Ittefaq 1969

Movie begins with two police vehicles leaving the Police Station in the night. They drive through the darkness and finally reach a house. Admist many on-lookers the camera rests at Renu (Bindu) for a second, moves in to a room full of paintings

And then to to Sushma’s (Alka) deadbody lying on the bed

and finally to Dilip Roy (Rajesh Khanna) who screams “Nahiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnn”.

Dilip is accused of murdering his wife. Renu, Sushma’s siter who lives with them,  is the eye witness of this murder and she narrates how Dilip had killed Sushma –

Dilip is a famous artist. Sushma falls in love with him and they both get married. And even this she feels Dilip married her sister for her money. But soon after, they realize how different they are from each other. Sushma loves going to parties but Dilip is usually engrossed in painting and refuses to go out with her. Even on this very day, Sushma comes to call him for a party. It’s their wedding anniversary and some Mr. Sinha is throwing a party for them. But Dilip refuses to move till he’s done with his painting.

They have an argument over it and  he grabs her by the neck and chokes her to death.

Renu having witnessed this calls the police.

CID Inspector Karwe (Iftekhar) takes the report and arrests Dilip though he cliams he’s innocent. While he’s being taken away by police, he almost strangles Renu. He is presented in the court, and even there he threatens to kill the judge. It’s decided that he’s mentally unstable and he is sent to a mental asylum for psychiatric analysis under the care of Dr. Trivedi (Jagirdar) and under the charge of Inspector Diwan (Sujit Kumar).

The Public Prosecutor, Mr. Khanna (Madan Puri) comes to pay Dr. Trivedi a visit to inquire on the progress of Dilip’s state.  They discuss whether Dilip is really insane or he’s just feigning insanity to avoid being convicted.

Dilip is called. He’s wise and sensible one moment and violent and crazy the very next moment. After meeting Dilip, Mr. Khanna is convinced that he’s really mentally unstable. He’s sent back to his cell. But finding life unbearable in the mental asylum, Dilip escapes and seeks shelter in the nearest house he can get into without being caught. When he reaches the house Rekha aka Mrs. Jagmohan( (Nanda), all alone in the house, starts closing all the doors and windows after listening to an announcement on a radio about a patient who has run away from the mental asylum. He somehow manages to get it and threatens to kill her if she makes any noise.

He first makes sure that there’s nobody else in the house. Drenched in the rain he looks for something to change to and finally settles on Mr. Jagmohan’s black t-shirt and red pants.

Rekha tries to call police when he goes to change and he almost kills her too.

Calling bell rings and thinking it’s police he goes to the bedroom upstairs to hide and sends Rekha to open the door after threatening her that he would kill her if she tells anybody about him.

Since she lives near the asylum, Dr. Trivedi and Inspector Diwan have come to give her a word of caution. They advise her to lock all the doors and windows properly and stay.

Inspector Karwe and Inspector Khan, when they they learn of Dilip’s escape, go to Renu’s house to check if he has come there and also to make sure Renu is fine. They are scared he might attempt to murder Renu as well because she testified against him.

Back in Rekha’s house, Dilip lets a sigh of relief when Dr. Trivedi and Inspector Diwan leave, but that doesn’t last for long, for the bell rings again. He goes to hide and Rekha opens the door to find her neighbour, Basanti (Shammi) who has come to borrow some milk for her son.

Rekha, feels terrorized caught in the clutches of this madman and tries couple of times to get him caught but is unsuccessful. After the initial qualms (that includes some quarrels, threats and almost a murder attempt), both calm down and with no choice left, they try to settle the differences. At times he’s so understanding and rational and the very next moment he’s violent….he’s very unpredictible. Rekha is not sure whether to pity him or to get scared of him. They even reach close to becoming friends (there’s some spark, some chemistry betwen the two, but that’s a completely ignored aspect of this movie. It would have been nice to see some romance but considering the plot, the movie wouldn’t have been the same with this twist. I like it the way it is). Exhausted, he fixes himself a glass of Whiskey and some Sharbat for Rekha.

They converse a little over the drink and finally decide to take a nap for a while.

Dilip hears some noise in his sleep and wakes up with a start. With the lights off he can’t spot Rekha so he rummages through the house.  In the process he bursts into the bathroom, only to discover Mr. Jagmohan’s corpse in the bath-tub.

Seeing a dead-body he screams. Police, beleiving Dilip is a danger to others have begun a man-hunt and there are policemen patrolling all over. Hearing Dilip scream, one of the police-officers patrolling outside Rekha’s house rushes in.

He turns out to be Inspector Diwan.

But assured that everything’s in place, he leaves. After that Dilip confronts Rekha about her husband’s deadbody in the bath-tub but she remains adamant that he’s gone to Calcutta and hasn’t returned back.

Dilip takes Rekha and goes to the bathroom but the bathtub is empty.

