Chori Mera Kaam (1975)

I was positively filled with glee when I saw this DVD. Shashi! Pran! Zeenat! Dadamoni! Thievery! Mid-70s! I was not disappointed. Truly fabulous funky music from Kalyanji Anandji adds to the fun. And in one of those “only in Hindi movies” coincidences, Anwar Hussein from Aaya Toofan was in this too. I can’t even count the times when I’ve noticed an actor in a film, and then he or she shows up in the next ten films I watch.

He plays Amarchand Rathod, leader of a gang who kidnaps children for ransom. When he is caught by Inspector Kumar (Pran) his men kidnap Kumar’s oldest son so that the Inspector won’t testify against him in court. It doesn’t work, and he is sentenced to life in prison after ordering his men to kill the boy.

Amarchand’s wife, who is horrified to discover his activities, rescues Kumar’s son with the help of Shankar (Ashok Kumar). Shankar promises to return him to Kumar and his family, but on the way he stops in to have a drink at a bar.

Inside the bar he runs into a career thief named John (David), who accuses Shankar of ratting him out to the police. They fight and John is kicked out of the bar. Outside, he is told that the boy belongs to Shankar, sees his opportunity for revenge, and takes the boy away. When Shankar discovers this, he goes after them—but John has vanished with the boy.

Years pass, and Inspector Kumar’s younger son Shyam (Raza Murad) is now a police officer as well. The elder (Shashi Kapoor) has grown up as Bholanath and is a petty thief like his mentor John. He is in and out of jail, as is his partner in crime Sharmili (Zeenat Aman). They meet up every evening to share the day’s take, although they are always trying to con each other too.

Suddenly, a new gang begins a reign of terror over the city, robbing and murdering rich citizens and leaving only a plaque on the scene of each crime.

Inspector Kumar and Shyam are assigned to the case, and begin the search for “Number Seven.”

One day Bhola and Sharmili steal a briefcase, assuming it is filled with money; instead it contains the manuscript of a book called “Chori Mera Kaam” (“Stealing Is My Job”). Disappointed, they treat themselves to a nice dinner at a restaurant and are thrown out when they can’t pay. Sharmili lands in front of a car and pretends to have been hit.

Bhola sets up a huge fuss over his “wife’s” injuries. The unfortunate driver, a man named Pravin Chandrashah (Deven Verma) is distraught and begs Bhola not to call the police as a crowd gathers.

They load Sharmili into the car to go to the hospital. On the way, she pretends to expire, and Bhola agrees not to turn Pravin over to the police for the price of Rs 50000. They “bury” Sharmili (who hides while Pravin is busy digging the grave) near some ruins at Borivali. Spying on them is Shankar, who sees everything.

Pravin is a book publisher, and when Bhola goes to get his Rs 50000 the next day a writer is there too, demanding his royalty payment.

Of course Bhola’s ears perk right up—he’s got that manuscript, after all! In the meantime, Shankar catches up with Bhola and Sharmili and “convinces” them to share their loot by telling them he saw everything.

Oh! the irony.

Bhola then blackmails Pravin into publishing the book, and surprisingly, it is a huge hit. It contains all sorts of advice on being a master criminal, and not getting caught. Pravin is ecstatic and decides to throw a big party where the author—Bhola—will be the guest of honor.

Inspector Kumar, too, has read the book and is impressed by the author’s intelligence.

Number Seven is none other than Amarchand Rathod, who has somehow been released from prison (good behavior?). The book attracts his attention, too, one passage in particular.

At the party, Bhola is in over his head. Attendees are expecting a literate, educated man, which Bhola is not. But Shankar shows up and rescues him by posing as his secretary. Amarchand is there in disguise, and asks Bhola if he knows a good mask-maker. Shankar replies that of course he does, but they won’t tell who it is.

Sharmili comes to the party too, but has to stay hidden so that Pravin won’t see her. Unfortunately, she overhears Bhola and a pretty reporter flirting, and her jealousy renders her incautious.

She convinces Pravin that she is Sharmili’s twin sister, and blackmails him into giving her Rs 50000 to keep quiet. She also has a fight with Bhola, who is first bewildered and then pleased when he realizes she is jealous.

