Mahal (1969)

The first hour and 45 minutes of this film are solid entertainment: an interesting suspense plot, pretty songs, beautiful Darjeeling, and plenty of sparks between Dev Anand (playing a 28-year-old and basically pulling it off at the age of 46) and Asha Parekh. Plus young Farida Jalal as a seductive nurse! But as so sadly often happens the last 45 minutes or so disappoint. This could be because there seem to be some scenes missing as the story reaches its dramatic peak which make subsequent events confusing and out of place. How edifying would it be to discover the place where all these thoughtlessly excised scenes and songs go to die a largely unmourned death?

Still and all, Mahal is a lot of fun and I’d watch it again.

We begin with three unseen men gathered around a table and a cool elephant ashtray, plotting to take over a wealthy man named Dinanath’s palace and wealth. And this version of “strike while the iron’s hot” just makes me laugh out loud.

The “Boss” instructs the other two to find the perfect stooge to help them. These two are Moti (Rajan Haksar) and Jimmy (Siddhu), and Jimmy finds that perfect stooge in Rajesh (Dev Anand). Rajesh works as the driver for a wealthy man by the name of Shyam (Abhi Bhattacharya) and spends his spare time using his incredible gift of luck winning money which he distributes to his needy friends. Jimmy spots Rajesh at a gambling club and Moti approves (enthusiastically!)—now they only need an opportunity to draw him into their net.

Rajesh lives with his Ma (Protima Devi) and sister Chanda (Azra). Ma disapproves of Rajesh gambling even though he gives all of the proceeds away (or maybe because of it—they clearly get along on very little money indeed). But the three of them are close.

Across town, a pretty girl named Roopa (Asha Parekh) has just graduated from college with honors and she’s planning to celebrate (with a picnic, of course!). She lives with her uncle in a much more affluent style than Rajesh. I love the way Hindi movie houses always remind me of cruise ships.

Now that she’s educated, all her uncle can think of is getting her married off and he has chosen none other than Shyam, Rajesh’s employer, as her would-be husband. He has invited Shyam over to meet her at 4 o’clock and despite her many protests—Roopa is a very modern girl and objects to being treated like a “vegetable in a market”—won’t back down. But Shyam has an unexpected business meeting to attend and sends Rajesh with a note to Roopa.

Rajesh takes his friend Pyare (Sunder) with him to deliver the note, but Roopa has called over some of her friends and they are determined to play a prank on poor Shyam.

Asha is absolutely hilarious and believable as Roopa’s “grandmother”. She plays it perfectly, stooped over her cane and assessing the would-be suitor’s unprepossessing characteristics (saying “Khair, koi baat nahin” in a creaky voice after each insult). But Pyare overhears her friends talking and informs Rajesh of the ruse; Rajesh of course decides to play along as Shyam a bit longer. He accompanies Roopa, now dressed as herself, on the picnic and woos her with a pretty song (“Yeh Duniya Wale Poochhenge”) at the end of which he hands her Shyam’s note and speeds off.

He returns home to find poor Ma weeping and upset over a love letter to Chanda that she has intercepted. I do have to give this film props for trying to send a good message: she blames Chanda, and Rajesh points out that men are equally if not more responsible for leading them astray with sweet false promises. I say “trying” because it’s still all about a brother saving his sister’s honor even if he has to kill someone to do it, just as Roopa’s objections to an arranged marriage are overruled after being paid only lip-service. But I’ll take it!

Rajesh goes off to meet Chanda’s beau Ramesh (Sudhir).

They quickly recognize each other as childhood friends and Ramesh, who really loves her, is soon engaged to Chanda. This is the opportunity Moti has been looking for. To raise the money for the wedding, Rajesh takes to the gambling tables for the first time on his own behalf and is quickly cheated by Jimmy. Moti intervenes and offers Rajesh 40,000 rupees if he will pose as Dinanath’s nephew Ravi, set to inherit all the wealth when Dinanath—now on his last legs—expires. Moti explains that he himself is Ravi but that after a long estrangement he doesn’t want Dinanath to see what a bad guy he’s turned out to be since he last saw him at age ten. It’s a long and complicated story which would have raised about a million red flags for me; for example, Dev Anand may be able to pull off being 28-year-old Ravi, but there is no way Rajan Haksar can!

