Old Is Gold: CID 1955

Published - February 26, 2012 03:51 pm IST

S. P. Pillai and Kumari Thankam in a scene from the film

S. P. Pillai and Kumari Thankam in a scene from the film

Crime and suspense have been favourite subjects of Indian cinema. Stars in roles of CID (Criminal Investigation Department) officers were very popular quite early in Indian cinema. Ashok Kumar, Devanand, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Joy Mukherji, Biswajit in Hindi; MGR, Sivaji Ganeshan, Krishna, Jayshankar, Rajkumar, Shobhan Babu in South Indian films are just some names who made CID roles memorable.

The silent film ‘Detective Kumar' (1928), directed by Athawale, was the first ‘detective film' in Indian cinema. The Hindi-Marathi bilingual film ‘Geetha' (1940) is considered the first sound film in the suspense-thriller genre. The Tamil film ‘Digambarasamiyar' (1950) was the first in this category from the South, while ‘Avakashi' (1954), produced by Neela Productions, in which, incidentally, the hero was not a CID officer, was the first of this kind in Malayalam.

‘CID' that had popular star Prem Nazir in the lead role was a huge hit. In fact, Prem Nazir went on to play such characters in several films and even had a film titled ‘CID Nazir' (1971).

‘CID' was the debut film of director M. Krishnan Nair.

Sudhakaran Nair (Prem Nazir), a CID officer is assigned with the tough and adventurous task of suppressing a gang of thieves. Rudrapalan (Muttathara Soman) is the chief of the gang and he gets support from Vallabhan (Kottarakkara). Vallabhan is the estate manager of Mukunda Menon, a rich planter (Jose Prakash). Vallabhan's wicked eye is on the wealth of Menon and his only daughter Vasanthi (Miss Kumari), a college student in a faraway town. Vallabhan kills Mukunda Menon and the crime is falsely framed on the gang of thieves.

On her train journey back home Vasanthi meets Sudhakaran and falls in love with him. Vallabhan influences Pankajam (Adoor Pankajam), the servant of Menon and makes her tell Vasanthi that her father wanted her to marry Vallabhan. Vasanthi decides to sacrifice her love for Sudhakaran and fulfil her father's last wish.

The investigation of Menon's murder is assigned to Sudhakaran. Rudrapalan's adopted daughter Valsala (Kumari Thankam) and her aide Pichu (S. P. Pillai) are arrested by the police while attempting to cheat people. Rudrapalan's men decide to target Sudhakaran and reach Vasanthi's house in search of him. Vasanthi, who runs away at the sight of the thieves reaches Vallabhan's house. Here she is shocked to see her faithful servant Pankajam. Vasanthi realises the true character of Vallabhan.

Vallabhan attempts to kill Pankajam, but she escapes. She informs Sudhakaran about the murder of Menon. In the meanwhile, Valsala and Pichu escape from the police custody with the support of Vallabhan and his men. Valsala falls in love with Vallabhan.

Vasanthi is kidnapped and brought to Rudrapalan's camp. Sudhakaran follows them. ‘Orderly Vava' (S. P. Pillai, in his second role), assistant to Sudhakaran, enters the secret camp in the guise of Pichu. Vallabhan kills Valsala and Rudrapalan when he comes to know that they are plotting against him. Vallabhan and the thieves are arrested. Vasanthi marries Sudhakaran.

The film had nine songs written by Thirunainarkurichi Madhavan Nair and tuned by Brother Lakshmanan. ‘Kaimuthal vediyathe…,' ‘Nillu nillu chollu chollu…' (P. B. Sreenivas ), ‘Kaanum kanninu punyam nalkum…,' ‘Kaananam veendum thalirthu…' (P. Leela), ‘Kaliyallayee kalyana bhavana…,' (Kamukara Purushotaman- Leela), ‘Varuvin varuvin …' (Sarojini) were the most popular.

Will be remembered: As the debut film of M. Krishnan Nair. And as the first Malayalam film in the ‘detective' genre.

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