The Perfect Murder, which premiered in New York at the Angelika Film Center in March 1990, was released under the auspices of Merchant Ivory Productions. But although Merchant is credited as its executive producer, having helped to arrange financing and distribution, he had little part in the actual shooting of the film. In the late 1980s, Merchant became interested in organizing an independent film unit in Bombay that would provide an opportunity for local film people to make modestly budgeted films for distribution in the West. The Perfect Murder, the first in a prospective series of films by this group, is a detective story with more than a small amount of humor, based on the British writer H. R. F. Keating's novel about Inspector Ghote (Go'-tay) who, with a Swedish criminologist studying Indian police methods, unravels a diamond-smuggling caper.
Cast: Nassiruddin Shah (Inspector Ghote), Stellen Skarsgard (Axel Svensson), Dinshaw Daji (Mr. Perfect), Archana Puran Singh (Miss Twinkle), Madhur Jaffrey (Mrs. Lal), Sakina Jaffrey (Neena Lal), Amjad Khan (Lala Heera Lal), Ratna Pathak Shah (Pratima Ghote), Dalip Tahil (Dilip Lal), Baba Majgoakar (Jeweler), Anu Kapoor (Tiny Man), Vijoo Khote (Head Constable), Mohan Agashe (A.C. P. Samaut), Wahid Chowhan (Producer), Vinod Nagpal (Minister), Gopi Krishna (Dance Master), Ashley D'Silva (Photographer), Pearl Padamsee (Nurse), Johnny Walker (Jain), Liliput (Black Shirt), P. M. Maniar (Drunken Guest), Sameer Kakkad (Felix Sousa), Imaaduddin Shah (Ved Ghote), Aida Noorani (Student), Nayeem Hafizka (Prem Lal), Rajesh Vivek (Zero Police), Salim Ghouse (Caste-Marks Goonda), Bomi Kapadia (Sergeant Moos)