Manam Pola Mangalyam 1954

Manampola Mangalyam  

The year 1953 was a milestone in Ganesh's life and movie career. Ganesh, then 33 (not so young, according to the Indian standards in those days), hit the bull's eye when he was cast in a dual role in the Narayanan and Company production Manampola Mangalyam.

A comedy of mistaken identity of two look-alikes, one of whom is an inmate of a lunatic asylum who escapes, the interesting storyline was created by the leading and innovative Telugu screenwriter Vempati Sadhasivabramham. (He was so successful that he came to be known as ‘Kathasivabramham!). The Tamil script was written by Umachandran and filmmaker K. V. Srinivasan and all three received credits in the film for the story and screenplay.

Manampola Mangalyam had two heroines — one Telugu actor Surabhi Balasaraswathi and the other, a talented and attractive actor destined to make history in South Indian Cinema, Savithri. Ganesh and Savithri not only played the lovers in the film, but also fell in love in real life and soon got married. Ganesh had already married young, and not surprisingly, the second matrimonial venture was hot news.

The film was a thumping success and the hero became a star. A new age in Tamil Cinema, that of the Romantic Hero had dawned. This hero did not indulge in fisticuffs every fifth scene, nor did he deliver jaw-breaking, alliterative and seemingly endless passages of dialogue.

Besides the situation comedy that is full of twists and turns, another plus point was the film's melodious music. The lyrics were written by Kanaka Surabhi and the music was composed by Addepalli Rama Rao, who was active in Telugu Cinema. The director was another multilingual filmmaker producer P. Pullaiah. Some of the songs became hits. They include ‘Maapillai doy…Madaras maapillai doy' rendered by the popular playback singer of the day A. M. Raja, and the multilingual playback singer P. Leela. Raja lent his voice to most films of Gemini Ganesh and later the multi-lingual star singer P. B. Sreenivos took over. Interestingly, the name of the hero playing a double role which appeared as ‘R. Ganesh' was second on the list of the cast with the talented comedian K. Sarangapani, who played an elderly man wanting to marry the heroine, topping it. Gemini Ganesh had large expressive eyes which he used in his films to tremendous effect. Manampola Mangalyam was a major success of the year. It not only established ‘R. Ganesh' on the top rung of the ladder of success but also gave the romantic reel and real pair a fine innings! The Gemini Ganesh-Savithri pair would appear in several box office hits over the many years that followed this excellent situation comedy.

Remembered for the excellent performances of the new hero in a double role, Gemini Ganesh, Savithri and Sarangapani and the melodious tunes of Rama Rao which are still fondly remembered by old-timers.

R. Ganesh (later Gemini Ganesh), K. Savithri, K. Sarangapani, ‘Surabhi' Balasaraswathi, M. R. Santhanalakshmi, ‘Friend' Ramasami, T. N. Sivathanu, T. N. Meenakshi, ‘Jayakodi' K. Natarajan, C. Rajaratnam, N. Peer Mohammed, T. K. Kalyanam, G. V. Sarma, V. P. Balaraman, ‘Gundu' Mani, ‘Loose' Arumugham, ‘Kottapuli' Jayaraman

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 3:03:14 PM |

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