Wednesday, September 22, 2010

on 34 comments

My 20 Good Murder Mystery Films in Hindi...

I have been a  fan of Murder mystery films from a long time and make it a point to watch as many whodunits as possible.With such a penchant for this genre of films, it is no wonder that I thought about  writing a post listing 20 of such  favourite Hindi films starting from 1960s till now..
This is based on my likes  only and  your own may vary..Please comment if you like to add some more..
In any case you may like to catch up with these movies if you have not watched some..
So here it descending order of ranking from 20 to 1....

20. Jangal mein Mangal (1971): 

The movie starts with the  a group of College students ( Kiran Kumar, Reena roy play the lead) getting romantic in a jungle camp, despite the strict  forbidding wardens played by Pran and Sonia Sahni..Things go bump in the night and a ghostly creature wreaks havoc and murder..Who or what is it.?.This film was a cult hit then, popular among the younger generation what with its hit songs and romance .... but somewhere in the end the plot comes unstuck and loses grip,  meanders into a usual masala film climax…...which explains why it got the last rank...Tum Ktni khoobsoorat ho... being a memorable song from this oldie!)

19. Gupt (1997):

Rajiv rai's thriller starring Bobby Deol, Manisha Koirala and Kajol is an interesting premise about a jealous suitor and the mania it induces which has homicidal consequences.
Well kept suspense till the end, Good music and tight screenplay with the lead trio putting in professional performances made it a worthwhile watch...

18 . Anamika(1973):

This tells the tale of a mysterious woman played by Jaya Bhaduri who comes to the shelter of a woman-hating author Sanjeev Kumar , the story takes many interesting turns and then a surprise mystery solved in the end…Well known hit songs ( Meri bheegi bheegi si and Baahon mein chali aao ) and tight screenplay makes it worthwhile on a rainy day!


 In his pre superstar era (1970) , Amitabh Bachchan plays a jilted lover to Yogita bali who falls for handsome Navin Nischol..Is all fair in love and murder?...Many have motives, but who is the real culprit?…Excellent premise of schematic murder that comes unstuck in the end...Referenced in the recent movie, Johnny Gaddar!..A couple of unforgettable songs too.( Simti si sharmaayeesi, Yoo na sharma phailaade)

16. Majboor(1974):

Amitabh bachchan’s towering presence, Pretty Parveen babi, mysterious fatal disease dogging the hero and a murder and ransom case. Add to this: Tight car chase scenes and well handled suspense of the killer’s identity makes it all watchable repeatedly, the movie has some  hummable numbers (Nahin main nahin dekh sakta, Roote rab ko  and Aadmi jo kehta hain)

15. Mahal (1969):

Dev Anand and Asha parekh star in this long winded story of  impersonation and murder of a rich old man in a palatial bungalow and hero is framed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.. Wait till the end to find out the truth on what transpired…Good performances, storyline and being a typical Dev Anand film and its share of popular hit songs!( Ankhon ankhon mein hum tum and Yeh duniyaawaale poochenge)

14.  Humraaz(1967):

B R Chopra's hit thriller...Sunil Dutt, Raaj Kumar and Vimi ( the ill fated actress who died penniless in real life) star in this musical murder mystery which is quite an edge of the seat stuff...Superbly handled plot , suspense and music in heady mix makes it a favourite ( Nile gagan ke tale, Na Mooh chupaake and kisi paththar ke moorat se etc are hummable even today)

13. Duniya(1968):

This is a late sixties offering starring a stylish Dev Anand and beautiful Vyjayanthimala. It has a solid multi layered  suspenseful story of a homicide tried in a court of law, excellent courtroom showdown between Balraj Sahni and Dev Anand , hit music and pleasing photography…A little slow in the first half but a good humdinger watch nevertheless! ( Dooriyan nazdikiyaan is still popular today)

12. Khel Khel mein(1975):

Rishi Kapoor and Neetu singh with Rakesh Roshan star in this popular musical murder mystery of a college students’ prank going awfully wrong....The screenplay, the hit music, the chemistry between the lead pair and well-kept suspense all make this a heady concoction..
( Ek main aur ek tu… and khullam khullaa pyaar)

11. Samay(2003):

This is a very thrilling and professionally produced movie staring Sushmita Sen as a female Police Officer in a rare role for a heroine . Everything about the investigation and killer’s identity is kept under control, and yet the last few scenes come off too timidly and leaves a a bad taste in the mouth..., It had a lot going for it  but somehow it leaves this mystery film in the 11th position and not any higher.

10.     Shaque(1976):

This movie set in an offbeat mode by Directors Aruna-Vikas tells the story of an office colleague’s murder which raises the hero’s wife’s suspicions convincing her that he had a hidden role in it and that rocks their marriage…But what’s the truth?…A strong and silent Vinod Khanna teams up with talented Shabana Azmi in this gripping thriller.

