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Updated: September 7, 2013 19:46 IST
blast from the past

Adutha Veettu Penn 1960

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Adutha Veettu Penn
Adutha Veettu Penn

Anjali Devi, T.R. Ramachandran, K.A. Thangavelu, M. Saroja, T.P. Muthulakshmi, K. Sarangapani, L. Narayana Rao, ‘Sattampillai’ Venkataraman, A. Karunanidhi, ‘Friend’ Ramasami, M.R. Santhanam, C.T. Rajakantham, P.D. Sambandham, Pakkirisami, T.R. Radharani and Rita

The back-story of the production of Adutha Veettu Penn is interesting. It all began when Arun Chowdhury, a noted writer of Calcutta wrote the short story Pasher Bari, which was made into a Bengali movie of the same name in 1952 and became a hit. East India Film Company, with its own studio based in Calcutta, produced it in Telugu in 1953 as Pakkinti Ammayi.

This film was directed by South Indian film pioneer Chittajallu Pullaiah who cast Anjali Devi and comedy actor Relangi (Relangi Venkataramaiah) in the lead, and C.S. Rao (Pullaiah’s son and Rajasulochana’s husband) as the hero’s pal. Noted singer and music composer A.M. Raja played a musician and hero’s singing friend. This film was a hit.

The Bengali movie was remade in Hindi as Padosan (1968) with Sunil Dutt, Saira Banu, Kishore Kumar, and Mehmood as a tuft-sporting ‘Madrasi’ musician (he was also one of the producers) . Pakkinti Ammayi was again remade in Telugu in 1981 with Chandramohan, Jayasudha and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam (as the hero’s pal and singer). This version also fared well. In 2004, it was released in Kannada as Pakkadmane Hudugi with Raghavendra Rajkumar, Anant Nag and others, but did not prove a success.

This perhaps was one of the few stories filmed in so many languages and met with success. Adutha Veettu Penn was produced by Anjali Devi and her husband — well-known music composer Adhinarayana Rao. In the film, a simple man (Ramachandran) falls in love with his neighbour Leela (Anjali Devi), who sings and dances well. He wants to impress her by singing, but he can’t sing! So he seeks the help of his friend, a singer (Thangavelu) who agrees to help. While the friend sings in the background, the hero just lip-synchs. Leela is charmed by what she thinks is her man singing and falls in love with him. Soon the truth comes out, and how the tangle between the lovers is happily solved forms the rest of the story.

Excellent performances by Ramachandran, Thangavelu, Anjali Devi, Saroja as her friend and the singer’s lover, and ‘Friend’ Ramasami, Karunanidhi and Venkataraman — who played the hero’s friends, contributed to the success of the film. They were ably supported by Sarangapani (the elderly uncle of the hero who wants to marry Leela, disguising his age), Narayana Rao (Saroja’s father), and Sambandham (the marriage broker). The film was directed by choreographer and filmmaker Vedantham Raghavaiah. Thanjai Ramaiah Das wrote the dialogue and the lyrics. Singers P. Susheela, P.B. Sreenivos, Tiruchi Loganathan, A.L. Raghavan, S. Janaki and Sirgazhi Govindarajan lent their voices. The music was melodious and blended well with the comedy.

The credit titles done in cartoon style with much humour by Dayabhai Patel of Bombay was an additional attraction for the film. The film was a major hit mainly because of its full-length situational comedy, rare back then in Indian cinema and more so in Tamil.

Remembered For The comedy and the excellent performances by the actors.

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