Apradh (1972)


So much fun and stylish goodness packed into one movie, it is beyond belief. Mumtaz is gorgeous, Feroz very manly in his hirsute way (and their chemistry sparkles). It’s really more like two films for the price of one. The first half takes place in glamorous Europe and revolves around a jewel theft, with some pretty scary-insane bad guys and some gloriously kitschy sets and costumes.

In the second half our hero and heroine return to India where the hero’s crime-lord brother awaits. Prem Chopra has an opportunity to do more than spit out one-liners through his clenched jaw, with a more nuanced role than he usually gets; and it contains one of the best nightclubs in Hindi cinema (my screencaps are out of control) complete with one of my favorite Helen songs of all time. In fact, all of Kalyanji Anandji’s songs are great. There’s plenty in general to entertain, and it’s clear that producer-director-star Feroz Khan spared no expense or imagination! (Also see Shweta’s review for her take on it—and more screen cap delights!)

Ram Khanna (Feroz Khan) is a Formula-4 race car driver, and the credits roll over a great vintage F-4 race in Europe. I love auto racing, and this footage evokes the breathless fun of it all perfectly. Elsewhere in Europe, a lovely girl called Rita (Mumtaz) scams a jeweler out of a $200,000 diamond necklace with the unwitting aid of a psychiatrist (Madan Puri in a funny cameo).


With the police hot on her trail, she calls in via radio to the gang she’s working for: it’s a pretty unsavory bunch, all the way around, and includes Fifi (Faryal), a jeweller (Mukri), a weird doped-up guy with round sunglasses (Kuljeet) and their vicious leader Nath (Siddhu), who sports a very Victorian moustache and waistcoat.


Hearing Rita’s predicament, the boss has only this to offer by way of advice:


Fortunately, Ram happens to come along. After he figures out that she speaks Hindi (he tries English, French and German first), he offers her a lift (she tells him she’s run out of petrol). As they approach the border she hides the diamond necklace in one of his coat pockets—a gesture that doesn’t go unnoticed by him! With his racing fame paving the way, getting across the border is easy; and he delivers Rita to the hotel where she is to meet her gang—and where he is conveniently staying as well.

The boss sends Fifi to get the necklace from Ram’s hotel room. She finds it in a drawer, but returns to tell Nath that there is no necklace in the room. Luckily Ram shows up and returns the necklace to Rita, but Mukri the jeweller discovers it to be a fake, and Rita is in big trouble. With Fifi dancing in a frenzy to crazed music in the background, the guys in the gang beat her and threaten her with a hot poker. It’s quite scary despite the cartoonish ambience of it all.


Nath (the boss) gives Rita one more chance to retrieve the real necklace, and she goes to meet Ram at a race track where he is testing a new car. He is very happy to see her, and clearly smitten; he gives her a lift and they sing a sweet duet—“Humare Siva”—as the gang follows. Ram loses them fairly easily (he is a race-car driver, plus they aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer) and asks Rita to tell him the truth. She tells him that her real name is Meena, and she has nobody in the world. She has gotten involved with the gang by mistake, and they will kill her unless they get the real necklace. He promises to help her.

Of course, Fifi has the real necklace and is the one who has double-crossed the rest of them. She and her lover (Kishen Mehta) plot to sell it and run away. I simply adore the neon sign overlooking their hotel room window!


Ram bursts into the room and defeats Fifi’s amour, whose pants are too tight for him to do much more than strike some awkwardly stiff karate stances. Fifi comes through with a despairing, sobbing, tantrum which makes me feel sorry for her—it’s clear how much she desperately wants a different life, and how she had pinned her hopes on the necklace. Plus, he’s kind of mean to her.


Ram returns to his room and Meena; Nath and the strange doped-up guy have arrived in his absence. There’s a bull-whip hanging on the wall, which Nath uses to whip Ram with (note the neon sign outside of his window):


Meena saves the day by wresting the gun from the doped-up guy and biting him, giving Ram a chance to take the upper hand. Go Meena! (I’m jumping up and down on my chair)…


They escape (and I assume return the necklace to its rightful owner since that was Ram’s plan). Poor Fifi is not so lucky.


