China Town - 1962

China Town, India, 05 January 1962

Shekhar (Shammi Kapoor), a young singer, lives in Darjeeling with his widowed mother. He is in love with Rita (Shakila), the only daughter of the wealthy Rai Bahadur Digamberprasad Rai. Rai does not approve of Shekhar and wants his daughter to marry a wealthy Calcutta-based businessman named Chowdhry. Rita asks Shekhar to get a better position, but Shekhar is quite satisfied with his singing career. So Rita and her father relocate to Calcutta, and Shekhar follows them. An enraged Rai complains to the police, who arrest Shekhar and hold him for questioning. However, the police notice his resemblance to a China Town gangster named Mike (also played by Shammi Kapoor) who they are holding in custody. Because Mike refuses to talk, the police convince Shekhar to impersonate him in order to infiltrate the Chinatown criminal ring. Meanwhile, Shekhar's mother reveals to him that Mike may be his long-lost brother, kidnapped by gangsters as boy. Shekhar accordingly takes over Mike's life, but there is one thing he and the police overlooked - namely Mike - who escapes from police custody with the help of Rita who mistakes him for Shekhar. Mike's girlfriend Suzie (Helen) finds out Shekhar's true identity, but spares him when he reveals that Mike is alive and captured by the police, and sympathizes with him after learning that Mike was his long-lost brother. The gangsters overhear this and capture Shekhar, his life is only spared after he tells Mike his true background and the two brothers capture the gang's leader. As a result, Shekhar gets a permanent police job that allows him to marry Rita and Mike receives a reduced sentence of three years.

  • Genre: Thriller
  • Runtime: 138 Minutes
  • Director: Shakti Samanta


China Town is a 1962 Hindi film directed by Shakti Samanta, under Shakti Films. Written by Ranjan Bose and music by Ravi. It is a black-and-white movie, starring Shammi Kapoor in a double role, as a gangster and his look-alike. Shakila is the leading lady, alongside Helen in a supporting role. The film was remade in Tamil as Kudiyirundha Koyil starring M. G. Ramachandran, and in Telugu as Bhale Thammudu (1969) starring N. T. Rama Rao. The film Don (1978), starring Amitabh Bachchan, is believed to have borrowed some of its plot elements from this film. Don itself went on to inspire many later films about a lookalike working as an undercover agent impersonating a gangster.