A newspaper editor, Shrivastav, is killed when he was about to expose the underworld links of a very rich and influential person. He calls over his friend, Inspector Shekhar, to talk to him about the threat he receives from the underworld. Srivastav dies by the time Shekhar arrives. He remembers that he saw a suspicious person by the elevator and borrows a lady's car to chase him. The lady (Shakila) throws a fit (and even throws the car keys in the mud when it is raining outside) and they lose the chase. In the morning the two return home when they find the keys. Meanwhile, on the crime scene, petty pickpocket Master (Johnny Walker) is found at scene and confesses seeing the whole murder. Shekhar uncovers some of the gang, and Master identifies the killer (Mehmood) who is put in jail.
Meanwhile, the lady, Rekha, turns out to be the daughter of Chief of Police (K N Singh), and trust is formed. Shekhar is taken to the criminal's house in an attempt to bribe him to release the prisoner, but the attempt fails. The person who offers the bribe is Kamini (Waheeda Rehman). She spikes the drink offered to Shekhar, intoxicates him, and the gang leaves him on the street. He is found by Rekha, who brings him home. At Rekha's birthday party, Shekhar sees Kamini and follows her. Kamini turns out to be a childhood friend of Rekha. The mastermind, Dharamdas, now wants to incriminate Shekhar so that he can be clear of any fear. They take Master to a house and try to persuade him but fail. The gang kills the original killer by sending their people to jail and frame Shekhar for it. This puts the blame on Shekhar for the two murders. He goes to trial and waits for the verdict the next day. By this point, romantic feelings have grown between Rekha and Shekhar. They talk, and Shekhar does not know what to do. He is persuaded by Master to run away, knowing that he will have to prove who the real killer is by getting a chance to investigate.
He runs away. Dharamdas knows when Shekhar comes out of hiding, he will have evidence to expose the mastermind. So, he sends his men to kill Shekhar. They shoot him, and Shekhar manages to reach the killer's house unseen. He is confronted by Kamini, but he convinces her she can only plan a crime, not commit one. She feels for him, realizes that Dharamdas is evil and that she should no longer be a criminal, and nurtures Shekhar nearly to health.
Dharamdas returns and barely sees Shekhar escape into a hidden dungeon. Kamini follows, and it is Kamini and Shekhar vs. Dharamdas in a cat-and-mouse chase in a maze of hidden corridors and rooms. Kamini and Shekhar escape, and Shekhar calls the police station, saying that he is surrendering himself. Just before he reaches the gate of the police station, Kamini is shot by Dharamdas' men, and then Rekha's father, aka the Chief, tries to get a full idea of the picture. Shekhar explains that Dharmdas is the mastermind, yet the Chief does not believe him. Shehar explains the whole thing and that if Kamini regains consciousness, she will testify. Yet he still has to prove Dharamdas is the criminal so the Chief can see for himself, and so they have confirmation he is the criminal in case Kamini does not survive.
They plant an article in the newspaper saying that Kamini will testify, knowing Dharamdas will try to kill her in the hospital. They switch Kamini into Room 15, and tell the desk clerk to tell Dharamadas that Kamini is in Room 13, where they will be waiting for him. Dharamdas comes just before Shekhar and Chief give up, and they wait. They realize that they left the door to Room 15 open, and Dharamdas realizes the actual room as well. The Chief and Shekhar come just in time before Dharamdas attempts to kill Kamini. Dharamdas is convicted, Shekhar has to face trial for running away. The Chief promises to recommend bail or dropping the charges, and Rekha and Shekhar continue their romantic feelings.Dev Anand as Inspector Shekhar
Shakila as Rekha
Johnny Walker as Master
K. N. Singh as Superintendent of Police
Kumkum (as Kum Kum)
Bir Sakuja as Dharamdas (as Bir Sakhuja)
Mehmood as Sher Singh
Tun Tun as Complainant in police station (as Uma Devi)
Jagdish Raj as Inspector Jagdish (as Jagdish)
Waheeda Rehman as Kamini
The music is composed by O. P. Nayyar. The movie has only six songs but all became super hits."Boojh Mera Kya Naam Re" is sung by Shamshad Begum .
"Ai Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahaan" is sung by Mohd Rafi and Geeta Dutt and picturised on Johnny Walker.
"Leke Pahela Pahela Pyar" is song by Shamshad Begum and Mohd Rafi.And Asha Bhosale
"Ankhon Hi Ankhon Mein Ishara Ho Gaya" is sung by Mohd Rafi and Geeta Dutt and picturised on the lead pair of Dev Anand and Shakila.
"Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana" is sung by Shamshad Begum and picturised on Bir Sakuja and Waheeda Rehman.
"Jata Kanhan Hai Diwane" is sung by Geeta Dutt. However, this song was cut out from the film exhibited in the theaters apparently on objections by the Censors.
Dev Anand and Guru Dutt were friends when they struggled to get a break in films and had promised each other that Dev would give Guru Dutt a film to direct (which he did with Baazi) and Guru Dutt would cast Dev as a hero and direct him. As Guru Dutt did not direct C.I.D. he could fulfill only half his promise. The scriptwriter was Inder Raj Anand, father of actor-filmmaker Tinnu Anand.
Guru Dutt had spotted Waheeda Rehman in a Telugu movie and cast her in Pyaasa, but gave her a key supporting role in C.I.D. to prepare her for Pyaasa. The choreography of this film was done by Zohra Sehgal.The costumes were credited to a debutant, Bhanumati, who is better known as Bhanu Athaiya. Johnny Walker and Kum Kum as his girlfriend offer a comedy track and social commentary on the honest criminals trying to get by. They interact with Bombay in a way that is more direct and hands on than the others, and they know the ins and outs of the cops and robbers games.Mehmood was most effective when he had no lines. He looked the part but sounds a little too hammy. It could be drug withdrawals I suppose. Anyway the boss takes no chances and has Sher Singh bumped off, and frames Shekhar for both murders.Produced by Guru Dutt and directed by Raj Khosla, C.I.D is an entertaining and engaging thriller. Pitting a suave Dev Anand against a shadowy criminal mastermind, the story is told with tempo and light and shade. Add in the lush O.P Nayyar songs, a young and minxy Waheeda Rehman dancing to choreography by Zohra Sehgal, Johnny Walker actually being funny, and there is so much to love. There are a few points of judicial process that seem unlikely, but not enough to detract from the overall enjoyment of an accomplished yarn. Assisting Raj Khosla on C.I.D. were Pramod Charavorty and Bhappi Sonie who went on to become successful directors in their own right.One of the lyricists was Jan Nisar Akhtar,who wrote "Aankhon hi Aankhon Mein." The song "Aye Dil Hain Mushkil" (also known as "Bombay Meri Jaan"), performed by Mohammed Rafi and Geeta Dutt, is excellent for all time in the film.
Guru Dutt had reportedly gifted Raj Khosla a swanky foreign car after the success of C.I.D. It was released on 30 July 1956 with a grand ceremony.