With his shoes in holes, the vagabond Raju arrives in Bombay, full of hope and dreams. He falls in love with the beautiful schoolteacher Vidya, who helps to make an honest man of him. But he soon succumbs to the charms of Maya, who draws him into a world of gambling, cheating and excess.
A resounding success at the time, this Bollywood production seduces us with its frenzied pace and constantly changing registers. Melodrama flirts with political satire, slapstick intertwines with a documentary approach. The magnificent songs are performed by Raj Kapoor, Nargis and Nadira, all three towering stars revered by Indian audiences.