Double Cross (1973)

Regulars here know by now that I adore Vijay Anand. So I was very happy to find him circa 1972 in a film with a title that promised some intrigue and action, and a very young Rekha costarring. Well, the early 70s style did not disappoint, including a groovy RD Burman background score and songs. Rekha did not disappoint, either. But.

The story made no sense at all until the end, when it copped out completely. What a mess. I expect more from my Vijay (he didn’t direct, but he did write the screenplay and star). My notes on the film are mostly scribbles along these lines: Her belt! That vest! WTF??? OMG rekha so fat! Green walls! Huh? Those shoes!

In any case, I’ll focus on the good and skim quickly over the bad (i.e. the plot). Underemployed Ajay Arya (Vijay Anand) is dumped by his true love Sonia (Ranjita Thakur) when she marries an older man named Maganbhai (Madan Puri) for his money.

Heartbroken, he vows never to trust anyone again and is hired by a con man with the unlikely name of Uncle David (played by David—yes, sweet sweet David!) and his henchgirl Lily (Asha Sachdev). He becomes a thoroughly professional thief (although his training consists mostly of half-hearted workouts on what looks like secondhand gym equipment from the local Y) and is now called Jimmy.

He also begins to show up at Sonia’s house, where she is settled in with Maganbhai and his stepdaughter  Rekha (Rekha!). Rekha is being wooed by Pritam (Kuljeet?) but loathes him. Jimmy is smitten by her, and begins to follow her around too, taking photos of her incessantly. Plus, he pulls off more heists with Lily, who also appears to be his lover now. Between all this stealing and wooing, Jimmy manages to double-cross a gangster (Dev Kumar) who is now gunning for him. Can all turn out well? Who does he really love? Sonia? Rekha? Lily? etc. etc.

Okay, on to the good stuff.

You just can’t get suaver than this.

Manmohan! I’m always glad to see him. Especially when he’s cheating at cards.

Where have I see that before? Ah yes. At least we are spared the racism here.

It’s *just* possible, son, that your shirt pattern finally sent him over the edge. My eyes!

Of particular interest here (besides Lily and Jimmy’s “disguises”—they look like refugees from the 1890s) is this violently green hotel room. Just look at all the decorative details!

These updos are spectacular, and how convenient that we can see them from all angles!

And wigs don’t really get much worse than this:

I have heard that people with hair like Ajay’s are very sad.

This is just pure and simple eye candy:

If you want style AND substance, I recommend OP Ralhan’s Hulchul, reviewed here by Filmi Girl. It is truly fabulous in every way! If I can get the DVD to work in my Mac, I’ll do a writeup of it too, one of these days.

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21 Comments to “Double Cross (1973)”

  1. Oh, god! Vijay Anand’s hair looks like that terrible floppy banged style that’s making the rounds with all the teenaged males these days. (Just compare with Zach Efron!

    I might have to watch this for the outfits, which look stunning… especially that rainbow number.

  2. 7th screen capture: his shirt matches the settee!

    “I have heard that people with hair like Ajay’s are very sad” – yes, they’re called “emos”. Ha!

  3. Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho !!!

  4. Love the sets, and costumes. Worth some eye-hurt, what?

  5. Filmi Girl: Nooooo! Don’t tell me this hairstyle is coming back! All the guys had it when I was in high school. As if hip-hugger bell bottoms weren’t bad enough on their own.

    Anonymous: his shirt *almost* matched the furniture :-) and LOL re: emos

    Raagaa: glad you liked it

    Banno: the sets and costumes were the only worthy thing in this mess of a film, but what joy they did bring! I could have gone on and on forever screencap-wise (I know it seems like I did, anyway).

    How I would have loved to be friends with Vijay Anand!

  6. 12th picture: I’ve seen similar jewellery in Filmi Girl’s Bandhe Haath review.

  7. Yes, that “snowflake” or “flower” style was apparently v.v. popular in the early 70s. I’ve seen them a lot.

  8. Ajay’s hair also resembles Saif’s “Tom Cruise” look in Hum Tum:

    LOL! It really is a terrible hair-do.

    And I love those snowflake earrings. I wonder if they’re available on ebay… I could use a full earring/ring set!

  9. That screencap of them in bed is kinda racy, hai na? ;-) And I lurve everything about her outfit in the cap third up from the bottom–especially the polka-dot hair decor! She looks like an opera mint, or one of those pretzels dipped in white chocolate with the sprinkles. :-D

  10. Sonia’s hair was awesome throughout. Remember when a huge Hollywood studio had a clear-out auction of costumes and props from all their films? I wish Bollywood would do that. I would BE THERE with my last rupee.