Amarchand has people making masks for him, but he is not pleased with any of them. He orders his henchman Shetty (Shetty!) to kidnap Bhola and Shankar. Shetty tracks down Bhola as he’s watching Sharmili flirt with some guys.

Shetty gets rid of Sharmili’s hangers-on, and Bhola romances her with a song. He gives her his heart a little too literally though.

At the end of the song Shetty kidnaps Bhola, and then Shankar, but they manage to escape. Meanwhile, Pravin has decided that Sharmili is lying, and he makes Bhola and Sharmili dig up the grave.

Luckily, Shankar has put a fake body inside, and Pravin flees in terror. Meanwhile, a huge auction of royal jewels is going on, and Inspector Kumar is in charge of security. Amarchand has finally managed to find a good mask-maker. He knocks out and kidnaps Kumar, and then as Kumar he loots the auction.

Of course Iftekhar is the Police Superintendent! Elsewhere in town, Shankar is visiting Bhola when John comes in. They recognize each other and Shankar tells John about the child he kidnapped. John is aghast; they immediately tell Shankar who he really is. Shankar asks them not to tell Kumar or Shyam since he’ll be a disappointment to them.

But when the news hits that Inspector Kumar is the infamous gangster called “Number Seven,” clever Shankar figures out that it must be Amarchand and he must have found the mask maker. They decide to help Kumar. Naturally they’ll also need help from Sharmili—and disguises!

Can they save Inspector Kumar from hanging? Will he ever find out that his eldest son is alive? And who is the real author of the book? Watch Chori Mera Kaam to find out!

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35 Comments to “Chori Mera Kaam (1975)”

  1. Oh, one of my favorite Shashi films. The soundtrack is so great – especially the title song and Kaahe Ko (best duet ever!) – I find myself listening to it compulsively when at work. Where did you get your DVD copy? Mine is a crappy copy, and I’ve decided this film merits to be purchased properly.

  2. Yes, did I remember to mention how great the songs were? Thank you for doing so if I didn’t.

    Mine is pretty crappy too in case you can’t tell from the screen shots. Very fuzzy!!! It’s a WEG dvd.

  3. This is one of the Movies That sure should be on the Remake list of Bollywood Filmmakers.

    Thanks for refreshing the Memory.

  4. Haha! A “grave sin” indeed! What the heck is up with the heart–is that supposed to really be his? This movie looks like total fun, and Shashi’s looking fine as ever.

  5. Shashi is v.v. fine here :-) And I think it is supposed to be his beating heart—he pulls it out from inside his shirt and then Zeenat flings it away and he has to run to retrieve it. Very funny :-) It does beat in his hand too which is a little gross though.

  6. OMG! What’s with that heart in his hand??!?!?

  7. A doctor to repair a wife! lol. I need to rewatch this movie with subtitles. On the other hand, it was so much fun that I dont need the subtitles to enjoy it! :-)

    The beating heart was a bit gross, though I was impressed by 70s Bollywood special effects.

  8. Must watch. must watch.

  9. The beating heart was gross, but funny at the same time. Now that is tough to pull off!

    Yes, Banno, must watch. Shashi goodness in spades!

  10. Argh- Im creeped by the heart- if he’s offered her his ear like van gogh- it may have been a tad better (maybe) :D But I love this movie- I think I saw it as a wee babe, but remember how good Shashi and Zeenat were together !

  11. Really it was 1 of sashi’s fav movie.Ya title song is very good.

  12. This is the best script written by Salim-javed.

    For me, this movie and “Haath Ki Safaai” are the best masala movies.
    Full Time-Pass.

    • This films is not written by Salim Javed. It is written by K A Narayan who is another great writer of Crime Thriller movies. Other Films written by him include Jewel Thief, Johny Mera Naam, Victoria No. 203, Amir Garib, Do Jasoos etc.

      All these films are very enjoyable and were super success.

      Yes, Haath Ki safai another great movie of the same genre was written by Salim-Javed

  13. Oh thank Helen above, this movie is DA BOMB. I’m in the middle of watching it as we speak and it’s just so utterly fantastic and fun. My only complaint with it so far, and this is a small one, is that Raza Murad seems a little lost. He hasn’t had much to do yet, but he’s not making any impact – though with Pran as your dad and Ashok Kumar as one of your enemies, plus all the other people running around in this, it’s probably hard to stand out.