9. Buddha mil gayaa(1971):

Known more as a comedy caper starring the veteran Omprakash as the runaway old man, it is actually a riveting murder mystery  in which two out- of- work Photographers( Navin Nischol and Deven Verma) get embroiled in several murders taking place one after another.....
They  are at their wits’ end, trying to unravel the mystery.. Good hit songs by Kishore-RD Burman combo.
Director Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s only brush with thrillers!
( Raat kali ek khwab mein aayee among the hit songs)

8. Kab, Kyoon aur Kahan?:(1970)

Dharmendra plays a  suave CID Officer who romances  Babita on board a ship and slowly we get to the plot which involves Babita’s dad who dies under mysterious  circumstances leaving behind a huge “ jaaydaad” and an evil looking uncle Pran who is after it and her.. Nothing is at seems as the sinister plot unfolds and our innocent heroine is under threat of losing her sanity and perhaps her life too.. Unless of course the hero manages to unravel the mystery and save them all...A dash of horror makes it more pulse-pounding...

7. Shikar (1968):

Dharmendra and Asha Parekh star in this late sixties Murder mystery set in a jungle resort in which both the police and villains are after the heroine who has amnesia, suspected to have killed the villain, and an innocent hero rushes to her rescue. Good screenplay, nice songs and a very satisfying film…

6. Gumnaam(1965):

A classic whodunit in a mystery island where the characters get bumped off one after another and each suspects the other ; all the while a ghost song repeatedly plays near the bungalow...what’s really happening here?...Manoj Kumar, Nanda, Pran and Helen star in this golden oldie mystery thriller. ( Title song and Hum kaale hai to kya huva)

5. Teesri Manzil(1966):

This was a tie for the fourth place..It’s a great entertaining movie with hyper-energetic Shammi kapoor, pretty Asha parekh, glorious RD Burman songs and an excellent murder mystery that keeps you glued till the last scene…
Director Vijay Anand’s best work in the era and total paisa-vasool !
( Aajaa aajaa and deewaana mujh saa nahin  and a host of others in the hit album.)

4. Dhund(1973):

Again BR Chopra, the maverick is back with a chilling mystery starring Danny, Zeenat Aman and Navin Nischol , where on a foggy night the woman is ostensibly is shown to have killed her sadistic hubby, and a stranger has a car breakdown and enters the home at the same time to rescue her…..But what is the truth? Excellent cinematography and tight screenplay, and the mist creating an eerie feel throughout. A worthy watch to see how nicely everything falls into place at the end.

3. Ittefaq(1969):

Rajesh Khanna and Nanda star in this 1970s songless BR Chopra mystery about a Mental patient cum murderer on the loose and a lonely woman at her bungalow on a rainy night where they find a corpse…Excellent eerie ambience and tight screenplay…Must watch to find out who is behind it all..This is a gem of a movie starring the superstar in a role few would have chosen in their hey days..Rajesh Khanna and the story makes it worthwhile...

2. Khamosh(1985):

Vidhu Vinod chopra was good at his work and here he is at his professional best as the Director of a chilling serial murder mystery which takes place in the sylvan Kashmir setting amongst a film crew out on outdoor shooting.
Good solid performances from Nasiruddin shah, Shabana Azmi , Amol Palekar and Pankaj Kapur. The last minute revelation and  a shocker of a climax are the high points in this thriller.

1.     Kanoon(1960):

This classic is like the definition of a murder mystery. Ashok Kumar and Rajendra Kumar lock horns as Judge and Lawyer in ‘whodunit’ case in the courtroom with a layered plot… Shot in B&W, with no songs and other common distractions,  B R Chopra manages to bring out the best from the thespian artistes and make you glued to your seats till the final dénouement.
A thinking man's mystery far ahead of its time...

Now over to you, readers...!


  1. Wow! Great work! You have so much patience and wonderful imagination.

  2. awsm man...thnx a lot...all dis time i ws watching english murder across ur ws sucha help.. nice work...thnx

  3. Anonymous9:43 PM

    Nice list. Will watch some of these. Some other excellent murder mysteries - cheekh (tolerate first half hour part then it is good) , shart (naseerudin), sannatta , kaun hai woh (raj Kiran) , 13b, ssssh koi hai (nice movie), police public and anamika (new)

  4. Anonymous11:10 PM

    JEWEL THIEF!!!??? YOU LEFT OUT VIJAY ANAND'S JEWEL THIEF!? The best mystery film of them all!! everything about that film was near perfect, the actors(dev anand, madhubala, ashok kumar)the songs (aasma kay neechay, dil pukaray, yeah dil na hota bechara, rula kay gaya sapna mera..) bold art direction, and then the whodunit which you'd never guess watching 1st time!! hellooo.....

    then there is -
    WOH KAUN THI....
    N lots more dude...

  5. Anonymous11:21 AM

    You missed Navin Nischol starrer Saboot - an excellent all time murder mystery. You just cannot guess the murderer.

