50 Years of Jewel Thief: A Masterclass in Crime Capers

Pop Culture

50 Years of Jewel Thief: A Masterclass in Crime Capers

Illustration: Shruti Yatam/Arré

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ifty years ago, Dev Anand, that Gregory Peck-esque heartthrob of yore — who might have made the cut as an international man of mystery, should a brown man be in the running to play James Bond — starred in the epic crime caper, Jewel Thief.

Jewel Thief is, at its core, a classic whodunit, with a twist at the end that would put a creepy smile on M Night Shyamalan’s face while sending Agatha Christie, God bless her soul, into multiple raptures. If red herrings (the cinematic equivalent of “chutiya banaya, bada maza aaya”) are the game in any good whodunit, Jewel Thief is like a smoke house, packed to the rafters with enough red herrings to keep you in fish all year long. It gets to a point where you think you’ve deduced who the thief really is, but then the plot twists prove to you how terribly stupid you are.

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