Anyway, Rajesh readily accepts Moti’s story and agrees to pose as Ravi. Moti gives him a notebook filled with information about Dinanath and Ravi that only Ravi would know. Chanda and Ramesh are duly married with much pomp and ceremony, and Rajesh sets off for Darjeeling and Dinanath as Moti is shot and killed through a window as he boasts about the wealth he will soon have. On the train, Rajesh is sketching a picture of Roopa from memory when an older man (David) sits down next to him.

He is Roopa’s father Mr. Sharma, who lives in Darjeeling. Rajesh is embarrassed, but Sharma is simply amused. At the station, Rajesh is met by Dinanath’s driver who takes him to the Mount Everest hotel and informs him that his master will see “Ravi” tomorrow morning at 9:33 sharp.

Rajesh meets Dinanath (DK Sapru) punctually at 9:33 and passes his inspection easily. Dinanath doesn’t seem that ill to me—he is very pleased to see “Ravi” and tells him to have fun out and about in Darjeeling. He has a creepy but pretty nurse (Farida Jalal) to take care of him.

After this meeting Rajesh runs into Roopa’s father once again, who invites him to bring the portrait of Roopa and present it to her at her birthday party that evening. Roopa is not pleased to see him but I am dazzled by her party decorations which include beach balls, what looks very like a Christmas tree, and about a bazillion balloons. And what’s a birthday party without a song? Nothing! And this one is a good one.

Rajesh returns to his hotel to find Dinanath’s nurse waiting for him. She slyly congratulates him on fooling Dinanath and suggests that they kill him and split the inheritance. At first he rejects the idea, but when he realizes that she knows who he really is he decides to play along with her. This gives Farida an excellent opportunity for a seduction song—she is so innocent looking and so pretty too, and I just love seeing her in this avatar.

They agree that they will kill Dinanath the next day, and I crack up at the sight of a bold “POISON” bottle on the medicine cart. If Dinanath, who is seated right next to it, even glanced at the cart he wouldn’t be able to miss that label! Oh Hindi cinema, how I love your total and complete lack of the subtler nuances.

Rajesh of course can’t see it through and he knocks the glass out of Dinanath’s hand, to the nurse’s great frustration.

Later that day he meets Roopa. One of my favorite things about this movie is the chance to see the scenery of Darjeeling (I AM going there soon, oh yes I am):

and of course where there are hill stations and mountains, there has to be great knitwear. I think this Christmas elf outfit of Asha’s in particular deserves closer scrutiny, especially the ponytail hole built into the hat. I promised my friend Shalini that I would emphasize the awesomeness of it. I may have to knit one for myself, come to think of it!

Anyway, Roopa of course still believes that Rajesh is a mere chauffeur (which is true) and is unaware of the whole Ravi plot he’s entangled in. After some comedy (Kamal Mehra), another song, and lots of wooing, Roopa falls for handsome Rajesh. Her parents, thinking now that he IS the real Ravi, are overjoyed and push for their engagement, especially after the two of them get caught overnight in a rainstorm—giving us this absolutely lovely and heart-tuggingly romantic song (and no Hypothermia Rape!). Asha and Dev are just marvellous together.

Rajesh feels guilty about the lie, and determines to tell everybody the truth, starting with Moti—until he finds out about Moti’s murder. Someone telephones Shyam, Rajesh’s employer in Calcutta, to tell him that Rajesh is masquerading as Dinanath’s nephew; it turns out that Shyam himself is Ravi, the real nephew of Dinanath. He comes to Darjeeling to find out what’s going on and goes to the police—who include Ramesh, Rajesh’s brother-in-law and old friend.

