R. Nagendra Rao, M. K. Radha, C.V.V. Panthulu, K. Sarangapani, V. Gopalakrishnan, Ganapathi Bhat, P.D. Sambandam, Sriranjani Jr., N.R. Sandhya, Suryakala, K.S. Angamuthu, ‘Baby’ Uma, T. E. Krishnamachari, ‘Pottai’ Krishnamurthi, (dances) E. V. Saroja, Thangappan, Ganga and Madhavi
Rattihalli Nagendra Rao has been rightly hailed as one of the important personalities in the history of South Indian Cinema. Indeed, he, along with all-time greats Gubbi Veeranna and M.V. Subbaiah Naidu, was one of the pioneers of Kannada theatre and later cinema. Nagendra Rao was not only a star in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu but also a brilliant screenwriter, filmmaker, producer and talent scout. He lived for many years in Madras city and besides acting in hits such as Strange Brothers (Tamil, Telugu and Hindi), he had his own production company. He made films in Tamil and Kannada.
One such production was Anbey Deivam, which was written by his talented son R.N. Jayagopal, also a multitalented Kannada film personality. Another son, R.N.K. Prasad, was a brilliant cinematographer who left his distinct touch with lens and lights in this film. Both of them are no more. R. N. Sudarsanam, yet another son, is an actor.
As for the story of Anbey Sivam, Mohan Rao (RNR), a filmmaker, and his wife (Sandhya) lead a happy life. Their neighbour’s (Sriranjani) husband (Radha) is a crook whose daughter is a lovely girl (Uma). The villain has many plans to loot the couple, and during one such attempt, he shoots and kills a person and his wife takes the blame and both of them land in prison. The filmmaker and his wife take care of the little girl Uma. Soon she grows into a lovely woman (Suryakala) and falls in love with a young man (Gopalakrishnan), son of a police officer (Sarangapani). By now, the husband and wife come out of prison. The father notices his daughter living comfortably and waiting to get married. He tries to blackmail the filmmaker. The girl’s wedding is scheduled to take place. At a crucial moment, the crook lands up trying to create problems and stop the wedding. How he gets exposed and the marriage takes place forms the climax.
Nagendra Rao as the filmmaker was excellent and well supported by Sandhya. Radha, the hero of movies such as Chandralekha and Samsaram, played the villain, which was quite unusual for he played the do-gooder hero in most of his films. He was very convincing as the man out to make a buck by hook or crook. Sriranjani Jr., the personification of tragic roles in Tamil and Telugu films, was her usual self.
The dialogue was written by T. U. Pathi and the music was by the well-known Kannada film music composers H.R. Padmanabha Sastri and Vijaya Bhaskar. The dances were choreographed by Thangappan (under whom Kamal Hassan worked as an assistant in his early years.) K. R. Sarma was the director. The film was shot in Golden Studios (no longer in existence) and produced and directed by Nagendra Rao. Anbey Deivam did reasonably well at the box office.
Remembered for: the interesting storyline and impressive performances by Nagendra Rao, M. K. Radha, Sandhya and Sriranjani.