C. I. D. (1956): Communicate Intelligently and Dutifully

Here's a film representative of the many faces and allures of Hindi cinema. Emphasizing drama, suspense, music, and everything that binds them, C. I. D. (Criminal Investigation Department) excels in communicating its entertainment quotient. Directed by Raj Khosla, and produced by Guru Dutt, it is rightfully regarded as a classic.

The murder of a newspaper editor as he is about to reveal the criminal activities of an influential businessperson kicks off the case assigned to C. I. D. Inspector Shekhar (Dev Anand). His suspects include Master (Johnny Walker), a witness at the crime scene. Soon enough, Shekhar gets a few solid leads. He also runs into beautiful Rekha (Shakila), daughter of the Superintendent of Police (K. N. Singh), and Kamini (Waheeda Rehman), who is difficult to figure out. Through the case-solving process, though, he is caught in a web of lies, because the forces of evil led by Dharamdas (Bir Sakhuja) and Sher Singh (Mehmood) sell their ideas effectively enough to make a criminal of Shekhar! What's in store for Shekhar? Will he suffer despite his innocence? Will the murderer(s) be brought to justice? Is he/she from within Shekhar's network? And how will the ladies (there's more than meets the eye) react? See C. I. D. to discover. Its completeness is very appealing, and its value as an entertainment package undeniable.

There's subtle class in the way it's filmed, particularly when it comes to communication etiquette. Let's consider telephone usage, for instance. There's the sophisticated (for a moment and for some weird reason, she reminded me of Cruella de Vil; like a spider waiting for the *pause* kill!)...


...the anxious,...


...the urgent,...


...and the evil.


In person, of course, words of comfort (they're less risky) often help,...


...although, as at least this song by Mohammad Rafi and Geeta Dutt suggests (and I agree), they aren't always necessary in flirting ethic! (More on the music below.)



Examples of non-verbal etiquette include the seductive,...


...the genuinely concerned,...


...the physical and angry,...


...the physical and loving (sisterly love, surely),...


...the musical,...


...the abstract,...


...the implied,...


...and the direct.


The downright significant,...


...the downright threatening (salwar suits, not guns, are sexy!),...


...the journalistic (notice 'Pakistan must apologize...' in the headlines in 1956; ah the progress we've made in the last four decades! :P),...


...and the shocking.


There's diversity in the way it's portrayed. And much of it is complemented by some brilliant songs (music by O. P. Nayyar) whose lyrics (Majrooh Sultanpuri) only add to the plot, enhancing the narrative and doing so with tremendous ease. The classics abound, but before the rest, here's Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan (This is Bombay, my love) by Mohammad Rafi and Geeta Dutt, also featuring the stretch of roadway mentioned most often at this blog. Yes, it's every Mumbaikar's very own Marine Drive!


Here are some of the other fantastic songs:


When it's not the music, it's the storyline, performances, cinematography and screenplay. Dev Anand, Johnny Walker, and Waheeda Rehman deserve all the praises for their acting. As I discover Walker's works, he only cements his position as my all-time favorite comedian.

C. I. D. could have been shorter by a few minutes, but that's a minor complaint in what is a treat overall, right up there alongside the other great films from the 1950s (my other favorite is Taxi Driver (1954)). I'd highly recommend it if you're willing to give a black and white film a chance. It's not at all surprising Dev Anand and Guru Dutt were behind it!


Movie rating: 4/5 (Excellent!)
Thank you Bollyviewer for the recommendation. Richard has some good info and a link to a fantastic review here.

Music rating: 4.5/5 (Fantastic!)

My classification: PG (for plot)

17 comments:

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Shamshaad Begum's voice in Leke pehla pehla pyaar is so so beautiful! no matter how sad anyone is,that song can cheer them up. And of course Bombay Meri Jaan- its the best song ever dedicated to the city. and Dev in all his glory! And perhaps one of the most intriguing roles of Waheeda's brilliant career! its a fabulous movie- I need to write about this one too :D

bollyviewer said...

Hey tBF, glad you enjoyed it. Its been a while since I saw it last - too long, because I dont remember Mehmood at all. But thats not surprising considering the distractions - Dev A, Waheeda, Johnny Walker, Shakila, the action, the soundtrack. Johnny Walker's best roles were in Guru Dutt's films and this was certainly his time. Yeh hai bombay meri jaan is sublime. When I just moved to Mumbai, I happily agreed with Johnny's take on Bombay, but after moving away, I've come to appreciate Geeta Dutt's spirited defence of the city! :-) And hey, Waheeda's gun was a super-sexy accessory, here (I dont think she picked one up ever again).

theBollywoodFan said...

