indian cinema heritage foundation

Wildcat Of Bombay (Uthavgir Abla, Mumbai Ni Biladi) (1927)

  • Release DateReleased at Majestic Cinema, Girgaum Bombay, 26/02/1927
  • GenreSilent, Crime, Drama,
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi, Silent
  • Length2963.875 meters
  • Number of Reels8 reels
  • Censor Certificate NumberBombay- 5505
  • Certificate Date26/02/1927

Of the strange mysteries characteristic of all great cities, none puzzled the people so much as the sensational murder trial announced in all the newspapers of Bombay. 

The Courtroom was thronged to its utmost capacity for hearing the verdict in respect of the notorious criminal on that memorable day. When proceedings were thus in progress someone threw a note on the Judge's table. The note required the Judge to desist from pronouncing capital sentence on the accused. Nothing, however, deterred the Judge. His stern duty just had to be done. 

The next day the papers published startling news that the Judge's child had disappeared. The strenuous efforts of the police failed to trace the child's whereabouts. 

Ten years rolled by and Mr. Beharilal. the Judge, who had tried the case and lost the child has not been able to come across his daughter again. Beharilal had a son named Pratap who cherished notions that success can never be attained by fair means alone. With the help of his Guru, who was a staunch believer in truth and the ways of righteousness, he had started importing Japanese fabrics which he passed off as pure swadeshi Khaddar. The Gurujee, however, was blissfully ignorant of Pratap's duplicity. 

Pratap was in love with Indoo, ostensibly under promise to marry her but whom he continued to feed on false promises, and was having affairs with other girls at the same time. 

Bombay is ringing with the daring adventures of the "Wild Cat" who had meanwhile sprung up in the den of robbers on the farthest outskirts of the town. Her exploits lay in spending money over the poor and the needy which she took from the rich in various ways. 

Whilst the police were puzzled, having failed repeatedly to get at the "Cat", a smart Officer—Suresh—determined to arrest her but his attempts proved futile at any rate for a long time. "The Wild Cat" is more than a match for everybody. Every day people talked about her exploits. Police always tried to catch this "Cat" but they never could identify her, so many and so complete had been her disguises. Who was she? 

One cold night when Bombay slept and the underworld was active, a mysterious sergeant with a revolver in hand followed by his two assistants raided a gambling den in the city. The sergeant confiscated everything that was found there including of course the cash and vanished. 
"Baba", said a charming voice away in the thieves' den. 

"Today I had a nice time collecting notes at a gambling den" 

"You justify your nickname—child", said a hoarse voice that belonged to Bhairav the leader of the gang. 

"Wild Cat Eh... You are cunning, shy, where is the money?"

"I have already sent it to the bank," said she.

 "Is it? Then give me the passbook ". 

"Baba, the bank of charity has no pass-books!" 

Bhairav the gang leader who was a terror to the city understood that the "Wild Cat" had the - "dirty" habit of spending money for the sake of the poor. So many times she had helped the poor those who live in utter poverty in cement chawls of this beautiful Bombay. Over a part of the money frequently coming to the den, the thieves fall out. Violent quarrels ensue which catch a dramatic turn when Suresh and his men arrive on the scene. But by the wily machinations of Bhairav, Suresh was imprisoned in a cage from which it was the "Wild Cat" who sets him free. Thanks to the persistent good example of the "Wild Cat" a change of heart, at last, overtakes Bhairav and They leave Bombay - the scene of their fearful activities? The train on which the "Wild Cat" and Bhairav are traveling, meets with a head-on collision with a runaway engine. Hundreds fell victims. The "Wild Cat" fortunately was safe, she could hear the painful cries of many injured. But where she was lying, there was a beautiful girl dead and entangled in a mass of wreckage. Who was she? She took her beautiful valet which revealed that she was Usha going to Bombay to Inspector Suresh with the object of becoming a lady doctor. 

"Ah, what a girl," she thought, "But I shall not disappoint Suresh as the Central Station. Now I shall be Usha."

She changed her dress and informed inspector Suresh that Usha is received at the station. 