Unaware of this development, Rajesh goes to see Dinanath. As he enters the house, Dinanath’s voice instructs him to retrieve a revolver out of his desk and bring it to him, saying that he is afraid. Rajesh does so—but Dinanath is dead, also murdered, and he isn’t the man Rajesh thought he was, but someone else (Uma Dutt) altogether! Of course he is now thoroughly framed (blood on one’s hands=incontrovertible guilt according to filmi police philosophy) for the real Dinanath’s death as Ramesh and Shyam burst into the palace with a bunch of policemen.

Who has murdered Dinanath? Who was the man masquerading as him, and why? Where is he now? What is the nurse’s role in all this? Who is behind Moti’s murder and the tangled plot that poor Rajesh finds himself in? Can he defend himself? Will his beloved Roopa believe in his innocence?

Will anybody?

OH MA. Really? (Minor spoilers ahead).

At this stage everything began to unravel for me. Absolutely nobody believes in Rajesh—who has never been anything but kind, dutiful and generous towards everyone—except his sister Chanda. This develops into a bit much of a bhai-bahen “tie me a rakhi” thing and makes me wonder if anyone else in Rajesh’s life has any brains at all. The police obviously don’t have the capacity to think beyond what’s right in front of them; but I would think the people who love and know him might give him a break, and the fact that they don’t quickly becomes tiresome. I also figure out pretty quickly from here who the true culprit is, but as I said there appear to be scenes missing because it’s never explained how anyone else figures the mystery out—they just suddenly seem to know everything.

(End minor spoilers.)

Still and all, it’s a pretty fun and suspenseful story until all of this, and there’s a lot to love. To sum up:

  • Things like a cigarette holder which holds the cigarette at a right angle like a pipe (is this really a thing?)
  • Farida (and her POISON bottle)
  • Asha and Dev and their sublime chemistry
  • Winter wear and pretty much all of Asha’s outfits
  • Darjeeling (so beautiful!)
  • The songs (including a fantastic qawwali)


  • A not-very-well-thought-out branding instrument

So all is not lost, and I can pretty much recommend this despite the ugly-stepchild finale. See the songs at least!

75 Comments to “Mahal (1969)”

  1. I will definitely check out the songs, and I’m even tempted to consider the film, despite the fact that my skin crawls just looking at Dev – to have persuaded me to consider one of his films is a mark of your supernatural skills as a writer.

  2. I saw this film in the late 80s on DD and still remember it to have had a good plot, but that the ending was unsatisfactory, so unsatisfactory, that I have forgotten it!
    Dev’s movies in the 50s and 60s are hardly a let-down.

  3. For those who want to see it. Its available on Youtube on this link.

  4. I stopped watching Dev Anand movies after Guide, with two exceptions – Hare Rama Hare Krishna, for the song, Dum Maro Dum, and Tere Mere Sapne, because it was based on a book by A.J.Cronin, because the thought of an old man pretending to be a young one made my skin crawl. I suppose this movie could have been the exception because it is filmed in Darjeeling, and the landscape could make up for all else!
    Those balloons – I am thinking of the mess left to be cleared the next morning! Some balloon seller must have been in seventh heaven that week!
    If you ever find a pattern for that hat with the hole for the ponytail built into the back, please pass it on to me. If you ever find such a hat, please let me know – I want one too!

    • Ha ha Lalitha—but he looks so young! My mother didn’t believe me when I told her how old he was during the making of this. I am thinking I can probably modify an existing pattern for a hat to make the ponytail hole, I’ll let you know how it works out!

  5. I’m still waiting for the ‘dancing couple in a bottle’ thingy :( And thanks for the link, Paul – I have always given this film a miss because I do NOT like Asha Parekh, but there doesn’t seem to be much of her anyway. And, and, and…I like Farida Jalal. So, just to see her in a seductive mode (does such a thing exist? Who do they think she’s going to seduce with her wide eyes and friendly grin? A stuffed doll?) I shall watch this movie. *Thank you* memsaab!

