Monday, May 3, 2010

Gumnaam (1965)

Gumnaam (1965)

May 5th, 7:00PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Seven people win a free vacation to a undisclosed location. That is the event that sets the film in motion. But the trip is not a smooth one and the plane makes an emergency landing at an isolated stretch of coast, that is except for the large mansion and servants that seem to be expecting them. Now murder and mystery are the name of the game.
Based upon the Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None, Gumnaam was in its day an A-Grade picture, showcasing superior production values then other contemporary Indian films. Despite the ravages of time something of this pedigree shines through, especially in the set design of the mansion.
In other ways the film is typical of Indian cinema in general. With frequent musical numbers, an absurd comic relief character and prodigious running time. But to those that appreciate the unique qualities of Indian cinema these are far from negative traits. To sweeten the concoction the famous singer Mohammed Rafi lends his voice to the film delivering an iconic opening number. Many call Gumnaam a classic, but it is without doubt a milestone in the creation of the Indian suspense film.

India, Director Raja Nawathe, Cast Nanda, Manoj Kumar, Pran, Madan Puri and Tarun Bose, 151 minutes, in Hindi with English subtitles

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