The first half draws to a close with Ram and Meena deciding to return to India together. Ram wins one final F-4 race, and manages to capture Nath and the crazy doped-up guy (how I love his outfits, though!). He delivers them to the German police and meets Meena at the airport. As they go to board their flight, a twitchy blond guy gives Ram some “medicines” to deliver to his brother.


End Part I.

In India, the “medicine” turns out to be smuggled diamonds. One “Sheikh Arab” (Habib) who is a rival of Ram’s brother Harnam’s (Prem Chopra) has informed the police in revenge, and Ram is arrested on arrival.


Despite his protestations of innocence, Ram is sentenced to jail. As he serves out his sentence, Harnam mopes at the best den of iniquity ever put together. It features (among many other things): a revolving bar (which seems to me somewhat dangerous), a series of swimming pools where bikini-clad goris gyrate, a singer/guitarist in a Mexican sombrero (please, someone tell me who he is! I’m in love!), a stuffed glaring leopard, and—not least of all—Helen (in the white spangled swimsuit).


Harnam is brooding about Sheikh Arab, and his brother. A henchman approaches and says that Ram has been traced.

Cut to the jail, and Ram is being released. Meena is outside waiting, and they are joyfully reunited. She’s been working at a factory, and has gotten him a job as foreman there. He works hard (and makes her quit), and they spend all their free time together.


Eye candy for everyone! They also get married, but their newly wedded bliss is short-lived. Perhaps Meena’s blinding wedding saree is inauspicious.


Harnam comes to see Ram, and asks him to join his gang. Ram scornfully refuses, and when Ranjit (Shyam Kumar), one of Harnam’s goondas, leers at Meena, Ram thrashes him. Harnam is thrilled that Ram has gotten married, but Meena hides from him in fear and Ram asks them to leave.

Back at the club (I can’t resist! Shetty! the Sombrero Man! a gyrating girl!)…


…two of Harnam’s henchmen have little sympathy for Ranjit, who is mad that Ram hit him and vows to take revenge.


I swear, I could live here! Look at those cozy swings!

But Ranjit takes his huge gold chains and leaves Harnam’s employ, and frames Ram for looting the factory and killing a security guard in the process (Ram is also wounded). At the hospital under police guard, Ram is interrogated mercilessly (by Iftekhar of course!). When Harnam sneaks in with a plan to rescue him, Ram is torn between keeping to his principles, which may get him hanged; or escaping with his brother and joining the underworld.

What will he do? What will happen to Meena? Can Ram prove his innocence? Will he be lured in by the greatness of Harnam’s nefarious hangout? Can Ram convince Harnam to reform and lead an honest life? AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD—WHO IS THE SOMBRERO MAN????? I must know!


And I want that crystal umbrella over the circling bar.


So much cracktastic goodness.

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48 Comments to “Apradh (1972)”

  1. What a FANTASTIC set of screen captures. Thanks! :). This looks so wonderful I’m dizzy with anticipation. Love the “Sexy Crazy” sign. And does the other one say “The Hell”? Great understatement: “Plus, he’s kind of mean to her.”

  2. This was so much fun! I think some of our screen caps are the same- rofl :) I just want Prem chopra’s revolving bar- drunk and dizzy at the same time- whee!

  3. Your new love’s dimples reminded me of this actor http://www.ndtvimagine.com/mtp/images/image69.jpg

    I would also like to know who the Sombrero Man is too.