Dilip beleives he was hallucinating when he saw Jagmohan’s body. He’s no longer in a state to differentiate between what’s real and what isn’t. Tired and confused, he sits down to decide on his next course of action. But before he can do anything circumstances take a turn and he comes across a situation where he has to face the police and the doctor.

How does he face this situation? Does he really see Jagmohan’s corpse or was it just his imagination? Does he manage to escape again? Is he an innocent victim being framed or is he really on a murder spree? Is Dilip really insane?

One of those very few Hindi movies with no songs and dance. When I saw it for the first time, around 9 years back, I was quite surprised by the fact that a  Rajesh Khanna movie didn’t have any  song! But I had really liked the movie and it has always remained one of my favourites in this genre. What I like the most about this movie is that it concentrates on its subject. It’s a pure murder mystery and the story doesn’t deviate from it. Inspite of it being just 2 hours long, it doesn’t include songs, romance or any other masala (thankfully no attempt is made to prolong it). All the characters have a significant role, and they all have given a brilliant performance.


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14 Responses to “Ittefaq 1969”

  1. Suhan Says:

    Love your screencaps but any reason why they are so small in this one? This is another interesting film in the RK repertoire.

    There is a forum on Rajesh Khanna in Topix where RK fans meet and discuss him. Apart from the fact that there’s a troll or two who’ve messed it up somewhat, overall there’s useful information on him and his films if you’ve the patience to ignore the troll’s comments 🙂 Here’s the link to the forum with close to 900 discussion threads.

    http://www at topix at com/forum/who/rajesh-khanna

    Thanks again for the review.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      No idea why some of the screencaps came so small. I published this from office yesterday, and hadn’t even checked to see if everything was fine.
      900 discussion threads!!!! There must be a lot to read then. Will check the forum. Thanks for the link 🙂

  2. Suhan Says:

    Sorry the correct link to the RK forum is:

    http://www dot topix dot com/forum/who/rajesh-khanna

  3. dustedoff Says:

    What a coincidence! I reviewed Ittefaq a year back, almost to the day. 🙂

    Great film. I really like the way they concentrate on the murder and don’t dilute the suspense with songs, romance, comedy, etc. Really gripping.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      A real coincidence!!! And we have almost the same screencaps in some places!
      This movie is one of its kind.
      Did you get to watch Signpost to Murder? I recently discovered that Ittefaq was based on that. Would love to watch the original too

  4. dustedoff Says:

    No, I haven’t yet been able to get hold of Signpost to Murder – would love to see how much they changed. You know what would really uphold my faith in Bollywood? To see that they’ve changed a lot! My last experience of an adaptation – Saat Hindustani – was so disappointing.

  5. bollywooddeewana Says:

    Hah just commented on dusted off’s post a few weeks ago on how i was disappointed by it being a copy, its still fab though. I’ve been trying to compare with the original but it seems almost impossible to get hold of, so if any of you find it, do let me know how and where

  6. dustedoff Says:

    Oh, BTW, sunheriyaadein: Here’s an idea on why your screen caps may have come so small. Sometimes, if your original screen caps are too large, WordPress automatically shrinks them. Try reducing the size of the screen cap and then inserting it… it happened to me once, and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong! (Also check the settings in the dialog box which appears when you’re inserting an image – there are settings for full size, etc – if those are wonky, it’ll effect the image size too).

  7. manoharv2009 Says:

    It is Super Star Rajesh Khanna’s 5th movie after Raaz and also his very first hit movie.

    Producer: B R Chopra
    Director: Yash Chopra
    Music: Salil Chaudhary
    Cast: Super Star Rajesh Khanna & Nanda
    Release Date: October 1969.


    The thriller begins with painter Dilip Roy (Rajesh Khanna) returning home to find his wife Sushma (Alka) murdered. His belligerent sister-in-law Renu (Bindu) accuses him of having killed his wife in a fit of rage. When Dilip breaks down and laughs hysterically during a court interrogation (in a Kafkaesque scene relying heavily on shadow-play to convey the court setting), he is sent to a psychiatric ward for treatment.


    s a great suspense movie

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Yeah, Rajesh Khanna has done a great job and it’s one of the best mystery movies 🙂
      I love everything about this movie…Rajesh Khanna, Nanda, all the other actors, Yash Chopra and the script-writer who has concentrated only on the mystery!

  8. bollyviewer Says:

    I’ve seen this film only once, years ago – but can still recall every detail! Its such a riveting film and so well made. The surprise ending, really was a big surprise! I wonder why the Chopras never tried anything like this ever again. Last year, I’d found a video clip of this film’s premiere on youtube (sadly, its gone now) – it was so nice to see Bollywood circa 1969.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I had seen this movie long ago too…but I could remember almost every detail. It’s such a well made movie and one of its kind…really tough to forget anything about it.
      Eaxactly, when the Chopras could make such a good movie, that too just in 28 days, wonder why they didn’t try anything in this genre again. Guess they like making romantic movies better 🙂

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