Written by R. K Shanmugam, who had worked with MGR on many movies, Neethikku Thalai Vanangu was directed by Pa. Neelakantan (he has directed 17 MGR movies).
The film is about how one should respect and bow to justice. Every human being ends up committing some mistake at some moment in their lives, and when they realise it and make amends, they move a step closer to God.
A flawless young man, Vijay (MGR), who lives with his parents, leaves home one day as his father insults him. While he is fleeing his home, he comes across a girl whom he adopts as his sister, and begins work on improving her life. In the course of time, he commits a mistake, which leads to several consequences. He also meets a young woman and falls in love with her. As a reformed person who realises his mistakes, he makes amends in many ways, and in order to please everyone, he ends up sacrificing everything, including his life. An idealistic story with the theme of redemption, a favourite subject with MGR, the film gives excellent scope for him to perform and the film was a box-office success, running for over 100 days in many cinemas. Thambu’s cinematography added to the film’s success and it was edited by Umanath. M.N. Nambiar, as the villain, was his usual self, while other seasoned artists of Tamil cinema, V.K. Ramasami, ‘Thengai’ Srinivasan, V.S. Raghavan, Ramadas, Rojaramani and others contributed their best to the film. This film was produced by K.T. Subbaiah, under Sri Umayambikai Productions. Music was composed by the maestro M.S. Viswanathan. Lyrics were by Vaali, Pulamaipithan and Na. Kamarasan.
Costumes were by M.G. Naidu, who later became a successful readymade garment maker, while stunt choreography was by Shyamsundar and art direction was by P. Angamuthu.
There were six songs in the movie, and one of them, ‘Intha pachai killikoru….’ (lyrics, Pulamaipithan) was sung twice – once by S. Varalakshmi, and again by Yesudas. Another song (lyrics Pulamaipithan) filmed on MGR and sung by TMS, contained some of the statements of MGR’s political and personal philosophy… some of the lines are ‘Naan Neruppiley Nadappavandaa….Aanaa Neethikku Bhayanthavandaa’ and ‘Kovil Kaakavanthavaney Paaviendru Maarivittayey.. Saami Engey Kudi Irukkum….. Intha Unmaigalai Oorariya Eduthuraippen..Naalai Vun Aaatamellam Mudithu Vaippen…..’
Remembered for: The message-oriented songs and good performances by MGR, Varalakshmi. Lata, M.N. Nambiar, V.K. Ramasami, V.S. Raghavan and others.