Madhava Menon is murdered while on a train journey from Madras (Chennai) to Cochin (Kochi), and jewelry worth Rs. 10,000 is stolen from him. Officer Rajan investigating the crime initially ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Unni Kannan Nair
Hotel Manager
Hotel Manager
Madhava Menon


Madhava Menon is murdered while on a train journey from Madras (Chennai) to Cochin (Kochi), and jewelry worth Rs. 10,000 is stolen from him. Officer Rajan investigating the crime initially suspects fellow traveler Unni Kannan Nair, but then later clears him and enlists his help in tracing the mysterious third passenger who apparently holds the key to the mystery. Written by Binand

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disguise | murder | See All (2) »


Crime | Mystery





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Nazir Sir-Sheela Chechi starrer romantic thriller
2 October 2014 | by (Kerala,India) – See all my reviews

Cochin Express (1967) is a thriller movie based on the activities of a gang of robbers. The title of the movie is as such because the incidents of robbery and thereafter the murder of the robbed passenger take place in a particular train which runs between Chennai (then Madras) and Cochi (then Cochin). It's been directed by M.Krishnan Nair who used to make crime-thrillers during the fifties and sixties. It stars Mollywood's superstar of that period, Prem Nazir and the popular heroine of the sixties, Sheela in lead roles.

Regular criminal incidents take place in a particular train at a particular time when the train is about to arrive at the Katpati station during the journey. The victims are all jewellers who are travelling with precious jewels in their possession. The modus operandi of the robbers is that the jeweller who is travelling in the first class coupe meant for two passengers only is selected for the loot. Then first his fellow passenger is either separated from him or intoxicated. Thereafter a member of the gang (Kottarakkara Shreedharan Nair) murders the jeweller and jumps with the booty into a river when the train is crossing over it. The other member of the gang called as No. 1 (G.K Pillai) is ready at the short with a car whom the killer reaches by swimming through the river and then they flee away with the booty. The time when the train crosses over the river is of around midnight and hence the robbery and murder is known only the next morning when some attendant of the train reaches the coupe or the fellow passenger comes to know of it.

The police has to take these incidents quite seriously because they have become quite frequent. When an incident of thuggery take place with a jeweller in his showroom itself in broad day-light (by the members of the same gang), then the top brass of the police force (Kottayam Chellappan) deputes a CID inspector, Rajan (Prem Nazir) to investigate the case and catch this gang which has become a big headache for the law-enforcing agencies. Rajan is in love with a girl, Geetha (Sheela) who is living a poverty-stricken life with her mother since her father got sentenced to imprisonment under a false murder-charge. Lily (Shakunthala) who is a cabaret dancer in a hotel is also fond of Rajan and she keeps on trying to induce him. However since she is a member of the robbers' gang also, it is difficult to say as to how much her fondness for Rajan is real and how much is a part of her duties assigned by the gang. The twist in the tale comes when Geetha's father runs away from the prison and reaches his family, i.e., Geetha and her mother but Rajan also reaches there and being a dutiful cop, gets him rearrested. This incident distances Geetha from Rajan. Soon thereafter, No. 1 visits Geetha's house and gets her the job of the receptionist in the same hotel in which Lily performs cabaret. Then one more incident of robbery takes place in which the fellow passenger of the looted and killed jeweller is Unnikrishnan Nair (Adoor Bhasi) who was travelling in the same small coupe but who was separated from the jeweller by one charming girl who induced him by her charms and took him out of the train when it was stationed and did not allow him to board it again till it departed, thus making the path clear for the loot and murder of the jeweller, now alone in the coupe. Unnikrishnan Nair is approached by Rajan who keeps him in his company in his bid to catch the criminals. But Rajan is startled like anything when Unnikrishnan Nair identifies Geetha as the girl who had taken him out of the train and facilitated the loot and the killing that was committed later. What happens thereafter leads to the finale of the story.

I won't categorize Cochin Express as a great thriller. It has many flaws. The biggest one, in my opinion, is the incident of thuggery in the jewellery show room because when a gang is successfully functioning with a set modus operandi of robberies in the train, then there's no need to go for a sophisticated thuggery. Anyway, it's a nice timepass. But after watching the full movie, the thought that comes to mind is that it's just an above average thriller with nothing extra-ordinary in it.

Prem Nazir was undergoing the purple patch of his career then and was considered the superstar of Mollywood. Despite the movie being a thriller, he has shown his romantic mannerisms whenever given the opportunity for that by the director. His dashing looks and romantic glances are sufficient to knock any young girl (of that period) out. Sheela appears (and actually also was) elder to him but the twosome has shown good on-screen chemistry and appears quite a charming pair. All others including Shakunthala as the vamp and Adoor Bhasi as the comedian (in a relatively meaty role,) have done justice to the assigned roles.

V.Dakshinamoorthy has prepared good music with help of Shreekumaran Thamby's lyrics. The movie boasts of Dr.K.J Yeshudas' chartbuster comedy song - Chanthamulloru Penmani, Enthinennne Chathichu Nee. Ethu Ravilennariyilla (P.Leela) and Innu Nammal Ramikkuka (V.Dakshinmurthy) etc. are also quite good and popular songs. For Shakunthala's dances, S.Janaki has sung in her enchanting voice, songs like. Ira Thedi Piriyum, Kathayonnu Kettu Nhan and Kannukal Thudichappol. A word of caution from my side. I had seen the full movie when it was telecast on Doordarshan but upon watching it on internet recently, I found that many important scenes are missing in the uploaded version including the revelation of suspense in the climax. Hence please don't watch it on internet and catch VCD / DVD of a reputed company for watching it.

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