    • It will be here on Monday and believe you me, you will all know about it when it arrives :D The bigger issue is: How can you not like Asha P!?! *shakes head sadly* She is SO AWESOME. I do love Farida too, and it was hilarious to see her in seduction mode. She is such a girl next door.

    • You missed my point – *I* am waiting for (my very own) dancers in the bottle thingy! Remember Lalitha and I wanted you to order them by the gross? :(

      I’m very sorry to disappoint you but I hate Asha P with a vim and a verve I usually reserve for Rajendra Kumar, Biswajeet, Manoj Kumar and their ilk. Not to say that I do not watch their movies, but there has to be something else to pull me in than to only watch their awesomeness (gak!).

      @TG, thanks for the warning :) but as you can see, I’m foolish beyond belief and tread where angels would fear to go.

  6. If only I could get my DVD of MAHAL to play then I could! Hurrumph!

  7. I guess I should finish that sentence….”then I could enjoy it also!”

    • I forgot to say that I began watching this movie with my mother and sister at Mom’s place—and just as Dev is going in to confess all to Dinanath the DVD stopped working. SO FRUSTRATING. But then when I got home it played fine in my DVD player, and in my computer. Go figure.

  8. Memsaab,
    Happy that you saw this favorite film of mine too..
    I have this CD and have seen the movie twice. It is a very entertaining Dev saab film..Love the songs and plot..The scenes were in correct sequence in my CD( Captain Company CD) , I dunno about this Ultra CD you have…My review of this film is on IMDB is at
    (Optional info:I have uploaded this movie on Veoh too as many dev fans on other forums felt this was not available on sale…)

    • You can see it on Youtube (see Paul’s link above)…There were no scenes out of order, but there were definitely scenes missing because nobody knew whodunit and then suddenly everybody did with no explanation as to how they figured it out. Made no sense at all.

  9. Hello again, Memsaab! Love the snowing weather here- in Kolkata people are again catching cold. As for the film, I also thought it would be a real gripping suspense thriller, but was disappointed(should have seen it online)- still AP and the songs made it enjoyable. Also the video model of the Mahal looked a lot like the haunted mansion in ‘WOH KAUN THI?”
    The one character that completely puzzled me out was the Mother and I bet a million that in no other Hindi movie, old or recent, has any mother been as presumptuous and callous towards her own offspring (except for step-children, of course!).
    The better performances were given by FJ and David- both dominating the film wonderfully. How David stood by DA and continued to support him till the climax(sorry,spoiler) is very endearing.
    As for AP’s “elf outfit”, I recommend you to choose a turquoise color-suit you better.
    Finally thank you for a delightful review again. Stressing on stuartnz’s comment! Loved the part on the red flags-“Dev Anand may be able to pull off being 28-year-old Ravi, but there is no way Rajan Haksar can!”
    (PS to Anu Warrior–do not be taken in Memsaab’s angelic appearance, she can be dangerous beyond your reckoning! Next time avoid mentioning anything about AP in your posts!)

    • ‘Tis the season for snow at Memsaab’s!

      Ma was ridiculous—it was completely unbelievable to me that nobody believed Dev except his sister. But up until then it was a great story, and I liked everyone’s performances.

  10. You may not find today’s Darjeeling as pretty as in the 1970s, like the Ooty of today is nowhere near what is used to be in 1970’s or 80’s. Both towns are now dirty and crowded and you will have to move out to observe the beauty. +

    • I know *sad face*…that’s what everyone says about Simla too. But what can I do? I’ll just have to take what I can get :) I’m going to go with my friend Suhan who went to school there, I am sure she will know the best places to take me!

    • I will add Mussoorie to the list, which is absolutely unrecognizable today.

