Oli Vilakku is a remake of one of the biggest hits of Hindi cinema, Phool Aur Patthar , a box-office hit that catapulted Dharmendra to superstardom. The story is about Muthu (MGR), a vagrant with a good heart, who falls prey to a blackmailer, Jambhu (S. A. Asokan), a gangster who hides behind his facade as the director of a cabaret group.
Another beautiful dancer, Geetha (Jayalalithaa) is also a victim of the blackmailer, and in order to save her, Muthu steals from Jambhu.
Then Muthu meets Shanthi (Sowcar Janaki), a young widow, who is bullied and left behind in a large house by the obnoxious family of her husband.
Sowcar Janaki, who plays the role of the young widow, steals the show. In the film, she sacrifices her life to help the lovers (MGR and Jayalalithaa) unite.
Jayalalithaa plays a glamorous role, and pulls it off with élan, showcasing her superb talent in dancing and acting. She excelled as a dancer in love with the hero Muthu (MGR).
The song and dance sequences became a hit due to this hit pair, contributing to the success of the movie.
Dialogues were written by Sornam, cinematography was by U. Rajagopal and the film was edited by M. Umanath.
One of the biggest hits of 1968, Oli Vilakku , ran for a long period not only in Tamil Nadu, but also in Sri Lanka. Interestingly in Chennai, the film ran for 14 weeks (98 days, missing the coveted 100-day run by a mere two days.
Oli Vilakku was produced by Gemini Studios and the Indian movie mogul S.S. Vasan, though his name does not appear in the film credit titles.
The film was directed by Thapi Chanakya, a successful filmmaker, who has made hit movies in Telugu and Tamil. He had directed Enga Veettu Pillai earlier with MGR.
There are seven songs in the film, with most of them becoming big hits. This includes ‘Nanga pudhusa kattikitta jodi thanungo…’ (voices: T. M. Soundararajan and P. Susheela; lyrics: Vaali), ‘Dhairiyamaaga sol nee manithan thanaa…’ (T. M. Soundararajan; lyrics: Vaali) and an unusual composition by the movie music maestro M.S. Viswanathan with no lyrics, known as ‘Whistlings, sips and drunkenness’, a dance song with CID Sakunthala being the main dancer.
Remembered for: The melodious music by MSV and the dance sequences of Jayalalithaa and MGR