CINEMA PLUS

Vijayapuri Veeran 1960

Trailblazer Vijayapuri Veeran

Trailblazer Vijayapuri Veeran  



C. L. Anandan, Hemalatha, Asokan, Ramadas, Pandi Selvaraj, S. Ramarao, Kamini, Chandrakantha and Rajeswari

A Citadel Film Corporation production directed by Joseph Thaliath Junior, Vijayapuri Veeran inspired by the fiction of Alexandre Dumas was a surprising success of the year. The screenplay was written by noted multilingual filmmaker A. C. Thirulokachandar. An MA from the Madras University, he entered films as story writer and assistant director and was earlier associated with the sadly forgotten Tamil cinema pioneer R. Padmanabhan (his son Balasubramaniam was ACT’s college mate.) As assistant director, his name appeared in the credits as ‘A. C. T. Chandar, M. A.’ He also worked with the genius K. Ramnoth. Vijayapuri Veeran gave him the first major break as screenwriter which took him to the house of AVM where he began to climb the ladder of success fast.

Anandan who began his career as a group dancer was cast as hero. He acquitted himself well with his slim, athletic physique and nimble movements, especially in the fencing sequences. Indeed the film had a number of new faces such as Hemalatha, Kamini, Chandrakantha, Ramadas, Pandi Selvaraj, Ramarao, later a successful comedian of “Ayya theriyaadhaiyya…” fame. Some of them like Ramadas and Chandrakantha were prominent for sometime, playing lead roles.

A fast-paced film, Vijayapuri Veeran had great action sequences and pleasing music (T. R. Papa). The dialogue was written by Nanjilnaadu T. N. Rajappa and the lyrics by Thanjai Ramaiah Das, K. D. Santhanam and K. Atmanathan. The song “Ullahthiley uram venumadaa ….” (lyrics: Thanjai Ramaiah Das; and voice: A.M. Raja and chorus) became popular.

Vijayapuri Veeran was a box office success and Anandan had a successful innings for a short while. Later he switched to character roles but sadly faded into obscurity. His daughter is film dancer Disco Shanthi.

Vijayapuri Veeran was dubbed into Telugu and Hindi.

Pandi Selvaraj, an enterprising young man from Pondicherry, was deeply involved in Tamil cinema for some time. He tried to produce films besides directing them. However, he was not successful despite his best efforts.

Chandrakantha played the lead role in quite a few films in the 1960s and she was the heroine in the hit film Ithu Sathiyam (which was based on the magazine serial by noted Tamil writer Ra. Ki. Rangarajan). However, she soon moved away from films, but continued to be a dancer with her own group. The Citadel Film boss Joseph Thaliath Junior who blazed a new trail in Tamil cinema during the 1950s and 1960s proved that it was possible to make commercially viable films casting new faces. This film was a shining example of his bold attitude. Today few remember him except for old timers and perhaps film chroniclers.

Remembered for the debut of Anandan and others who made a mark later in Tamil cinema like Chandrakantha. Also for the taut on-screen narration, swordfights and pleasing music and dance sequences.

RANDOR GUY

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