  11. I loved the songs in Mahal (especially Aankhon-aankhon mein hum tum), but the long-drawn out ‘romance’ of the Asha Parekh-Dev Anand characters began to get on my nerves after a while. The suspense angle worked for me, because (despite totally idiotic stuff like that ‘POISON’ bottle!) when it was over, a little thinking back over the story made me realise that everything did fit – which is fairly uncommon in Hindi films of that era. ;-)

    • I loved the romance, for me their chemistry really worked and it didn’t go on too long or involve too much CSP. There were some idiotic moments, but the suspense worked for me too—and in the long run, the story did work (unusual, as you say!)—but some of it was lost along the way, and Dev’s family and friends bailing on him so readily really did get on my nerves. That went on way too long! :)

  12. It is explained in the end how it all happened, yes then there are some scenes missing in your DVD

  13. I am so glad you mentioned the cap. Uncannily I was thinking of doing a post on Saira Banu, and remembered this song and the Pony Cap she wore in it. I had a doll with a cap and long hair at the time. I actually cut out the cap at the peak to make a pony tail hole for my doll. But alas, I have never seen a cap with a hole like this one, maybe you can get one in Darjeeling.

    Back to the movie, the songs of this movie are so pretty, as is Asha Parekh. Dev looks so handsome, of all the people who are trying to pass off as 28, he looks the best by far. I could watch this movie anytime.

  14. I had put off watching this film several times because I wasn’t sure about Dev Anand even though I was sure about Asha Parekh :).
    I didn’t want to spoil the image I had of his in films like Tere Ghar ke Saamne.
    But if you say it’s good I’ll watch it, perhaps Nagesh’s link as it seems to have no cut scenes.

    • I don’t think a vcd exists that hasn’t cut scenes…

      The ending does explain why everything happens, but not how the people in the film figured it out. As I said, they don’t have a clue and then suddenly they are after the right person without us ever knowing how they knew who to go after.

  15. Well, this post has taken on an unexpected poignancy.:-( The evergreen hero is no more. Could this year possibly get worse?:-(

  16. RIP Dev Anand. He was one of a kind

  17. shocked…….Dev Anand has died on 4th December 2010..while Mahal was being reviewed. Dev Anand got the tag Evergreen cause in his films opposite Rakhee, Hema Malini, Asha Parekh, Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi and Tina Munim were huge box office hits except 3 films each with Hema and Zeenat ….that too when he was above the age of 46…..he looked just 30 year old when he acted in Bullet and just 26 in Jhonny Mera Naam and even warrant. In Des Pardes, Lootmaar he looked just as if he is 35 year old when the fact is he is 1922 born and lootmar is a 1982 film. He shared great chemistry with 19 year old Tina Munim….Salute Dev anand………….he really looked young without application of makeup or wigs…………Common his films till 1990 ie Awaal Number, Sachche Ke Bola Bhala…..were critically acclaimed and after that just around 8 films were not successful box office wise…….and post 1990, his films Censor and Chargesheet are definitely worth watching. He Had terrific music sense……..

  18. Oh Lord, Lord. Dev Saab too :-( RIP. What a year it’s been….

  19. Oh my GOD! Wanting to write a comment on Sunday when things quietened a bit in my life, and what a shocker! He passed away last night :'( *sheds a genuine tear*.

    +1 for that “preternatural” compliment about Dev. But this being Bolly blog it would have given you more shoba to use the word Dev Anand is a kudrat ka Karishma! ;-). I am with you on Asha. Vivacious explains her in one word…. She was one of my father’s favourite too. :-)

    This film was telecast on Indian TV after Caravan (despite the timelines). So, father and I was left wondering why the screenplay did not do adequate justice to Asha Parekh’s talents (because we thought this one was after Caravan’s success). Certainly she could have been better utlilised in the script…. My father was roaring with amusement *and bemusement* at Farida Jalal’s casting” He kept saying, “They have used a child(like) artiste for such a role… Shame on them”

    In the late 80s I was looking for the iconic Dev Anand black and White profile poster briefly. Still unable to find it on the Internets too. And Dev’s gone today…. just like that…. Right after Shammi too…. Two “youthful” icons gone right after each other in one year!