  6. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Anamika is a romantic movie and not a murder mystery. If we list out movies relating to murder i will list out Aitbaar (Dimple) and Aar Ya Paar (Jackie) as simply excellent. Also Phir Wahi Raat first half was exceptional. I wish Danny who directed only 1 film and it was this, had not turned it to thriller in 2nd half . Shashi Kala as a mad Nanny scared daylights out of me... I wish this movie centered around her only as in first half.

  7. Anonymous12:43 AM

    Nagesh i also read your comments on bollyfan & this list also superb i enjoyed about all movies in your list, your work proved very helpful for me , nagesh only missed movie duniya & kab kyuo aur kahan, can you provide me links of these movies
    Arif Saleem

  8. Anonymous8:25 PM

    I watched some of the recommended movies and they turned out to be total crap. For example Jungle mein Mangal. This movie tested my patience. It might have been a good pick in 1970s when viewers had not much options, but now I think such movies are outdated and best forgotten. I wish you made an honest attempt to compile a good list.

    1. I think the author has made a sincere effort.i watched jungle mein mangal as a kid and it was thrilling


  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. I will add some more titles to your list:
    1.Sansani-The Sensation(1981)
    2.Blue Oranges(2009)
    3.Woh Mein Nahin(Navin Nischol)
    4.Goonj(Rakesh Roshan)
    5.Hotel(Rakesh Roshan)
    7.Teesra Kaun(Feroz Khan)
    8.Teesra Kaun(1995)
    11.Kaun Kare Kurbani(1991)

  12. Anonymous1:00 AM

    Good work.. But friend where is 60's classic Bees Saal baad with Biswajeet & Wahida... excellent Classic Mystery....

    1. Anonymous5:27 PM

      there is kohra too very nice movie with wahidaji and biswajeet

  13. good one. -Dipankar

  14. Anonymous12:49 AM

    I think Teesra Kaun is not completely a suspense movie although last 30 mins quite gripping. I would like add 3 more -

    1. Kaun (1999)
    2. Stoneman - The Murderer
    3. Kuchh Toh Hai

  15. Anonymous2:29 AM

    I recommend DHUWAN 1981 Starring Mithun, Babitta, Rakhee and Amjad Khan

  16. Anonymous1:39 AM

    What about 100 days

  17. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Add recent movie 404-error not found in the list..

  18. Anonymous2:06 PM

    Hi Nagesh/Jay

    I saw a movie in my childhood in which someobe sees a murder happening in a moving train and then all the investigations revolve around it…Can you help recalling it?

    Also, in another movie, killer used to call up the police to inform of the next victim.

    There was another movie in which a guy dials a number and there is a cross connection. The murder is talking to the person who told him to do the same. Then whole movie was based on how to prevent the murder which will happen.

    If you can tell names of these three movies, it will be great !!!!



  19. Anonymous10:57 PM

    The stoneman murder - based on true story *****

  20. Anonymous10:06 AM

    the movie in which murder in moving train and then investigation is ek ruka hua faisla

    1. thats not ek rukha hua faisla..i guess,its teesra kaun,

    2. Error 404 n stone man mureder are must watch for thriller movies lovers..Background score is excellent in both the movies

  21. Anonymous7:05 AM

    nischal i think the movie you are referring to is The Train (Rajesh khanna) and Shart (starring Naseerudin shah - its on youtube)

  22. Anonymous7:56 PM

    Grt pal

  23. Anonymous11:11 PM

    no my friend 'ek ruka hua faisla' is a different one. Its a good one but in a single room, just a discussion over a court proceeding!!!

  24. sir, what about JEWEL THIEF, arguably the best thriller suspense produced in Bollywood, directed by the most versatile genius "Goldie" Vijay Anand, super fantastic music by S D Burman, and great performances by Dev saab, Vyjanti Mala, Ashok Kumar, boss this is a unpardonable omission for someone who aspires to chronicle suspense thrillers of Bollywood, leaving your knowledge levels to yet being a novice in Hindi Cinema, no offence boss

  25. Anonymous11:51 AM

    I'm agreed with above list n also with all comments, I'm the biggest fan of mystry / horror movies...guys you've missed few interesting movies like Aur Kaun starring Sachin hit song 'Han pehli bar ek larki mera haath pakar kar boli' by kishore kumar. And Kaun Kaise hit song by kishore 'Aao mere paas aur aao na ghabrao na sharmao. Thanks / Khurram Ali

  26. Anonymous9:07 AM

    .. i saw a movie when i was a child... but cant get the name..... in the movie the killer is caught becuse of his unique ring..... if i am not wrong then the cast is Raj babar..and so forth.. can some one help..

  27. Anonymous1:25 AM

    i want to add some more.
    1) Kaun Kaise (good suspense + hit kishore song "Aao mere paas aur aao"
    2) Aur Kaun (good suspense starring Sachin and hit kishore song "Haan Pehli baar ek larki"
    3) Aitebaar (Dimple / Raj Babbar)
    Thanks / khurram ali

  28. very good movies. thanks a lot. and http;//


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