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Upperstall Review


House No 44


Hindi, Thriller, 1955, B/W

Cast And Crew

Pavement dweller and small-time pickpocket Ashok (Dev Anand) gets entangled with a group of crooks led by Captain (KN Singh) who operate from House No. 44. He falls for Nimmo (Kalpana Kartik), thegang's pretty and naive stooge. They try to start a new life together outside the world of crime. But trying to live an honest life is a struggle and as their situation worsens, in desperation Ashok turns informer...

House No 44 is one of the typical crime films, inspired by the film noir movement in Hollywood and which the Navketan banner was identified with in the 1950s - films like Baazi (1951) and Taxi Driver (1954). The film is overall a fairly watchable urban crime drama without being great.

While some sequences do stand out (the key scene wherein Dev Anand decides to turn informer against his colleagues is most innovatively handled), the film, after a reasonably well-constructed and tight first half, loses it in the second half as it begins to derail and meander towards its predictable finale.

Looking at the central performances, Dev Anand efficiently carries off yet another of his many petty-criminal-who-reforms role with his emerging characteristic style. Kalpana Kartik, never much of an actress, is just about so-so at best. KN Singh makes an effective enough villain.

The music by SD Burman is memorable mainly for the two wonderfully rendered Hemant Kumar solos - Teri Duniya Mein Jeene se and Chup Hai Dharthi Chup Hai Chand Sitaare.

All in all, strictly average but watchable fare.

Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan

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