indian cinema heritage foundation

House No. 44 (1955)

  • LanguageHindi
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HIS ADDRESS, like that of millions in this country, was the footpath. Ashok had known no home, no family, no education. In order to still the hunger in his belly and to keep himself in clothes, he had turned his hand to anything; from pretty jobs to pick pocketing. He had dreams of better days, but did not know how he would fulfill them. These dreams took a keen edge when he found himself attracted by Nimmo, the daughter of a Railway Watchman, who lived near his habitat.
Ashok sang to amuse the girl but she took him instead for a loafer. Then, quite as suddenly as he had found her, he lost the girl. In the meantime, a neat job with his nimble fingers had given him contact with a shady character through whom he got a sort of a job with the inmates of House No. 44.
In running his new job Ashok temporarily forgot Nimmo, until she came into his life again as a co-worker. Unwittingly she had been acting as a decoy for Sunder, the shady character, who had helped her great deal after her father's death and had lodged her in his own house.
Ashok decided to rescue her, and on the other hand Nimmo was bent on reforming him. Sunder felt that he was being cheated out of a decoy.
When Ashok and Nimmo took steps to lead a straight, even though humble, life, they found that they were shadowed by Sunder and his associates who maneuvered to keep them unemployed constantly, until they were reduced to starvation. The outfit of House No. 44 knew that Ashok knew too much about them, and he was therefore dangerous if he was left free to lead his own life. Also, Sunder wanted Nimmo back, and threatened to kill Ashok. In desperation Ashok informed the police against Sunder, hoping that he would be thus rid of the pest. It came to him as a shock when he heard that Sunder had been killed while resisting arrest.
The confusion of his mind that resulted from this unhappy event, almost numbed Ashok. He suddenly found himself cornered and taken to 'Kaptaan', leader of the outfit of House No. 44. Kaptaan wanted to know who had informed on Sunder. He called a meeting of his outfit at two o'clock that night.
One of the suspects, Ashok knew, was innocent, old ex-member Jibu. Ashok tried to contact him to help him get away, just as Ashok and Nimmo were going to get away. But Ashok learned that the outfit had already taken Jibu away with them. Ashok then had no alternative but to attend the trial.
It was a dramatic trial. Ashok pleaded for Jibu and exonerated him, but it all led to a verdict being passed on Ashok himself. Justice, in such outfits, is dealt swiftly.
What happened?......
Was the vice-hold of the 'Kaptaan's, outfit too strong for Ashok and Nimmo?
The climax of 'House no. 44' is all! that you expect of it....... and more.