Sivaji Ganesan, B. Saroja Devi, M. R. Radha, S. V. Ranga Rao, T. R. Ramachandran, O.A.K. Thevar, A. Karunanidhi, S. Rama Rao, K. V. Srinivasan, T. P. Muthulakshmi, Seethalakshmi, Radhika and Shantha Devi.
S. M. Sriramulu Naidu had a successful track record, producing and directing movies not only in Tamil but also in Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Sinhala and Hindi. Besides, he owned a studio in his hometown Coimbatore and later shifted his activities to Bangalore where for many reasons he was not as successful as he was in his earlier days in his native turf.
One of the movies he produced and directed under his famous banner Pakshiraja Films for some wealthy friends of Coimbatore was Kalyaniyin Kanavan, with Sivaji Ganesan and Saroja Devi in the lead.
The heroine Kalyani (Saroja Devi) goes swimming with friends in a river when she is carried away by strong waves. As she struggles, a bold young man Kathiresan (Sivaji Ganesan) saves her — expectedly, the saving of the damsel in distress leads to both falling in love.
Kalyani's father (Ranga Rao) is impressed by the young man's bravery and wishes to get them married on an auspicious day. Two days before the wedding, the hero receives an anonymous letter inviting him to an abandoned bungalow in the back of beyond. He goes and, in the cover darkness, fights an anonymous foe. At the end of it, he finds at his feet a body with a knife sticking out of its back! He leaves the place hurriedly….
The next morning, the hero, much to the shock of one and all, screams at the bride saying she is not of good conduct and refuses to go ahead with the wedding rituals. Meanwhile, cops enter the scene, looking for the bridegroom and cleverly he escapes! With the marriage stopped in a dramatic fashion, problems arise in the unhappy father's family. How they are solved and the marriage is performed much to the joy of all forms the rest of the story.
The story and dialogue were written by Velavan, a fairly popular writer then, while the screenplay was by Sriramulu Naidu. The lyrics were by Kannadasan, and the music was composed by S. M. Subbaiah Naidu. Noted cinematographer Sailen Bose handled the camera. The film was shot at Pakshiraja Studios, Coimbatore.
The scheming villain was played by the cult figure of Tamil Cinema, M. R. Radha, while S. V. Ranga Rao as the parent was brilliant. Sivaji Ganesan as usual was in his element, well supported by Saroja Devi, one of the most successful star-actors of Indian Cinema. One of the songs rendered off the screen by T. M. Soundararajan and P. Susheela, ‘Enathu Raaja sabhayiley orey sangeetham,' became popular. Ramachandran took care of the comedy assisted by Radhika who played supportive roles and performed dance sequences for a brief period. The two also sang a comedy number (voices A. L. Raghavan and Kausalya,)
Despite its impressive cast, Kalyaniyin Kanavan did not fare well at the box office.
Remembered for the excellent performances by Sivaji Ganesan, Ranga Rao, Radha and Saroja Devi, the pleasing music and excellent cinematography.