    When PPCC wrote this up and said it was Bunty aur Babli Shashi-ishtyle, I thought that wonders would never cease – it’s like someone made the movie SPECIFICALLY for me, aligning my loves like that! I don’t know why I waited to long to yank it off the shelf, but I’m so glad I did.

  14. PS My DVD is Eros and it’s not awful. Songs aren’t subtitled, but after comparing my screen caps so far with Memsaab’s, I’d say it might be a teeny smidge better. Nothing to write home about, though.

    Oh, and I agree with Raagaa that this should be remade PRONTO.

  15. If i have to watch this movie again that is only because of Deven Verma, his performance was outrageous, and may be his best performance as a comedian.

  16. This movie is in my all time fav list.Now its on shemaroo dvd as we all know that most of Weg,Video sound and some of Eros dvds are not running good anymore.Sometime Shemaroo also give same shit,but this one is good.Shashi and Zeenat are so funny in this,I liked Devan Verma too(his best movie is Aagoor for which he got award )above all is again Pran and Ashoke Kumar.I love songs chori mera kaam,kahe ko and meri nazar se beautiful music and good action packed climax.

  17. This remains my most favourite film.
    Shahsi kapoor ,Pran and Ashok kumar – all 3 are legends.
    pran is the most versatile actor.
    such an enjoyable movie.
    u can repeatedly watch this movie and never ever get bored.
    kalyanji andnji – have given a great score.

  18. This is one of favourite indian movie in the 70’s.. which is the golgen period of indian film indutry..
    wonderful movie.chori mera kaam 1975.. great mucic by kalyanji Anandji .with super hit song ,sung by kishore kumar..specialy the song(meri nazar se bacha na koi ) really amazin g song from kishore kumar.
    & super dircetion by Brij… great great movie …thank you ……..(wasifayza)

  19. and ilike the role of Mr.Amarchand Rathod, very much ..he was the great indian villian after Ajit

  20. Great Review…Need to add that this movie has one of the best climax action scenes..Dhishum***Dhishum…from the 70’s…The other of course being Don,,,,,!!!Great Masala Movie

  21. Summer vacation or Diwali or Christmas hols, I forget which. But a very garrulous cousin was visiting Flat No. 25, where a then friend lived and he put the idea into our heads – how `bout we pool up our slender cash resources and go watch this new film in the next suburb? We could take one rickshaw ride up to the check-naka, walk the rest of the way, save money on the other rickshaw ride (because it was outside greater Bombay) and still have enough left for tickets and snacks. Got to the theatre and my friend and I got hysterical because after all that walking, we saw a `House Full’ sign. I don’t know how the older ones found a blackmarketeer and persuaded him to give us tickets for the money we had – of course, that meant no ice-pops or samosas at intermission, but who cared? And we watched the film, probably in the lower stalls, with great enjoyment – ugghh, still remember that blubbering heart, but what a song and what a timepass movie.
    Then we bought a 20-paise song book and got our favourite songs wordperfect for a few days. Then waited for Bombay Doordarshan to show it on Chhaya Geet and relived the fun all over again (but I don’t think our parents found out about the black market tickets.)
    And I’d forgotten it was the late Kanchan’s voice in Main kachchi angoor ki bel.

  22. This remains my most favourite film.
    Shahsi kapoor ,Pran and Ashok kumar – Anwer Hussain(Amerchand Rathod) all 4 are Legends.
    pran is the most versatile actor.
    such an enjoyable movie.
    u can repeatedly watch this movie and never ever get bored.
    kalyanji andnji – have given a great score.
    super hit super hit Movie of 1975….

  23. This movie was another smash hit of director Brij(Father of Kamal Sadnah) after “Victoria No-203”.I liked
    Anwar Hussain(maternal uncle of Sanjay Dutt) who is regularly featured as BOSS in most of the movies of BRIJ.I regret for the sad happening of BRIJ & FAMILY…Alas ! if he would have lived today..

  24. Have you seen the movie ‘chor ke ghar chor’ ?

  25. i haven’t seen the entire movie,but i enjoy the songs , especially the comedy of dadamoni and pran.