  20. Yesterday when I read this post I recalled the amazing chemistry these two shared in the film and wondered why they didn’t work in more films together. Also had never heard of this film until I caught it on a movie channel on the Indian telly. I reckon even as I was reading this post last night and listening to the uber-fantastic songs, Dev Anand had already left for his heavenly abode.
    What an actor. Somehow never thought of him leaving too. just felt as if he was going to stay around forever. RIP.

  21. A silent, teary- eyed, but smiling goodbye to ‘Dev’ who gave us limitless ‘anand’ ..RIP, Dev saab, you have given us a lifetime of memories and melodies..

    Memsaab, please open a separate post for condolences for Dev saab!

  22. Abhi na jao choor kar, ke dil abhi bhara nahi. But time spares no man. Even if you are the evergreen, seemingly invincible Dev Anand. His death is not to be mourned. but a life to be celebrated. A man full of zest even at an over-ripe age of 88, and wanting to do much more. And he left us, like a good soldier, with his boots on, working on yet another film. For him life was sirf film, film aur film, though many considered him to be egoistic, being sirf mein, mein, aur mein. Whatever be the case, there is no denying that he was sui generis, bringing in so much style and glamour to the Hindi cinema, quite an antidote to the Chaplinesque Raj Kapoor and the tragedy-stuck Dilip Kumar. The trio ruled the hearts of the millions of movie fans for decades and generations. But the following Dev Anand had, varied from 10 to 90. He was the longest lasting hero who was as handsome as anybody could be at 50 and as zestful at 88 as humanly possible. He still wanted to achieve so much in life, that for him and us, has cruelly been stopped mid-stream, and not at the fag-end. He will remain an inspiration for millions of people, not only in film line but in any sphere of life for his sheer zest for life and never-say-die spirit.

  23. Greta, what a coincidence that I read this post minutes before I learnt of Dev Anand’s passing. Off to watch this man again now. Can’t think of any other tribute, really.

  24. cheers, I need to see this one. It’s not one of Dev’s most famous films but it has the cool underrated tune “Aankhon Aankhon Mein Hum”.

    And RIP Dev Anand. :)

  25. The news of his death came on the day a “youthful” Gulzar said in Times Life (Sunday section of The Times of India): “None of us is born with innumerable years and at 75 I still have a lot (of writing) to do.”
    Similar was the case with Dev Anand. For him there was no pause, not even a comma, in life, similar to the way he delivered his dialogues, without a comma or a full stop and still had enough breath to break into a song, nodding his head and running around. His films, be it Guide, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Tere Mere Sapne and Johnny Mera Naam, were iconic and path-breaking.
    For the last two decades, well past his prime, his films bombed at box-office and his critics slammed him of having gone senile. But what needs to be appreciated is that he continued to love making movies, a promise he kept till his dying day.
    For his fans, Dev Anand may have moved to another world, but will remain alive in our hearts forever.

  26. yeah seems to be such a coincidence that u have seen and reviewed Mahal just when he has passed away. I will try to find this DVD on my next visit to India. I think this was a hit movie for Dev & AP – have to chk it out with my older sis

  27. Thanks to @Paul Raja for the link. I was watching the film but came back because wanted to mention two things:

    1. The song “Duniyawale poonchenge” was popular well into the late 80s with Akashvani playing it in the evenings on request. It was our “get ready to play and hum along” tune! (Just saw it as you can imagine)

    2. The *MAJOR* image of the film I have is that hilariously funny poison ka sheesha bottle scene which rolled just before the film took a break to accommodate News in Hindi by Sarala Maheshwari.:-D. Eveeryone in the family were in splits at the ludicrousness of the scene…. Oh well, thanks for rekindling of the memories, Greta.

  28. Hey memsaab..this is my first post, though i have been following it for long. Chanced upon it while googling n didnt go back! its simply gr8!!!

    lov ur blog! n lov Devji..

    am vry sad today just learnt about d evrgreen guide….thought this is the best forum to pay my tribute to the legend..

