Tarzan Aur Jadui Chirag (1966)

Unique Pictures present a very UNIQUE PICTURE indeed. How I love the Indian penchant for stirring a hodgepodge of fantasy stories into one big pot. In addition to Tarzan and his magic lamp (and its Genie resident, with no Aladdin in sight), there are:

  • A Cyclops King Kong
  • Ooga-booga tribals
  • Stolen footage from another Tarzan film featuring a lion fight
  • A “Chinese” magician named Bing Pong
  • Bing Pong’s own genie
  • A man in an ape suit gorilla
  • Tun Tun
  • A python-eagle fight
  • A hilarious moose costume
  • A chicken-headed idol

It lacks subtitles, and any semblance of a coherent plot (for me at least) is lost, along with about an hour of obviously missing footage. Plus the sound is pretty indistinct in places, not that it matters one bit. Anyway, it seems like the perfect vehicle for a screenshot-heavy post (in other words, I don’t have much to say but plenty to show you). Let’s go!

The Diwan of a kingdom somewhere in thickly forested India orders the Queen’s midwife to take the newborn Rajkumar and kill him so that his son can take the little Prince’s place as heir. She puts him in a basket and sends him down the river where he is rescued by elephants.

The grieving Rani Maa (Mehar Banu) makes Diwanji’s son her heir, loses her mental balance, and leaves the palace to roam about in the forest screaming “Nahiiin!”

The infant Rajkumar grows up to be Tarzan (Azad). One day while swimming he finds a lamp floating in the river.

When he rubs it dry, surprise! His new Genie takes him cloud-surfing.

Meanwhile, the Diwan’s son has grown up as the Rajkumar Uday Singh (BM Vyas) and his daughter, the Rajkumari Anjali (Kammo). They have their own special magician named Bing Pong (Amrit Rana) who uses scare tactics and cackling laughter to do his magic. There are also a couple of really annoying CSP characters (Sheikh and Shakeela Bano Bhopali, whose qawwali, if she had one, is gone).

They form a hunting party, and Tarzan scrambles his elephants together to stop them. But even he is surprised when this thing shows up. I adore its spiked Prussian Pickelhaube helmet circa World War I—a perfectly balanced accessory for a guy with a single huge eye (and monobrow) in the center of his face. And pointy ears.

Tarzan saves the local village chief’s daughter Mala (Sunita) after she falls (and faints femininely) in the monster’s path.

Tarzan is smitten if unable to speak (“Mala! Tarzan! Mala! Tarzan!”), and they ride around on elephant back for a while giggling as the chief frets about her safety. Bing Pong conjures up his own toothless hag of a genie to find out if Mala is okay. She tells them that Mala is with Tarzan and that furthermore Tarzan is the rightful heir!

Oh noes!

This is bad news for Rajkumar (not) Uday Singh, and Mala’s reciprocal feelings for junglee Tarzan don’t meet with her father’s approval either. Uday calls in reinforcements in the form of hunter Rai Sahab (Dalpat) and his companion Professor Albert (?), along with Ismail as another CSP character that we really didn’t need. They persuade the Chief that Tarzan must be killed and after a thwarted attempt or two, Uday and Rai Sahab manage to shoot Tarzan, who calls in his elephant khandaan.

Uday and company run away, and the elephants take Tarzan home to his tree house where Mala finds him bleeding from his moobs (even though when he was shot he clutched at his stomach). The Genie gives her a bottle of liquid to sprinkle on Tarzan’s wounds and stands by, gravely concerned.

I love this Genie. When he feels he’s being ignored, he jumps around (meaning the lamp jumps around) until someone lets him out. Plus his rescues are needlessly complicated. For example, earlier when Bing Pong had conjured up a giant snake to kill Tarzan, the Genie conjured up an eagle to kill it. Seriously, Genie, you couldn’t just zap it or something? And you couldn’t just wave Tarzan’s wounds away? Where is your mojo?!

Khair.

By now the ranks of the CSP have swelled (no pun intended) (maybe a little) with the addition of Tun Tun, who makes everything 500% better. For reasons unclear to me, she shoots at Ismail and Sheikh as they run around in a moose costume.

This actually makes me laugh and laugh, and I even rewind to watch it all again.

Meanwhile, Rajkumar Uday Singh and Rai Sahab continue to sow discord within the village against poor Tarzan while he and Mala try to romance each other between assassination attempts. There is also lots of footage missing, so I have no idea how things get fully resolved but never mind. It doesn’t matter.

It’s a festival of crazy.

Very UNIQUE PICTURE indeed.

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42 Comments to “Tarzan Aur Jadui Chirag (1966)”

  1. What an eye feast!
    Who needs a story and a plotline with so much goodies to go around!
    Stil laughing!

  2. Ha ha. I think this is one movie I’ll pass, if you don’t mind. Although the genies and that one-eyed monster do their best to make it a tempting proposition to watch at least them.

    Never heard of Azad as an actor. Somehow, I’m so used to seeing Dara Singh as the strong man in such movies that it’s difficult to imagine anybody else in these roles.