Shweta: I absolutely love Bombay Meri Jaan, couldn't have had a better actor-singer combo for it, nor a better location to film it (never mind my bias)! I have yet to see so many more of Waheeda Rehman's movies, all I've seen is this, Pyaasa, and Rang De Basanti. Delhi-6 is upcoming, of course. Filming in Delhi has become a major trend these days, it seems. Why there wasn't much of a balance to begin with, I know not. Or maybe it's always been there, and I only notice Bombay, LOL.

Bollyviewer: Mehmood was annoying, which obviously worked for the movie. There's so much to like about CID, for a while, I didn't know where to start! That gun is interesting, just as Waheeda is interesting throughout. Maybe if she carried a sword I'd have liked her more, LOL. You're right about the accessory (although the salwar kameez clearly wins! :P), and it's good to know she didn't carry another again. *Spoiler* And how cool was the house she was in? All those secret passageways! If I could, I'd model a Lego home on it! *End spoiler*

Nida said...

This sounds cool! I'd definitely check it out! Thanks for all the lovely screencaps!

There's just something about Dev Anand that fits this role, isn't it? The whole mysterious vibe? Like a Hitchcock film!

LOL about the Cruela De Vil comment!

Pitu said...

Ooo sounds like fun. The songs are just great! And Dev was so handsome back in the day :-)

memsaabstory said...

This is one of my faves too :) Waheeda is DIVINE.

theBollywoodFan said...

Nida: I hope you like it! Dev Anand's really good with the mysteries. He's got to be one of the greatest filmy cops of all time. That Cruela De Vil song (from the classic animated film, I should've pointed out) is one of my favorites. :)

Pitu: Every time I see one of these 50s films (really, I think this decade is perhaps the only one we can compare it with, that too for only one actor; they had three back then!), I am stumped by song after magnificent song. The songs here are written beautifully.

Memsaab: True!

Richard S. said...

Well, almost immediately after you told me on my blog that you didn't know where to start in reviewing this film...you wrote a very nice review of this film! You did great with all those screen caps, btw. (It always takes me a long time to get good screen caps on my blog; this would have taken me forever!)

Yes, C.I.D. was a really fine movie.

theBollywoodFan said...

Richard! Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. After reading your post (to which I've added a link in this post, hope that's okay), I knew I had to start thinking about what to write about the multifaceted C.I.D.! And yes, screen caps are always time-consuming (I've often been guilty of adding too many), the motivation to make time for them hopefully triggered by good products of film! Cheers.

theBollywoodFan said...

All: This is off-topic, but how sad is this? :(

Darshit said...

Dev saab + Rafi Saab = Divine sound of music.

Great songs indeed.

Have seen this as a kid, forogtten much abt it. Need rewatch.

And...you are going Nicki way. So much of screencaps haan?? :-)

theBollywoodFan said...

Hey there Darshit! Dev and Rafi are a great combo. As are Guru Dutt/Dilip Kumar and Rafi!

Nicki does such a great job with her screen caps. I have always believed pictures speak for a thousand words. In the case of C.I.D., they best showcase the diversity of settings!

Cheers.

Darshit said...

Humm...Guru Dutt + Rafi are heaven. Cant recall much of Dilip-Rafi, though.

And yeah, screencaps takes hell out of me. I always end up having great pile of pics to choose from.

theBollywoodFan said...

You might already do this, but I find it useful to take notes while seeing the film, and then returning to the interesting images to capture.

Nicki said...

I've heard so many good things about this movie. Plus I want to watch more Dev Anand movies. Thanks so much for the wonderful review and screen caps.

theBollywoodFan said...

You're very welcome, Nicki, and I hope you get a chance to check out this wonderful film! Also be sure to look for Dev Anand in Taxi Driver. Cheers.

yves said...

Hi Bollywoodfan,
Just to let you know that I redirected some of your interesting take on CID over to my review, so I wanted to inform you about it! Thanks again. About your "communication etiquette", I suppose it's natural there is so much since a lot of the movie deals with finding the right information and passing it over to whoever needs it!
cheers, yves