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Teesri Manzil (1966), the perfect Bollywood film!


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Focusing on the golden age of Bollywood and from the selected films that I had watched/rewatched around 2021, I had Anand (1971) at the top. It marginally edged out Mughal-e-Azam (1960), a work of art, for its use of Italian neorealism style to deliver a positive message about creating long-lasting friendships and keeping a smile irrespective of the situation. 


In 2024, I had the opportunity to revisit many of the films directed by Nasir Husain and Vijay Anand, reminding me once again about the greatness of Bollywood's golden age, which has its own space in the world of cinema. For its blend of quality, entertainment, and repeat value, Teesri Manzil (1966) stands out. 


Story/Screenplay: Originally, this was to be directed by Nasir Husain, who had worked on the screenplay and dialogues. Nasir Husain optimizes many of his earlier concepts in this one. The film more or less flows nicely. The songs are nicely integrated into the film, appearing as a part of the story - the lead character has his band.


Cinematography and Production Design: The film's cinematography shines. The use of frames within frames, innovative camera angles, color, and production design/sets make this a pleasing film to look at. The set used for "O Haseena Zulfonwale Jane Jahan" is superb with its use of the letters "Rocky", which are also used to frame the subjects. 


Score: The young R.D. Burman gave a breakthrough score of his career. The songs elevate the film. Below is the  list of songs:


No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Title Music - Teesri Manzil" R.D. Burman 2:42
2. "Music - Teesri Manzil" R.D. Burman 0:59
3. "O Mere Sona Re Sona" Asha Bhosle & Mohammed Rafi 5:00
4. "O Haseena Zulfonwale Jane Jahan" Asha Bhosle & Mohammed Rafi 6:55
5. "Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Tera" Asha Bhosle & Mohammed Rafi 6:05
6. "Main Inpe Marta Hoon" Asha Bhosle & Mohammed Rafi 5:24
7. "Deewana Mujhsa Nahin" Mohammed Rafi 3:22
8. "Tumne Mujhe Dekha Hokar Meherban" Mohammed Rafi 4:04


Acting: This film has Shammi Kapoor's stamp on it. Whether it is comedy, drama, or dances, he performs brilliantly. Other actors also play their parts nicely. 


Direction and Editing: Vijay Anand is at the top of his game. The editing is smart esp. for a film that is almost 3 hours long. It does not feel as if it has redundant parts. The cinematography also has his touch. 



Nasir Husain and Vijay Anand have worked as a team to create a magical experience. The film is as Hitchcockian as a Bollywood film can be.  This is the perfect Bollywood film esp. when you put "entertainment" into the equation.  



In 2024, Teesri Manzil takes the top spot! :hatsoff:



This legendary film needs to be restored in 4K in its original aspect ratio. Criterion, are you listening?




Edited by zen
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Recently, there was a restoration done of this classic film by NFDC: 









"Experience the stark difference in a frame by frame comparison of scenes from the film Teesi Manzil (1966), directed by Vijay Anand, before and after digital restoration. The NFDC-National Film Archive of India has set on a mission to restore timeless treasures under the National Film Heritage Mission of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

A 35mm release print from the collection of NFDC-NFAI was scanned in 4K resolution for this restoration of ‘Teesri Manzil’. This 35mm release print exhibited significant colour variation issues throughout its length, and numerous shots had missing colour channels.

Hundreds of technicians work frame by frame to remove dust, dirt, pinholes, tears and scratches from decades old reels. The result? Such state-of-the-art 4K restorations, that don’t alter the aspect ratios and ensure that the audiences get to watch the movie the way it was experienced at the time of release.

As part of 'Chronicles of Timeless Treasures', the National Museum of Indian Cinema is screening this 1966 hit, 'Teesri Manzil' by Vijay Anand."



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Shammi Kapoor’s first wife Geeta Bali died of small pox in 1965. Coming back from this tragedy, he shot for the song “Tumne mujhe dekha”. At times, you can feel his sadness on screen: 



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