  29. I do not know what to say. First Shammi, now Dev Sahab…2011 is a cursed year…wish it ends quickly without any more deaths.
    To me, Dev Sahab was a super-hero, second only to Dilip Kumar in aura but No. 1 in style and passion. Like RK, he drew the focus of all in each of his films, but never was over-dramatic or loony like the other, nor was selfish or overbearing to other cast-members. Actually he was the first B/W hero who drew my eye, before I came to appreciate the comedy of Shammi and the talent of Dilip Sahab,so his demise is more painful to me than that of Shammi(sorry, Memsaab)
    Am happy to have made a DEV ANAND collection at my home, including this movie(which I think is complete) and now I will watch them all again in his memory. RIP my evergreen, Indian GREGORY PECK. I have no hat, or I would have waved it in farewell. “MAIN ZINDAGI KA SAATH NIBHATA CHALA GAYA…” but not “AKELA HOON MAIN IS DUNIYA MEIN…”
    We will remember you till our last day Dev Sahab.

    • TG “2011 is a cursed year…wish it ends quickly without any more deaths.”
      Completely agree.
      I have never been a fan as in ‘fanatic’, but these two deaths this year plus Jagjit Singh, is just too sad for words.

  30. Though inevitable, still a shock. He wasn’t even known to have been ailing or anything. This was out of the blue. I write this with a choked feeling and quite teary eyed.
    Will definitely watch Mahal now.
    Rest in peace Dev saab.

  31. I learn the saddest things here when I get up in the morning :(

    It’s very strange, because I have been watching a lot of Dev Sahab this past week and my next post was going to be Tere Ghar Ke Samne—a film I adore. I haven’t written about many of his earlier (50s) films here because he was one of the first heroes whose films I devoured when I started watching Hindi cinema way before I started this blog.

    I so admired him, well—still do. He was one of a kind and he made wonderful films. I will try to put up a separate post today although I am traveling so don’t have much time :(

    Rest in peace, Dev Sahab, and thank you for the countless hours of entertainment which you gave us over so many years.

    • Even though Dev A wasn’t in the forefront no more, it seems like with his passing a golden age of Indian cinema has ended. Tere Ghar Ke Samne is indeed one of my favourites as well; both Dev and Nutan are lovely in it plus Burman senior’s brilliant melodies.

      I wanted to pay my tribute last night by watching Guide again, but then somehow ended up seeing Mahal (which I hadn’t seen before), and now I notice it on your reviews. The direction was loose at times, but then I realized it wasn’t a Navketan production, which surely would have tightened the film. Nonetheless, Dev still is Dev! Quite oddly though, I found Asha P much more likable when she was masking herself as her own grandmother.

      Devji, hopefully we’ll have you in another place and time too. See you, once more!

  32. Am so sad at the news of Dev Anand’s death. I can still barely believe it. He was in so many beautiful films that are going to last forever and ever.

  33. I’d like to emulate Devsaab and say that I shan’t look back, only ahead and not mourn him, but oh mourn him I will. Goodbye, Devsaab – see you at the movies.

  34. This is really sad news today – Dev Anand with the dashing smile and the rapid fire dialog delivery and the scarf carefully knotted at the neck, in his carefully styled hair, is no more. Both he and Shammi were actors who brought so much joy in their films, and both of them are gone within months of each other. I am sure they are lighting up the place, wherever they are today. God be with you, Dev saab!

  35. @Memsaab – I just read your post today and wondered if this was some kind of “premonition” piece. It is really hard to believe that Dev Anand is no more. I am sure millions will miss Dev Saab for the amazing moments he provided in his films. I have always felt that he, more than anyone else provided a template for the average Hindi film hero that we have come to recognize today.

  36. Quite shocked and sad. I thought he would live forever or at least till 100! Of course yours was the first website I came to when I heard. I saw Tere Ghar ke samne not too long ago (on bollyviewers blog recommendation). Will wait for your review.

  37. God rest Dev Sahab’s soul in peace.

    That cigarrette holder is a real thing. I don’t know why some people preferred it to the one which keeps the cigarette straight but they apparently did.

