A popular film of the late 50s, Pudhayal was written by Mu. Karunanidhi, then a member of the Madras Legislative Assembly, and had Sivaji Ganesan and Padmini in the lead.
Shot at Newtone and Revathi Studios, and processed at AVM Studio Film Laboratories, the cinematographer was G. Vittal Rao and the editor ‘Panjabi’ (Panchapakesan of the ‘Krishnan-Panju’ duo; the two also directed the film.) It was produced by the Kamal Brothers.
The lyricists were Thanjai Ramaiah Das, Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram, A. Marudhakasi, Atmanathan, and Subramania Bharati. ‘Vinnodum mukhilodum’, sung by C.S. Jayaraman and P. Susheela, was a big hit. Shot at Elliot’s Beach, the song had Padmini and a slim and supple Sivaji doing somersaults! Two songs by Chandra Babu, ‘Hullo, My dear Rami!’ and ‘Unakkaaga ellam’, were also hits. The first has a humming ‘lalala...’, lifted from the ‘The Wedding Samba’ by Edmundo Ros. The tune was repeated in the Hindi Tangewali (1955) in ‘Halkey Halkey’ (composed by Salil Chowdhury).
The music composer was Viswanathan-Ramamurthi, and the action choreographer ‘Stunt’ Somu. Pudhayal was about imaginary gold buried on a beach, which Vellaiambalam (Balaiah) covets. Padmini and Sivaji meet and talk about how her father (M.K. Radha) in Sri Lanka was implicated in her mother’s murder and imprisoned.
Padmini and her sister Thangam come to India, where the sister dies. It’s believed that she drowned and her body lies under the sand. Vellaiambalam overhears the word ‘Thangam’ (‘gold’ in Tamil) and believes a fortune is buried there.
Remembered for: Mu. Karunanidhi’s dialogues, the songs, and for Sivaji, Padmini, Balaiah, and Radha.