  4. Another excellent read.
    (Did go a bit delirious on the screen caps , didn’t we ?)

    : )

  5. Wooo-hooo! I gotta see this. Anything with Mumtaz is okay by me, and Feroz Khan is fine if he’s not being mopey (which is why Safar wasn’t a big hit with me). And that guy in the sombrero looks yum. BTW, who is that actor (the weird dopey guy with the round sun glasses)? Any idea? He looks a bit like Ranjeet in that first screen cap where he appears…

  6. sitaji: I couldn’t stop myself—every frame demanded to be captured! So that’s what you have to look forward to: a film where every frame is gorgeously tacky, OTT or just plain gorgeous! Yes, the other sign said “The Hell” which made me giggle uncontrollably. I kept rewinding and pausing and giggling until my sister made me move on.

    shweta: We did capture a lot of the same frames! But enough different too! I can’t even imagine getting tipsy at Prem’s bar and then stepping off the revolving platform onto a stationary floor. I would bet that a lot of those gyrating blondes ended up ass over teakettle, as they say! Perhaps that was the point! Will be back to your site to offer up my comments there soon! :-D

    FiLMiNDiA: They do look alike! Perhaps that is Sombrero Man’s son!!!! What’s his name?

    AKM: Yes, I did get delirious—so much eye candy! And my dream home! ;-)

    dustedoff: I have seen the weird dopey Sunglasses Man before; I think he is Kuljeet, because he was also in Blackmail (see this cap from that post) (the most romantic movie ever made)…and judging from imdb Kuljeet was in both. He was really creepy though, had a very high-pitched giggle and said things like “Naughty boy!”…that’s what made me decide that he was permanently high—probably on LSD, given his wardrobe!

  7. Oooh, your blog is dangerous, you know. Everytime I come over here I find new movies I need to watch.

    And those signs beat even the “Pioneers in garlic therapy” sign I came across the other day.

  8. Pioneers in garlic therapy???? Was that in a film, or was it an actual sign? How FAB :-)

    And yes, everyone NEEDS to see this movie :)))

  9. Wow,

    U managed to do a real thorough review on that. The screen snapshots were great. But the movie didnt impress me though. Here’s my take on it

    Mumtaz is great eye-candy though



  10. “Pioneers in garlic therapy” was in a movie, Kaala Pani to be precise, the one from 1980 with Shashi and Neetu, but it looked like a real sign.

  11. Nirvana: She certainly is, and so is Feroz AND THE SOMBRERO MAN! :-) I see you disliked Parvarish as well, which I also love :-) We will have to agree to disagree!

    Gebruss: How fabulous. I will need to watch the film just for that sign! Sexy Crazy and The Hell made me laugh out loud.

  12. Re: “They do look alike! Perhaps that is Sombrero Man’s son!!!! What’s his name?”

    Aman Sondhi – he’s a television actor.

    The chances of him being Sombrero Man’s son are slim, but looking at those dimples, it’s not impossible. :-D

  13. Stranger things have happened! :) *rushes off to google Aman Sondhi*

  14. This is one of the movies which opened my eyes to Feroz’s mad directing skills, all his movies have a certain swagger of cool and funk around them. I loved that sexy beach scene, and Shetty looks styling, and i wish i had that set for ‘aE naujawan’ it looks fantastic!
    Now i really love feroz and his crooked teeth, and rock star hair!

    • I’ve only seen three of Feroz Khan’s produced and directed films, and I loved all three (this one, Dharmatma and Qurbani). I’m on board with the Feroz pyaar all the way, baby!

  15. Good review Memsaab. I have seen Feroze only in “Safar” and liked him.

    I haven’t see any of his flims u have listed ie Apradh, Dharmatma (i think that was a remake of Godfather – Feroze style) and Qurbani (which was a super duper hit for him).

    I need to catch up fast!

  16. On a diff note memsaab, not only does Mumtaaz look good with Dharmendra but so does Zeenat Aman.

    I was watching a songs DVD yesterday which had some songs from Dharam Veer – Zeenat and Dharmendra are a good jodi too!

    I remembered Beth when songs form Disco Dancer appeared! I think Beth has done an interesting write up on the back ground sets of disco dancer. Songs from DD were a bit hit in india blaring from public speakers at functions!

    I must confess I haven’t seen most of these movies and have a lot to catch up!