    • Thanks Eliza. One more thing I have to look for I guess, although I don’t smoke (I can give it to my sister, who was equally puzzled over the perpendicular holder thing) :D

  38. Nice review, Greta.
    I remember seeing Mahal during my school days. At that time, the one scene that stayed with me was the one where he finds Dinanath dead. I saw this movie again a few years ago (I was re-watching lots of movies that I’d seen as a young boy) and found it ok. Either this or Duniya (released around the same time) has the heroine being able to lip-read from a distance – is it Mahal? I think it may be Duniya. I keep getting confused between the two because I saw them back-to-back and both have Dev accused of murder, I think.

    I remember songs of Mahal though from my early days. “Aankhon aankhon mein”, “ye duniya waale poochhenge” , “aaiye aapka tha humen intezaar” were all fairly popular at that time. In particular I remember “aaiye aapka” because my sister would sing it quite often,. :-)

    Thanks for the review. And yes, it is sad to hear about Dev saab’s death. Though we knew it had to happen sometime he had been evergreen for so long that I just did not associate death with him. May his soul rest in peace.

    • Unless it was one of the missing scenes I don’t think Asha could lip-read. I figured Dev Sahab would be around for at least another ten years, but I hope he is finally resting on his laurels, which he never did in life.

  39. Oh what a bummer. I saw the movie and the morning my wife wakes me to the awful news of his passing away here in London. I actually found the first hour quite boring as the build up was standard fare for the sixties with the hero and heroine dressing up as an oldie at some point to fool everybody but each other. The suspense was good fun though and kept the spark going.

    That said I found a really obscure movie of him with the one and only Madbhubala. Even my mother a die hard Dev Anand fan hasnt heard of this one. Its called Aaram and its here No subtitles though.

    I would love to watch “Hum Dono” the Rangeen colour version that Devanand released in 2011. I have never seen that movie as my mum thinks its a bit of a sob story. But I have to now. If somebody can find it online please let me know. The DVD shop is too far out.

  40. Love Asha Parekh.Saw all her movies,except Kahin aur Chal and Apna Banake Dekho which I can’t seem to get anywhere.

  41. Complete version of the film now,
    is also available at:

  42. . Mahal is another of those very entertaining movies that we saw in those days and had excellent songs,scenes and had all ingradients to be a hit film. Quite unfortunate that it was only an average grosser.

  43. Except good songs and scenery, the entire plot seems to be imprudent and a severe test on the patience of the viewers. It is made as clumsy and intricate as could be made by the film maker as if intended to thrust upon them boredom.

  44. was mahal a hit or flop-songs are awesome

  45. What was written in the will?

  46. Dev sahib was great in this, considering how disjointed it was (I can’t remember the ending, but the songs I do remember cause they were so good..I think we have the vinyl somewhere in storage). But asha & Dev sahib together were a great combo. I suspect the film was made over a 3 or 4 year period, and reels of footage were either lost back then or later on, when the film was transcribed. It could be a mix of both, in that to fully resolve everything would have added to much to the running time, thereby creating a loss of revenue at the cinemas (films over 2 and a half hours weren’t that common) , so the editor (s) junked the footage.

  47. I started watching this movie and in first 20 minutes got terribly bored by un convincing comedy and over acting by Dev Anand! Stopped watching it! Even shots are not placed properly, build up is slow, a friend sending Dev Anand to see his would be bride, is so foolish and un convincing.👎🏻

    Basically, I like and love most of the movies of ’60s and ’70s, but this one appeared to be horrible, could not wirhstand it, mainly due to poor start and self proclaimed hero, Dev Anand!

    Let’s see, if I can watch it fully, may be later sometime!

  48. All my life i was led to believe that Dev was banned from wearing black trowsers in public but now yt and google say it’s black coat ,some articles say black suit but none of the exclusively say ‘black pants’ ???

  49. I came here to read about the voice over artist of this movie. The person who was doing voice over from starting for the criminal abhi bhatacharya

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