    And it does look like BM Vyas made a career out of being the evil diwan or diwan’s son in such movies. For that matter, does anybody have a count of the number of movies (mostly B- and C-movies) that were made with this storyline of an evil diwan trying to kill the legitimate child-heir to the throne?

    Pity the movie’s in black and white. Seeing some of these screenshots in color would’ve been awesome. I’m particularly taken in by that one-eyed monster. That one big eye in the center of the face, that monobrow, that helmet, those pointed ears – I think this image is going to stay in my head for a long time. :-)

    Thanks for this review, memsaab. I think this one fits your blog’s tagline to the T. “I see obscure movies so you don’t have to”. Indeed you do! :-)

    • Azad was Zimbo in all the Zimbo movies. He was also in Rustom Sohrab. He had about five words of dialogue in this besides Mala! Tarzan! I adore BM Vyas, he is a king of B-movie villainy for sure. Great face and presence for it. Color would indeed have been a big bonus, but you can’t have everything! Wish all the songs hadn’t apparently been cut out (unless there were only one or two to begin with, which I doubt).

  3. Golly, I am almost certain that I have watched this movie, but I must have slept through it ’cause I remember none of it’s awesomeness! LOL! I guess I am gonna have to see it again! Thanks Memsaab!

    • Well if you were hoping for a coherent story you may have fallen asleep in disappointment, but if you go back to it with the intent to be entertained only then it might work for you :)

  4. Who played the role of ‘aur’ in this movie? :-)

    I remember Sanjeev Kumar joking about his role in Seeta ‘Aur’ Geeta (1972)

  5. UNIQUE indeed! I love the genie on his stomach, cloud-surfing. And elephants, what’s not to like about them, specially if they are Tarzan’s friends. Must watch it.

    • The genie was basically dog-paddling through the clouds, with Tarzan balanced on his back like a surfer. I think there was quite a lot of purloined footage in this, but it was fun :)

  6. Haha! gorgeous review! Am surprised it was made in 1966 though, it looks like something from the 40’s or 50’s.

  7. As a kid I enjoyed such movies. Such a riot of action. Old English B/W films of the kind were also pretty popular. I still remember ‘Shazam’ (of course it wasn’t THIS crazy). I wouldn’t mind seeing such movies even now but I give them a miss precisely because of the reasons mentioned by you above – I know there will massive amounts of footage cut, bad prints and scratchy sound (this is the most irritating thing for me – I can sigh over missing footage and scratchy pictures and still wade on – but bad sound brings my viewing to a halt). I liked the one eyed monster (and the absence of Dara :D).

  8. A-HA! A film after my heart or is it after my own heart or whatever the saying, but I think I have to qualify that- not my heart but my childhood heart. As a child I loved these jadui chirag kind of films. I remember seeing one on television long ago featuring a rather childish looking Meena Kumari- that one was Aladdin Aur Jaadui Chirag I loved it. I wonder whether I will enjoy such films now, maybe I will, after all I am young at heart.

    • Meena and Mahipal…I love those films too. I just like it so much when other random mythological/historical characters make their way into the plot!

  9. Memssab, thanks for that laugh. I’m glad I’d kept my coffee cup safely down on the table beside me, or I would have been shy one keyboard. :)

    I love, love, love ‘Tarzan aur Jadooi Chirag’ alies …’ And the screencaps were beyond awesome. Like Shilpi, this film appeals to my childhood heart. But like Raja, I’m very glad you sacrifice yourself so we do not have sit through these films. (And yes, if that sounds contradictory, so be it!)

    Someday, you and I should watch a film together. I have a feeling it will be an education of sorts. :)

  10. memsaab,
    In 1966,there were 3 Tarzan movies released.
    Tarzan and Hercules(Murad-Mr.Bombay of 1965 and Hercules acted in it)
    Tarzan ki Mehbooba(Azad and Tabassum paired in it) and
    Tarzan and the Jadui chirag.
    I am not a bit ashamed to say that I saw all the 3 films, when they came and enjoyed all of them,having kept my wisdom and brains in the home,before entering the theatre.
    I must be having the synopsis of these films.let me see and come back to you shortly.
    Out of these 3, Tarzan ki Mehbooba was most tolerable,thanks to Tabassum.
    -AD

    • I was going to say—I’d love to see the Azad and Tabassum one!