"Excuse me, Miss, are you Usha?" 

"Yes, are you Suresh?" "Yes," said Suresh when he gaped at her. "Who was she?"

They laughed and lo! something flashed in their eyes. They saw in each other's eyes, they read something mysterious language. What was it?

The passing of days told secretly that it was "Love". Suresh was madly in love with Usha. 

Pratap the extravagant and unscrupulous son of Judge Beharilal was giving a party to all his friends. He had said to Indoo that he would declare the date of their marriage at the party. Suresh and Usha had come there. But did Pratap really love Indoo who was so unhappy? Indoo saw that Pratap was making love to an Anglo-Indian girl and was giving her a costly ring. She was about to faint when Usha helped her. And after some minutes the ring vanished. Who stole it? There was a search, but still, it was not found. 

It was the "Wild Cat" here also who had put the ring in Inspector Sureshis coat-pocket. She cleverly managed to get the ring from his coat. 

Usha knew that a packet of love letters connected both Indoo and Pratap. Wily Pratap possessed them all. But how to get hold of them if Indoo was to be helped? The next day a polished Sikh gentleman came to Pratap's place. "I come from Inspector Suresh, for the search of the ring". And after a moment, at the point of the revolver he demanded. "Come on: hand me over the love-letters". 

But there immediately came Suresh himself whose unexpected entry made the young Sikh point his revolver at him. "if you want the ring, please find me at the Victoria Gardens tomorrow. I am the "Wild Cat" and she vanished. Suresh and Pratap gave chase. They only saw a scuffle between two gardeners and one of whom escaped. 

Suresh now thought he could still capture the  "Wild Cat" at the appointed hour at the Victoria Gardens, but the very cunning and clever manners of the "Cat" baffled him once again. 
One day when the " Wild Cat " and Usha and Suresh had been getting on well together, Usha's uncle came from Lahore to enquire about Usha's welfare after the train smash. 
"Suresh. where is Usha?"

"Oh, she is in the next room" and he shouted for Usha "Usha, Usha, Ohl! Usha. please come out, uncle wants to see you."
But there was no Usha. Suresh really loved her. He pushed open the door. He found a letter with a token enclosed 
Oh God, is Usha herself the "Wild Cat" after all? Suresh was flabbergasted.But he kissed her handkerchief. 
"Usha, where are you ? I love you. I love you even though you may be anything." 

And Suresh was convinced that now he was madly in love with one who was regarded as the most notorious of criminals—the "Wild Cat of Bombay ". But he was prepared to resign his post for the sake of his love for Usha and to avoid a clash of duties. 

Indoo was about to become a mother. Pratap had committed the sin which the "Wild Cat" thought she must expose for the happiness of Indoo. She insisted that Pratap should marry Indoo at once. On the boat "the Deccan" there was arranged a fancy dress ball when an individual dressed as a Prince seemed to drink rather heavily at the bar. Suresh muttered: "Ah, very clever of you, "Wild Cat." " But they may arrest you". So, he assisted her out of the ballroom, thus ensuring her escape from the Police through a steam launch. 

Meanwhile, Pratap had deputed an unscrupulous friend of his—Kapoor to get the love letters from Indoo at any cost. There was a scene. Pratap took up a revolver in his hand. Simple-minded Guruji was also present there and in the confusion of the situation, Pratap pulled the trigger. A shot rang out. Kapoor was dead. 

"Oh Pratap, what have you done?" shrieked Guruji. And there entered the "Wild Cat" followed by Suresh in order to save Indoo's prestige. She confessed that she was guilty of the murder. The police arrested the " Wild Cat" on a charge of murder and the newspapers were once more alive with the "Wild Cat's" murder story. As fate would have it the trial came on before Beharilal the judge. 

Does the "Wild Cat" get a capital sentence for the murder of Kapoor? 
Does the long-lost daughter of Beharilal the Judge come home again? 
Or do the two lovers come together—never again to be parted? 

See it all on the screen. The drama ends for you with perfect human interest, It may all be a chapter in the life of someone you know. 

[from the official press booklet]