Black & White Photographs From The Cinema Resource Centre Archives (XVI)

16-1Still from the movie Pattanathil Bhootham (1967) directed by M.V. Raman and written by Javar Seetharaman who plays the role of the Genie in the film. Seen here is the actor/comedian Nagesh.

Pattanathil Bhootham is a Javar Seetharaman written fantasy-comedy film inspired by the Hollywood movie Brass Bottle (1964). Seeetharaman, who started his career as a lawyer, joined Gemini studios in 1940s to pursue his career in films. His performance as Inspector Javet in the movie Ezhai Padum Paadu (1950) (directed by cinematographer/director K. Ramnoth) became very famous and thus his name got the prefix ‘Javet,’ later becoming Javar Seetharaman. Javar wrote the screenplay For S. Balachander’s benchmark film Andha Naal (1954). It was also his first work as a writer.

Black & White Photographs From The Cinema Resource Centre Archives (XV)

15-1Still from the K. Balachander directed Manmatha Leelai (1976) in which Kamal Haasan played the lead role.

Manmatha Leelai (1976) Directed by K. Balachander struggled to get a Censor certificate upon its release. The film was criticized a lot for it’s bold content then, but later became a cult classic. The film became a huge hit at the box office. It was actor Radha Ravi’s first Tamil film. He was credited as M.R.R. Ravi then. This film also featured actor Y.G. Mahendran and his father Y.G. Parthasarathy (who had his own drama troupe United Amateur Artistes) working together for the first time in a movie. Manmatha Leelai was dubbed in Telugu as Manmatha Leela (1976) and in Hindi as Meethi Meethi Batein (1977)

Black & White Photographs From The Cinema Resource Centre Archives (XIV)

14-1Still from the movie Kizhakku Vasal (1990) directed by R.V. Udhayakumar. Seen here are actors Revathi and Vijaykumar.

Kizhakku Vasal (1990) was director R.V. Udhayakumar’s 4th film. It was his 2nd collaboration with Karthik after Urimai Geetham, which was his first film. The shooting for this film was plagued with various problems. The set which was built for the film was burnt, and MS Madhu, storywriter for this film, suffered from fits after witnessing the fire. Actress Sulakshana was admitted to a hospital due to a nosebleed. RV Udayakumar was hospitalised due to a car accident, and he went into a coma for one month. After recovery, Udayakumar completed the climax of the film. All the songs in the film were written by Udhayakumar himself and was a big hit with Maestro Ilayaraja’s music. The film ran for 175 days in Chennai’s Devi Bala theatre.


Black & White Photographs From The Cinema Resource Centre Archives (XIII)

13-1Still from the film Kavikuyil (1977) showing Sridevi and Sivakumar. Rajnikanth for the first time played a positive role as Sridevi’s brother in this movie. The music was composed by Ilayaraja. This still is from the popular song from this movie, Chinna Kannan Azhaikiran sung by Balamuralikrishna.

Kavikuyil (1977) was the 10th film by the director duo Devaraj-Mohan. They worked together for 17 films until 1980, before splitting up. Devarajan directed a few films independently like Ayiram Muthangal (1982), Rajathi Rojakkili (1985) and Isai Paadum Thendral (1986). Devaraj-Mohan’s first film was Ponnukku Thanga Manasu (1973) which had actor Vijaykumar playing the lead role for the first time. Most of their movies had Sivakumar starring as the hero. Devaraj-Mohan assisted P. Madhavan before starting their career independently.


Black & White Photographs From The Cinema Resource Centre Archives (XII)

12-1Still from the popular Sridhar-directed movie Kadhalikka Neramillai (1964) showing Muthuraman and Kanchana in the song Enna Parvai. This movie, which was remade in many languages, enjoyed great success and was a silver jubilee hit in Tamil.

Kadhalikka Neramillai (1964) was directed by C.V. Sridhar in association with his friend Chithralaya Gopu. Kadhalikka Neramillai attained cult status in Tamil cinema. It was also the first Eastman colour movie in Tamil. While the comedy track of ‘Oho Productions’ featuring Nagesh is considered to be one of Gopu’s masterpieces, the Balaiah-Nagesh scene is often considered to be legendary in Tamil cinema. The comedy duo Nagesh-Sachu paired up for the first time in this film. The comedy duo later went on to make many hit films together, including Motor Sundaram Pillai (1966), Galatta Kalyanam (1968), Sivandha Mann (1969) Sumathi En Sundari (1971) and Urimai Kural (1974).

Black & White Photographs From The Cinema Resource Centre Archives (XI)

11-1Still from Kaliyuga Kannan (1974), directed by the duo Krishnan-Panju and written by lyricist Vaali. Seen here are actors Sowcar Janaki and Thengai Srinivasan. The latter who was the lead actor, rose to stardom after the resounding success of this film.

Kaliyuga Kannan (1974) directed by Krishnan-Panju was based on the play Srikrishna Vijayam written by Vaali. It was the first film with Vaali as a script writer. Vaali, who had a five-decade-long association with the Tamil film industry, wrote over 15,000 songs including 5,000 for music maestro Ilaiyaraja. His first song as lyricist was Nilavum Tharaiyum Nee Amma from the movie Azhagarmalai Kalvan (1958). His songs for AR Rahman were sensational hits, including Jik Bukku Chikku Bukku Raile from Gentleman (1993) and Muqabla Muqabla from Kadhalan (1994). He also acted in Paarthal Paravasam, Poikkal Kuthirai and Hey Ram and made a cameo appearance in the Kamal Haasan-starrer Sathya (1988).

Black & White Photographs From The Cinema Resource Centre Archives (X)

10-1Still from the film Kasethan Kadavulada (1972) directed by Chitralaya Gopu. Actors Lakshmi, Thengai Srinivasan, Muthuraman and Srikanth can be seen from left to right in the frame.

Kasethan Kadavulada (1972) was the first directorial venture by Chitralaya Gopu, even though he had been writing scripts since 1959. He was involved with many comic films by his childhood friend C.V. Sridhar, including Kalyana Parisu which was the duo’s debut film. The famous ‘Thangavelu comedy’ in the film is still hailed as some of the best in Tamil cinema by movie buffs. In fact, the comedy track by Thangavelu and his wife M. Saroja of the movie was released in separate audio cassettes and vinyl records and sold successfully. The duo went on to be associated with many more famous films like Nanjil Oru Aalayam, Kadhalikka Neramillai, Kalaikovil, Nenjirukkum Varai, Ooty varai Uravu and Utharavindri Ulle Vaa – the majority of them being superhits.