Directed by M. A. Thirumugam, Penn Deivam was produced by M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar under his banner, Dhandayuthapani Films. The story was by film journalist Abdul Mutthaleef, and the screenplay and dialogues were by Aroor Das. The film featured several top stars of the period, including Padmini.
In Penn Deivam , she plays the role of a sacrificing mother. Her husband (Sundarrajan) is a goon, gambler and smoker, with the son (Master Prabhakar, later. R. Muthuraman) taking after those vices. The mother’s attempts to correct him are in vain.
When she begets a daughter, her husband gets upset, and in a fit of rage, abandons the baby in an orphanage. In the meantime, a rich man (Raghavan), whose wife slips into a coma after delivering a still-born female child, comes to the orphanage, looking for a daughter. He takes Padmini’s baby and gives it to his wife, who passes away soon after. By sheer coincidence, Padmini, who is forced to leave the house, is hit by this rich man’s car as he leaves the orphanage.
The mother recognises the child after seeing her birthmark and asks the rich man if he will let her babysit the child. The rich man gets her to promise that she will never reveal the truth about the child’s parentage.
The child grows into a lovely young woman (Lakshmi), who falls in love with a police officer (Jaishankar). The police officer, who observes Lakshmi and Padmini, gets the impression that she is more than just a maid. After many twists, the truth emerges. Lakshmi goes on to marry the police officer at the end. Padmini gives a magnificent performance in a difficult role. Sundarrajan, as the rowdy, Master Prabhakar, and later, Muthuraman, as the grown-up son, also delivered good performances.
The music was scored by V. Kumar, a noted violin player, with lyrics by Kavignar Kannadasan and Alangudi Somu.
Remembered for: The superb performance by Padmini in a difficult role, and good support by actors like Major Sundarrajan and V. S. Raghavan