  26. but i think it must be a nice watch :)

  27. CHORI MERA KAAM was July 1975 release,this one too was runway hit from word go,had twenty five week run,the year byitself was unique,apart from emergency,the year had so many hits,and all with different subjects,the year opened with DEEWAR and RAFOCHAKAR along with PREM KAHANI,Jan 1975,MAR CHUPKE CHUPKE,MAY DHARMATMA,JUNE DO JASOOS,JULY/AUG FARAAR,ULJHAN,UMAR QUID,KHUSHBOO,AANDHI,SHOLAY,SEP/OCT WRANAAT,KALA SONA,AAKRAMAN,DHARAM KARAM,MILI,NOV SANAYSI,DEC SAALAKHEN,not to forget PONGA PANDIT and ZINDA DIL JULY 1975,I remember all,in my fifth std and ten years old not to forget ZAKHMEE all super hits,strangely I can recall what movies were there thirty eight years ago,but I do not know what releases we had thirty eight days ago,this was the charam of those days/movies.Back to this one,Follow up of OCT 1972 VICTORIA 203,this one too matched with the earlier hit,after ROTI KAPARA MAKAAN OCT 1974,this was second movie in which SHASHI uncle/ZEENAT aunty costared together,and coincidently apart from together in about fifteen movies together when both of them ended their first innings together in 1985 with BANDHAN KACHE DAGHE KA which in fact was also RAKHEE auntys last movie of her first innings.CHORI MERA KAAM was such engrossing movie that even today after passing away of almost four decades the charam is there,ANWARDA was permanent BOSS with everything in white,till health allowed,so was DEWAN uncle,each one of them gave mindblow performace and natural too not to forget RAZA uncle,DADAMONI,and PRANDA,I would not forget to mention KALAYANJI/ANANDJI who somehow gave/kept their superhit music reserved for BRIJDA,FEROZ uncle and ARJUN HINGORANIDA,Just watch the movie that was total entertainment.RAVINDER MINHAS,JALANDHAR CITY,

  28. CHORI MERA KAAM JULY 1975 (TAG PRAN DA) this writeup is dedicated to PRAN DA who passed away just two days ago,not to forget that PRAN Lived his entire Life,as to someone who lived ninety plus years,arare in todays times,it also remineds my early school days,though todays generation is only awareof his movies that are regularly screen on sat .channels,but I will mention those movies which were PRAN DA centric and hit too,though as too of my best of rememberence never have been on sat. Channels and they are KAB KYON AUR KAHAN(1970) SAAZA(MAY 1972)few months earlier than VICTORIA NO.203,GADDAR(AUG 1973) YEH GULISTAN HAMARA(MAR 1973)EK KAUARA EK KAUARI(SEP 1973). INSAAF(MAY 1974)ZAALIM (FEB 1980) BOMBAY 405 MILES(APRIL 1980)and most probably ISI KA NAAM ZINDGI(MAY 1992)his last movie costar AAMIR KHAN and FARHA,The first three that I mentioned were slickly crafted crime thrillers as good as todays times JHONY GADDAR and AGENT VINOOD,a sort of coicidence,when LEENA CHANDAWARKAR aunty did her last movie (ZAALIM 1980 FEB)it Had PRANDA in central role,again when Long delayed movie for almost fourty years(CHINGARI)it too costarred LEENA aunty,now that PRANDA has Left for another world ,he must have his close friends RAJDA,DEV SAAB,IFFTIKAR DA,DADA MONI ,MADAN PURI DA,we will miss you PRANDA,RAVINDER MINHAS,JALANDHAR CITY,

  29. CONTINUE with my writeup on PRAN DA,I missed two movies which provens the calibere of PRANDA/and varions in his historics,and they were HEER RANJHA(1970) and JANGAL MEIN MANGAL(1972),in fact hereby I would hereby not to forget to mention,that in which soever movie PRANDA,DADAMONI,IFFEKARDA,MADAN PURIDA,ANWAR HUSSAIN DA,NAZIR HUSSAIN DA,and JEEVAN DA were there mere presence of these starwarts were present,they Lifted /gave entire movie to amazing Heights.I Hope and pray,now that they are in another world,they must have met each other,may there souls are in peace.But we will always miss you.RAVINDER MINHAS,JALANDHAR CITY

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