Gumnaam (1965): Agatha Christie on Gilligan’s Island with a touch of Mahal… The best things in this were the music, Helen, Pran, and, of course, “Ted Lyons” (in a scene that you can find enough in other places). Mehmood was pretty good, I guess, though I much prefer his sister. The supposed stars, Nanda and (especially) Manoj Kumar, were just boring duds here, and the plot isn’t even worth describing, beyond what I’ve already said. (Although the film can be pretty funny in pieces here and there…)
I’ve seen Memsaab’s writeup on this, and I completely agree on the individual points (to the point where I might even seem to be echoing her) – except that I think I liked this movie a bit less than she did overall.
Though the redeeming elements do possibly make it worth watching… Shankar Jaikishan’s soundtrack is very good. This was also a golden moment for Helen. She was the best person in this movie (at least among those on camera); I wish they hadn’t decided to consider her character expendable. (Did I just let a “spoiler” through? Not really…since there are few suprises here – or, rather, since all the real surprises are crammed into a couple of song-and-dance numbers that become quite removed from the regular plot.)
P.S. I watched this on YouTube. It’s all there, starting here, although the installments are arranged in a scattered way and the next-to-last part, Part 16, is mislabeled as a second Part 15. (Look out for that – it took me a little while to figure it out.)