You deserve two medals – one for sitting through the movie and another for writing about it in such a funny way, even if it didn’t deserve such kind handling!

    • Well Edwina doesn’t sit through many of them apparently. She can’t sit still that long, I think! And I’m glad you like the review and I’m sorry about OP too :(

  11. A couple of years ago, I was curious to know more about Kalpana. I googled and didnt find the information I was looking for. A few weeks ago, the Times of India published an article stating that she was leading a lonely life in Pune. I felt sorry that the people who entertained us many years ago, are now leading such a lonely life at the fag end of their lives. Anyway, thank you for the info about Saroj Khan and Kimi’s mom. Kaviraj

  12. Kishore Kumar was so down-market in 1962 both as an actor and a singer. Even his regular Dev Anand used Rafi’s voice for his songs. I don’t know of any movie in which he acted or sung in 1963. His “Ganga Ki Lehren” (1964) was a one off though it can’t be termed as a comeback.

    Possibly “Guide” (1965) was the beginning of Kishore’s comeback which was followed by “Jewel Theif” (1967), “Padosan” (1968) and “Aradhana” (1969).

    Queer he turned down an offer to sing “Kasme Vaade Pyar Wafa Sab…” for Upkaar (1967) since he wanted to sing only for heroes…..

  13. I can usually only take Kishore the actor in small, well-administered doses but I quite liked “Naughty Boy.” I guess the songs and the intermittent moments of hilarity were enough to entertain me. Plus it’s the only movie where I found Kalpana of the melting face both tolerable and pretty.:-)

    I have to disagree with the notion that Kishore Kumar was “down-market” in 1962. It was the opposite actually. He was so busy in the late 50-early 60s period with his own productions (Jhumroo came out in 1961) and outside assignments that he didn’t have time to sing songs for himself much less playback for other actors.

    • Kalpana of the melting face did look quite nice :) And Kishore/Pritam didn’t bother me nearly as much as all the other supporting characters…I don’t regret watching it, but I can think of lots of other movies I’d watch again before this one :)

  14. @Memsaab -Though I’d heard of this film, I had not gotten around to actually seeing it. Maybe the name made me unsure of what to expect. After reading your review I don’t have to worry about it as you have watched it for all of us :) Thanks for the review and for sharing several nuggets about various people.
    It is true that Kishore acted in fewer movies in the early sixties but that could be because he was busy making his own (Jhumroo, Door Gagan ..). There were also many stories about his eccentric behavior with producers who owed him money or did not pay him upfront, which made many filmmakers hesitate to approach him. His then wife’s illness too must have left him with lesser time to devote to acting.

  15. I was waiting for someone to announce they enjoyed the film so that I could agree with them.
    Like Shalini I was entertained enough.
    Kishore Kumar’s main drawback is that he doesn’t look attractive enough (I know that’s very superficial of me ;-) ) so his tomfoolery can be annoying, but here he was quite tolerable.
    Kalpana, I don’t mind. The songs were great.

  16. Om Prakash grabby ! Now I need not have guilt pangs over my irritation at his whining moralistic dialogues. No wonder the role in Dus Lakh suited him to a T.

    Possible future post: Do let us know what’s Edwina Mam’s favourite dance numbers in Hindi films (even if she did not appear therein but would feel like shaking a leg when it plays). Please give her my regards.

    • Ha ha ha!!! He can be whiny, now that you mention it. Ah well. Apparently his brother Pachhi was just as bad too.

      Alas! Edwina has gone home, leaving me and my dogs all on our own. I’m going to have to do my own dishes again now and find my dinner as and when I can :( I made her a set of CDs of her dances (the songs) so that she can start dancing again every day—she still is so graceful. She also asked me to give everybody here her love and regards, and hopefully she will keep showing up now and again to give us the benefit of her wit and wisdom!

  17. i think tina misquitta was married to v shantaram’s son.

