Considered to be Shammi Kapoorâ€™s finest performance, Professor has some excellent confrontations between the main protagonist and Lalita Pawar in one of her major roles. Pity Shammi lost out a Filmfare Best Actor Award for this movie to Ashok Kumar, who won it for Rakhi in that year. Professor had some great music from Shankar Jaikishan and all the songs became superhit during the 60s. It was shot mostly outdoor in Darjeeling.
Forced by unemployment and then by his motherâ€™s severe illness, Pritam (Shammi Kapoor) is forced to hide his young age and impersonate as an aging Professor to fulfill the stringent employment conditions laid down by Sita Devi (Lalita Pawar) who was looking for home tuitions for the orphaned kids of her brother. She also has two grown up nieces who make it a point to harass every teacher who used to get hired by their aunti. Pritam also befriends one of the nieces Neena (Kalpana) in his normal younger avatar and slowly their initial friction grows into a developing affection between them. Even as the niece gets attracted to the younger Pritam, Sita Devi starts developing a soft corner for the Professor through their numerous confrontations. What follows in the second half of the movie (even as Pritam tries to make both the niece and the Aunti happy in his false dual role) is for the audience to see. The songs have been excellently timed and gel well with the situations in the movie.
Asha Bhosle teams up with sister Usha Mangeshkar to render â€śHumre Gaon Koi Aayegaâ€ť and then Manna Dey teams up with them for the beautifully picturized â€śYeh Umar Hai Kya Rangeeliâ€ť. Lata teams up with Rafi for the soulful duet â€śAwaaz Deke Hume Tum Bulaoâ€ť and the more fun-filled â€śMain Chali Main Chaliâ€ť. Mohd. Rafi has two excellent solos in â€śKhuli Palak Mein Jhootha Gussaâ€ť and â€śAe Gulbadanâ€ť.
Performance wise, this is an out and out Shammi Kapoor movie and he has been excellent throughout. Lalita Pawar has got one of her bigger roles more or less of the same as that of the heroine in importance if not in duration. She has given some of her best performances along with Raj Kapoor in movies like Ek Dil Aur Sau Afsaane, Anari, Shri 420 and Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai and now this was her turn to act alongside younger brother Shammi Kapoor. They also appeared together in . Kalpana is aptly suited for the role. Bela Bose and Protima Devi are good in their roles.
This movie is a fine example of a tight bound screenplay and great direction from Lekh Tandon so itâ€™s sad that he did not direct many movies.