blast from the past Features

Madappura (1962, Tamil)

B. Vallinayakam, the producer of Madappura, was the brother-in-law of Indian movie mogul, A. V. Meiyappan, having married his sister Rajeswari Meiyappan. He was in charge of the AVM Film Laboratory for a few years before he left to produce films under his home banner, BVN Productions. Later, he changed course, and took to exporting films, but to only a little more success.



M. G. Ramachandran, B. Saroja Devi, M. R. Radha, M. N. Nambiar, K. Vasanthi, Gemini Chandra, ‘Kuladeivam’ V. R. Rajagopal, M. K. Mustafa, T. K. Balachandran, N. S. Narayana Pillai, Seethalakshmi


The film was written by ‘Thilakam’ Narayanaswami, a well-known playwright of the time. His play Thilakam was made into a fairly successful film; hence, his prefix. He also worked as a dubbing-in-charge in some of this writer’s film ventures. S. A. Subburaman, the director, was a school teacher before his love for writing stories helped him become a filmmaker. The story of Madappura is rather confusing. Two women (Vasanthi and Saroja Devi) fall in love with MGR, whose younger brother (T. K. Balachandran) is suspected of murdering a lawyer. MGR takes the blame and becomes a fugitive from justice. Nambiar, as was the norm, is the villain and heads a gang of crooks. He wears many disguises, including that of a police officer. M. R. Radha, as a father, is remarkable with his characteristic style of dialogue delivery and brings about the story’s resolution.

M. K. Mustafa, a well-known character actor of the day, plays a police officer who runs from pillar to post to nab the real killer (Nambiar). The murder, fortunately for him, is witnessed by a young woman who helps him catch the culprit.The film was shot at the erstwhile Majestic Studios in Kodambakkam. Successful writer, director and producer K. S. Gopalakrishnan, who hit the bull's-eye with his first film Karpagam, took over it and renamed it Karpagam Studios before it eventually shut shop.

Madappura was edited by Surya, a top editor, who created many successful editors including K. Shankar. The songs were by K. V. Mahadevan, who was assisted by his right-hand man Pugazhenthi, while the background music was by ‘Violin’ Mahadevan.A. Marudhakasi penned the lyrics, while the singers included illustrious names such as T. M. Soundararajan and P. Susheela.

Despite the presence of several popular actors, the film did not do well at the box office.

Remembered for: the performances of M. R. Radha, MGR, and Saroja Devi, and pleasing music.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 10:38:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/blast-from-the-past-madappura-1962/article7289260.ece

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