  18. Heyy Memsaab, Give the fact that you have Vintage magazines, would you be kind enough to put some scans of Amitabh bachchan articles and his film reviews ?? In case if you don’t wanna put on blog, can you please share me at my email address .. mastidea@gmail.com ??

    • Thanku very much in advance and god bless you.

      • Actually most of my vintage magazines are either before his time, or after the time he began his reciprocated boycott of the film journalism industry—there is nothing about him except vague references to Jaya’s “angry middle-aged husband” or Rekha’s “angry middle-aged hero boyfriend”. He is never mentioned by name. Ever.

        • Thanks Very Much for reply Memsaab. I would be glad if anytime you find anything substantial to share with me. This is wonderful to see your fascination towards bollywood, specially such lost gems of past. Though i rarely comment, but i visit at your site regularly. Thanks for entertaining us.

  19. Thanks for saying that Jeevan :) I will be putting up more articles soon!

  20. Please can you find me a video of a old movie 1963 – Ramu Dada ; I watched back home in our cinema in Mombasa, Kenya

    Many Thanks

    • You can order Ramu Dada from induna, I just got it a couple of weeks back.

      • Memsaab I want Ramudada badly. where is it available in Mumbai. which company has released the DVD.
        By the way Naughty Boy was about OK. Not that bad if you understood the dialogue. But Krishnakant and Omprakash are the worst actors in this movie. They have killed and thats a big crime. who made them actors I dont know. The Boxer [Kundan[ acted well though.
        Anyway how are you Memsahab. Not heard from you in a long time. Unfortunately I could not meet Shammi Kapoor despite him calling me over becoz of the distance between our residences. He stayed in town while I am in the suburbs. If you have his autograph to spare please give it to me. it will ease the pain somewhat of not meeting him.
        Take care and God Bless from your old filmi friend,
        Suneel V Gaur

  21. Om Prakash being a “lecherous grabby guy” in real as opposed to his benign, grandfatherly, uncle-ish image that I have of him, was the hardest thing to swallow for me. He is among my favorite character-actors and to have that image contradicted is a disappointment indeed.

    Seems like people are quite the opposite in real life of what they portray in reel. A big, big SIGH! :-(

  22. Krishnakant and om Prakash killed acting.lol.

  23. Naughty Boy is probably on top of the list of unlikeliest vintage Bollywood film titles, for me at least…based on your review, I find the plot slightly quirky too, but it’s a typical Bollywood comedy nonetheless…by the way memsaab, have you come across any Bollywood film from 1960 entitled Superman? I heard about it years ago and according to IMDb, it features Nirupa Roy as one of the cast…I’m not sure if that movie is still available, but since you specialise in obscure movies, I believe this might perk your interest… =D

    • I have heard of Superman but I’ve never seen it available anywhere sadly. We live in hope though!

      • Yeah me too…I’m also impressed that you have a collection of silent films too…so I’m wondering…have you come across the very first cinematic adaptation of Saratchandra Chatterjee’s novel Devdas? It was filmed and screened in 1928, and apparently the role of Chandramukhi required two actresses to essay!

  24. Memsaab Naughty boy was a entertainer. Could you please tell me who is the dialogue writer of the salim Khan starrer Ramu Dada. This was the first and last film of his as a hero. Would be grateful for your help. You are an encyclopedia of Hindi films so you were the best person to ask.
    Thanks again,
    Suneel

    • According to the movie credits from the VCD, the dialog for 1961′s Ramu Dada was written by someone named Vrajendra Gaur.

  25. Thanks Tom. By the way Vrajendra Gaur was someone who merited a blog by Memsaab. Kindly see it Tom and you will know all about Mr Vrajendra Gaur’s great achievements in the Hindi Film industry.
    Thanking you,
    Raja

  26. memsaab why dont you give us a write up on character actor Kundan who played Kishore Kumar’s friend in Naughty Boy. He also acted in Kati patang [the notorious taxi driver], Shankar Shambu, Khoon Aur Pani, Do yaar, resham ki Dori, Jaali Note, etc.etc.

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