      • Memsaab ji,
        TARZAN KI MEHBOOBA-1966 was an entertaining film from D.R.Films banner.The director was Ram Raseela(who also acted a minor role in the film),who had 2 earlier films,Capt.Azad-64 and Madamme Zapatta-62 as a Director.
        The music was by suresh kumar,who had given music to 12 films from 1953 to 1985.The songs of this film were very funnily worded with matching dances in it.(for example- Iba uba bana ara kuda,and Aise zadu se na maro)
        There were 3 Cinematographers,2 choreographers and 3 stunt directors-as if it was a Cecil B.Demil film !
        In a certain unnamed jungle,there is a Tribe Akra.The chief is Timoki.His daughter is very good looking and a darling of the tribe.She is Nimomi(Tabassum).Once she is saved from a Lion,by Tarzan(Azad).The lion and many of the jungle animals are very friendly with Tarzan.Nimoni is so impressed with him that she promptly falls in his love and also sings a song or two to this Dumbo.
        Here,the Witch Doctor of Akra Tribe,Limo is a croocked fellow who wants Nimoni as his wife.By some wicked planning,he murders Timoki and becomes the Tribe’s chief.Now he wants to marry Nimoni.She is kept in custody,but manages to send a message to Tarzan to come and save her.
        What next ? Ofcourse he is very much there to fight with many people,kill Limo and rescue his Mehbooba. Taaliyan-Taaliyan(Clap clap clap).
        I dont know really,what would have happened to Poor Edgar Rice Burrows if he had seen what THIS Tarzan did in the film !
        -Arunkumar Deshmukh
        No.3 syn.

  11. This looks awesome. But I have couple of (unrelated) questions : 1.How many Tarzan films did Dara Singh do? I know Tarzan in Delhi , Tarzan and King Kong. Anything else?
    2. There is supposed to be a film called ‘MR.X’ released before/after ‘Mr .X in Bombay’ and apparently a Prequel/sequel. Does anyone know about it? There was also a ‘sequel’ ‘aadhi raat ke baad’ too. I want to know whether these films are really related ? which of that info. about sequel /prequel is true?
    I know these films starred Ashok or Kishore Kumar.

    • Dara did quite a few “Tarzan-like” films, although those are the only two with Tarzan in the title I think.

    • Chris ji,
      from 1938 to 1985,there were a total of 19 movies having the word TARZAN in it.Out of this in only 2 as mentioned by you,Dara Singh had featured.
      Secondly,there were 3 films by the name of MR.X-in 1938,1957 and 1984(unreleased).
      MR. X-38 had Jayant(Amjad khan’s father) and singer actress Rattan Bai in it.
      MR.X-57 had Ashok kumar and Nalini Jayawant in it.
      MR.X IN BOMBAY-64 had Kishore Kumar and Kum kum (both known as KK).
      There was no connection whatsoever in any of these films.Mr. X in Bombay was NOT a sequel to Mr.X-57.
      ‘Aadhi Raat ke Baad’-1965 had no connection with any of these films.It was a different film altogether.
      -Arunkumar Deshmukh

  12. I also came across a Hollywood Tarzan film both shot and set in India at the time couple of years. That also seemed to star Feroze Khan I recall.

  13. I can never get enough of see-through flying genies! Also, that cyclops/ape looks mighty familiar. To the archives!

    • I thought several (in fact just about all) of the cyclops king kong looked spliced in. There is a LOT of stolen footage in here, methinks. Let me know if you find CKK!

  14. Sanjeev Kumar also joked about his “aur” performance in “Chanda aur Bijli”.!

  15. Tarzan aur Jadui Chirag is like Alien vs Predator : you can’t help cringing at bit at the mish mash of various mythologies, but you can’t not see how it goes either : ) Though from the caps, it is evident that this is the equivalent of Alien vs Predator on Friday the 13th at Elm Street. Excellent review, nowshould watch the movie.

    The only Tarzan I would advise to give a wide berth to is Tarzan the Wonder Car of the 2000s, though it had a pretty freshfaced Ayesha Takia.

  16. Hello Greta,
    Trust you to unearth these fantastically daft movies!! Hurray for your digging skills! I especially loved your descriptions of the monsters, and I have a question about that CSP swelling thing: I have tried my best to gather what they were and so went here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSP) but didn’t quite find what I was looking for. So here are my guesses: College Student Personnel? Colorado State Patrol? Compulsive Skin Picking? Civil Services of Pakistan? Please!!!

  17. CSP=Comic side plot, though Civil Services of Pakistan is a good one too. :)

  18. The last video clip on your blog page says “improve your brain” – is this movie supposed to do that? LoL. Once again a big thank you for watching such obscure movies and bringing them to our attention through your own style of review. You are my encyclopedia of little known hindi movies. A big A plus for your patience in watching B&W movies – i am sure i am always saying that

  19. OMG first off, Azad as Tarzan is just SPLENDID, though no one can beat Dara Singh when it comes to playing Tarzan…my sis stumbled upon me reading your post; she saw Azad and she was like blown away because of his good looks and superhot body, which I think is very rare back then since it was only as early as the eighties that “body beautiful” became a new part of the definition of Bollywood hero, but seriously, he does have a great body…just wondering Memsaab, what other movies did Azad star in? His name is pretty familiar but I don’t remember seeing him in other films. Was he also a wrestler like Dara Singh? He sure is built like one…would really love to get my hands on this film someday, thanks to your tempting review, Memsaab…especially LOVE the interwoven plot between a Rice-Burroughs novel spinoff and a Tale from 1001 Nights…GREAT JOB, MEMSAAB!

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