The 1958 rom-com-happy-ending movie I saw was : Solva Saal.
What drew me to this movie was the song Hai apna dil toh awara. The song makes you fall in love and it piqued my interest in the movie so I read the IMDB summary and my-oh-my I realized this is a rom-com-with-a-happy-ending so I started watching.
This is an usual “damsel-in-distress” “a-single-night-adventure” film. The movie is set in post-independence era then Bombay (now Mumbai). The film uses a lot of stereotypical tropes for comical purposes, probably for cultural inclusiveness. It goes from Punjabi cab drivers to Tamilian-speaking-Hindi. That is not this post is about but wanted to mention that.
The story is about a girl of age having fallen in love decides to elope with her lover when she comes to know that her father has arranged a marriage allaince for her. To secure her future with her lover, she takes along a pearl necklace which serves as a family heirloom and is highly valued.
Little does she know that lover has vested interests. The girl and her lover start their train journey to Delhi (capital) to meet with the lover’s parents. And on this train journey, the hero is introduced to the story.
The hero soon catches wind of what the couple is doing and being a journalist (later revealed that he works for Bharat times), he decides to follow the couple in search of a story he could publish. The whole sky falls down on the girl when she sees her lover running away with the invaluable family heirloom.
She fails to give her lover a chase and puts herself in danger. Thankfully, our hero steps in the nick of time to save her. Later on, our hero offers his assistance which she promptly refuses but then recultantly accepts. Together, they start their chase.
The first breadcrumb leads them to the taxi stand where they inquire with the cab drivers about the lover on the run. A (Punjabi) cab driver takes them to their garage in the hope that they can inquire when the cab which served the lover could give some leads. This takes them to a movie studio called National Studio.
Their search for a single man in a large movie studio fails. Heartbroken and unable to see any way she could get the necklace back she accepts her fate. She bids goodbye to the hero and walks away. Realizing all the events that unfolded and what repurcussions it would have on her mother-less family of her father and her siblings for whom she played the role of mother. Unable to bear all that, she decides to take the extreme step and jumps off into the sea (Arabian Sea on the coast of Mumbai). Our hero realized she would do something foolish and was following her just in case. He promptly saves her once again and promises her that he will get her the heirloom back and get her safely back in her home before the day breaks.
At the studio, our hero employs his photographer side-kick (who was introduced in the train) to search for the lover. Meanwhile, our hero and girl are hired as extras for a movie scene. Parallel to this, it turns out that lover had another lover all this time with whom he would like to settle. He offers her the invaluable necklace as security for the future. They both decide to sell the necklace right away and get the money.
The another lover (let’s call her Nina - her actual character name), Nina, hatched a plan with the jeweller to con the lover into thinking the necklace is a cheap imitation. The plan works and the lover is fooled. Nina getting greedy crosses the jeweller and cuts him out on the deal. Meanwhile, our hero roughs up with the lover and tells him he was fooled by Nina into thinking the necklace is of no value. Seeking revenge, the lover and the jeweller team up. Turns out, Nina is the main actress required on the set where our hero and the girl are there.
A convenient plot presents an opportunity where all the actors (hero, jeweller and lover) run after the necklace and our hero is suspected to be the thief. The lover was successful in snatching the necklace and runs off. The hero follows and after him the entire studio thinking he is a thief. A fight ensues, police is called and after all the dust settles, the girl and hero confront and contest for the necklace.
The girl received the necklace and reaches back home before the night ends. Thus our hero keeps his promise. They realize their love for one another but given the circumstances and their own personal commitments they part off, thus ending the whole night’s adventure.
The girl put the heirloom back in its place and resumes the daily life. A surprise to everyone, it turns out that the alliance which her father proposed was with our hero and they hit it off in their “first” meeting.