  17. Mumtaz is like Rani Mukherjee: she makes a great jodi with everybody. And Dharmendra pretty much does too! I loved Dharam Veer, really fun film :-) I love Manmohan Desai (whispers *I even liked Mard*)…

    Disco Dancer’s songs are SO BAD. But so entertainingly picturized! I don’t get the Hindi disco music thing, though. I didn’t like the songs from Karz either, for the most part :)

  18. Yes, that guy from Blackmail (*sigh…what a great movie: esp. Pal pal dil ke paas*) does look like the weirdo from Apradh. He sounds awful – your description gave me the shivers.

  19. He was very creepy in a completely out of his mind way *shudders*

  20. Great review! I watched this yesterday afternoon and I’m pretty much right there with you. I loved the music-less opening credits, accompanied only by the sound of the roaring engines of the race cars. It felt very 1970s new Hollywood.

    But I did feel that, in a way, the movie was like its own slightly disappointing sequel. I mean, the second half did have all of the great set pieces and the killer song, but those villains in the first half! So creepy! I much rather would have had them for the whole movie than Prem and his gang of usual suspects. What really blew me away was that scene where they were drowning Fifi in the bathtub. The giggly guy was so obviously getting off on it, and then, when it was all over, he rolled his eyes back in his head and turned the faucets on. At that moment I just shook my head and thought, “Feroz Khan, you are one sick m…”

  21. Todd, you are exactly right! That nightclub with THOSE creepy bad guys would have been spectacular. That’s what made it two separate films, was the change in villains.

    Kuljeet was sooooo….weird. But I really did love Prem Chopra in this—so was glad he was in it for one half, anyway. But as Nash and Kuljeet’s cohorts…mmmmmm. Would have been even better.

  22. I love this movie, and in fact, think I need to watch it again. It was my first Feroz Khan film. I really need to watch a real movie again at some point, so steeped am I these days in movies where guys with bushy mustaches point trishuls at hand puppets while women in lycra biker shorts dance under sprinklers.

  23. Kind of like that Far Side cartoon, where a mosquite blows up while his friends yell: “Pull out! pull out! you’ve hit an artery!”?

    However, I am much enjoying your reviews of those fake-pretend (as Beth would say) fillums.

  24. OH MY GOD!! I’d seen that clip of Feroz and Mumu on the beach and the crotch shots – now I know which movie it’s from.

  25. I’ll be happy to watch it again with you if you want to see it, Amit :-) It’s FAB.

  26. Did you buy this DVD? I rented from Netflix after reading your review and the version they have from a German company, has no subtitles! :(

  27. Yes, the Eros version (you can buy it at Nehaflix) has subtitles…I actually bought three Apradh DVDs over time, and third time was the charm…there are several versions out there without.

  28. Ah – I’ll have to put it on my birthday wishlist then. I burned a copy of the Netflix version and returned it. I guess I should have watched the first few minutes before doing that!

    I started watching Koshish starring Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri as deaf mutes. So far it’s good.

  29. I liked Koshish. I think Sanjeev and Jaya made a great pair :-)

  30. To Todd’s point…
    Feroz Khan is known for throwing in some sick stuff… maybe it was the early 70s where this trend existed…

    Watched this with friends during undergrad days on a VCR and we could not believe the Feroz/Fify bedroom fight (memsaab’s gratituous screen shot above) and drowning sequence got past censors…

    I got a Moser-Baer DVD from India for Rs 35. brought back a whole suitcase of everything I could get my hands on…

  31. What’s that song playing at Sombrero Man’s first scene (“O baby… down down down…”). Is it original or an instance of plagiarism? Unfortunately the horrid voice is stuck in my head :’-(

  32. I already knew I had to see this film for “Ae Naujawan Hai Sab” (sombrero man/revolving bar scene).. but it seems theres much more to this film judging from your post…. thanks again for your excellent reviews. I just got a copy of this on TNT DVD (Time N Tune) and the print looks very, very nice compared to the one I previously bought on Moserbaer (which turned out to not have subtitles anyway). I’ll read the rest of your review after I watch this film and may return with more comments. Till then, thanks as always.