  11. Looks like Mommy had a couple of extra metres of cloth left over from upholstering the sofa. And that girl is totally laughing at Rekha’s RenFaire hair in this. Meanie! RenFair people are people too!!

    I hadn’t even heard about this movie. Vijay Anand as a playboy conman? Now i really have seen it all! Thanks for the laughs!

  12. this is the coolest movie ever in terms of props, i bought it over here in London and i have bought a phone like the one above!

  13. Amrita—ooh RenFaire hair! I love it!

    Rum—those phones were really popular even in the US in the 1970s :-)

  14. Whose wig to admire, whose not to? Vijay Anand, Manmohan Panchamiya’s, Rekha’s ghonsla.
    Am laughing at the unintended camouflage effect and the related comments.
    Yeah, so he’s not double-crossing, but triple crossing, it appears.
    And now, I’m all confused – there was an actress called Ranjita Thakur (have noted her presence on another of your reviews) and also one called Minakshi Thakur? Related to that actor called Dinesh Thakur? (Rajnigandha, Anubhav, perhaps?)
    This is another movie with stepmother and daughter having the same love interest – Joshila and Hawas come to mind, I’m sure there are several others. Emotional pickles are our speciality too.

  15. Firstly Memsaab-ji, i love your site. Having seen over 10000 bolly films in the last 30 or so years ( most of them, believe it or not, were during “the university and college years”…a misspent youth), it tickles me no end, that youve made such a thoroughly enjoyable and comprehensive site with a reviewing style that is very similar to the one i wanted to employ years ago for a review section , but thankfullly youre much politer than i would have been.

    Now on to the more salient matter at hand; DOUBLE CROSS was a diabolical film, and an absolute cert in the “so bad its hilarious” category, in my humble opinion. the only real redeeming feature of this film, was some of the dialogue ( kuljeet and his annoying/endearing “rekhaaaaaaaa!”, “saari zindagi andhey ban key phirogey!” etc), crazy over-useage of “sfx” camerawork, and a scene where dev kumar for some reason walks down a stairway with his shirt unbuttoned ( he didnt even bother to suck his stomach in) and most of the songs. The backing score by was by R D BURMAN, which makes sense, but doesnt explain why early on when vijay anand’s pehla pyar gets married for money, there is a very annoying “high speed” shehnai parping away on some kind of repeated loop, whilst he looks angst ridden. I should still have the SUPER 7 33/1/3rd rpm ( “electronically reprocessed for stereo” – my years as a musician and producer are put to shame with this proclaimation, but its a useful effect..or was at the time, i guess), with heavily truncated versions of some of the songs, which tickles me no end. But more importantly, i should still have it on DVD, too. This was one of the funniest and poorest of vijay anand’s efforts, especially compared to tere mere sapne which he was also in, during 1972, and KORA KAGAZ, where he didnt bother with a wig, if i remember correctly. So the 64000 dollar question will forever remain; WHY did Vijay Anand chose to wear such a horrendous wig for this film?

  16. pleasure. I look forward to more reviews of “delights” such as agent vinod (the original version), chakkar pe chakkar, mr romeo, et al, along with some VERY HEAVY DUTY ( for that read, hilariously bad) films, such as taxi chor, heeron ka chor, and the trully unbeatable “straight to VCD” (no one has the guts to transfer them to DVD) schlock such as VEERU USTAD, which stars Kiran Kumar and JOGNIDER of RANGA KUSH “fame”.

    Finally I have my own copy of YAAR MERI ZINDAGI on DVD , which took 37 years to release and stars amitabh bachchan and shatrughan sinha. I wont say anymore than that, other than memsaab-ji…YOU MUST WATCH THIS AT ANY COST.


  17. Double cross remineds of so many things first the year1973 apersonal fav. of me as it wasthe first year that I could understand things around me,the same year also remindes my third std.also that very year infact another personal fav which wasalso directed by goldie uncle,and that was may 1973release (Chuppa Rustum)not to forgethealthier rekha aunty and also fatter asha sachdev aunty,if you goby todays standards.not to forget that when I began to collect my records((1976) and they are still with me,and the master craftsnmen that goldie uncle was refered with ,no wonder hecalled quits after hits like Ram Balram(oct 1980) and Rajput(april 1982). True you don’t have goldie uncle everyday.Ravinder Minhas.jalandhar city panjab.

  18. can anyone please advise me how and where to look for PRITAMS photograph as I wanna have a laugh as he was one mean/ugly villain from that era.

    Thanks all.

  19. I love this movie and showed it to my youngsters and they liked it. Editing was excellent of course the wig wore by Goldie was bad but his acting was superb. Background music was excellent.

  20. Memsaab, I was just watching Anhonee, there Manmohan is actually the victim of the old “5 aces in a pack” trick!

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