  33. Anyone notice the big neon sign out the gangsters’ hotel bedroom window? hilarious name for a club!

    Also — the water droplets on the camera lens during the beach song sequence — camera man must have been wading in the waves for several takes to get the right wave — and got his gear splashed in the process.

    And what a marvelous wood paneled boat they drive during that same scene (someone must know the make of that boat eh?) It looked like Feroz Khan is actually driving the boat while filming the lipsynch with Mumtaz for that song.

    I am also wondering if the freaky psychedelic song the ‘house band’ performs just before “Ae Naujawan Hai Sab” (sung in english) was ever pressed to 45 or LP?

    And finally, I’d like to add that Shyam Kumar played an excellent eavesdropping goon in Shareef Budmash (Dev Anand and Hema Malini) – another film that’s got an excellent cast of villains (including Helen).
    That film shows the gangsters doing alot of eavesdropping.. and there are some excellent shots of reel to reel tape recorders in suitcases, wall mounted tape consoles, and massive CB stations in that film — vintage audio equipment that I love to see in these older films.

  34. oh gosh, sorry everyone, that will teach me to re-read the comments before I make a revelation that everyone already noticed and commented on (how could you miss those signs!) haha

  35. But Feroz, kinks and all, knew how to push all the erotica buttons with style. Current films are either crass or Plastic Xerox copies.

  36. The first half was real racy and engaging with Europe, car racing and lovely photography..

    It is only in the second half that it kinda becomes a routine’ Bad- bhayya -good bhayya- cops and smugglers’ story..

    Good eye-candy shots of Mumtaz and Helen , though;)

  37. Was the first half of this movie really shot in Germany? IMDB seems to be saying that Apradh was shot in Mumbai??

    Helen had a really small role in this movie. I like the part where she dances in the white swimsuit with the other girls. And Faryal went almost nude in this movie

  38. I always wanted to know the name of that actor who is playing the role of Faryal’s boyfriend. That same actor was in Caravan as Asha Parekh’s husband.

  39. Dear Memsaab
    We must admit that this film was the most stylish film even most stylishly directed by late Feroz khan in seventies.i know most of the villains of the film.Kuljeet got a good break but he was vanished later on..ocasionally remembered in song “Bombai se aaya mera dost” with Vinod khanna(Aap ki Khatir).Sidhu got a good break in this film after Devanand’s prem pujari.Kishen Mehta was seen in Doordarshan TV in eighties showing as yoga instructer but i dont know where is he now.You have posted a lot about Shyam Kumar…really nice.Bhushan Teewary is dead(He was the son of famous charecter actor Teewary of old era).But please post something about Shetty,the legendary bald headed fearsom henchman of the Boss of the seventies and best paired with Dharmendra in fight scene.I must add few lines in honor of him which few people know.He was the senior most stunt director of bollywood from sixties to eighties even much senior to Veeru Devgan.Do you know that the famous/realistic fight scene of Amitabh Bachhan with Kuljeet and his goons in a Godwan in blockbuster hit film DEEWAR is composed by SHETTY.The last but not least is that the late SHETTY is the father of todays hit director Rohit Shetty.

  40. Oh,this one is off the charts. Bollywood Feroz Khan style. It is his best movie. Glamour galore with the best and sexiest first half of any Indian movie. Mumtaz showing in that mini dress and shiny coat while Feroz driving the white Alfa. This movie had so much nudity and bizarre sexual violent scenes it was really unlike anything I had or have seen since. Great songs. My favorite part of the story is when this glamorous formula one driver in Germany returns to India he is very poor so has to work with the bad guys! Didn’t make any sense even as child. An absolute must see

  41. Great review! It was slick, well paced and well directed! Feroz Khan put his soul into all his films as Director. Another thing I like about Feroz was his daring attitude, I found out he did most of his car stunts himself, like smashing up the Merc in Qurbani at the car park with Amrish Puri and all his chase scenes etc. That adds a lot of value!

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