Kalathur Kannamma

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kalathur Kannamma
Kalathur kannamma.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byA. Bhimsingh
Produced byA. V. Meiyappan
Written byJavar Seetharaman
StarringGemini Ganesan
Kamal Haasan
Music byR. Sudharsanam
CinematographyT. Muthuraj
Edited byS. Suraiya
Distributed byAVM Productions
Release date
12 August 1960
Running time
176 minutes

Kalathur Kannamma is a 1960 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film produced by A. V. Meiyappan and directed by A. Bhimsingh. The film stars Gemini Ganesan and Savitri in the lead, while Kamal Haasan made his debut in this film as a child artist. T. S. Balaiah, Devika and S. V. Subbaiah play supporting roles. The film tells the story of a young couple — a wealthy zamindar's son and a farmer's daughter — who are separated by unfortunate circumstances, while their innocent son is forced to grow up in an orphanage.

Kalathur Kannamma, inspired by the 1960 film Nobody's Child was originally directed by T. Prakash Rao who left due to differences with Meiyappan, resulting in the entire film being reshot by Bhimsingh.[1][2][3] The film's soundtrack was composed by R. Sudharsanam.

Kalathur Kannamma was released on 12 August 1960. The film was critically acclaimed, with Haasan's performance being singled out. It was also commercially successful, running for over 100 days in theatres. It won the Certificate of Merit by the Government of India, and the President's Gold Medal award for Haasan. The film was remade in Telugu as Mooga Nomu. It was also remade in Hindi as Main Chup Rahungi with Bhimsingh returning as director, and in Sinhalese as Mangalika.


Rajalingam is the only son of Ramalingam, the zamindar of Kalathur. Kannamma is the daughter of Murugan, a farmer of the same place. On the zamindar's advice, Murugan sends his daughter to Madras for higher education. While returning from Madras, Kannamma meets Raja in the train. Noticing her respect and awe for the zamindar, Raja calls himself an electrician visiting the palace. They fall in love. A few days later, Kannamma learns the truth and to reassure her, Raja marries her secretly in a temple.

Two days later, Raja has to go abroad for higher studies. During his absence, Ramalingam learns of the marriage and orders Kannamma to forget his son. Moved by the zamindar's feelings, Kannamma promises never to mention their marriage to anyone. Kannamma is now in the family way. Ramalingam arranges for the stay of Murugan and Kannamma in a nearby town, Sevalpatti. Murugan, who is ashamed of Kannamma's love affair, leaves Kannamma's newborn son in an orphanage and lies that the child was stillborn. They both decide to leave the place and settle in Bangalore.

When Raja returns, he learns that Kannamma had left Kalathur. His inquiries in Sevalpatti lead him to believe that Kannamma had led an immoral life. Grief-stricken, he travels from place to place to forget Kannamma and takes to drinking as a last resort. In Bangalore, he encounters Kannamma in a dancer's house where she had come to teach the dancer's daughter. Her presence in the house and reticence to Raja's questions strengthens his belief that Kannamma is a woman of ill repute and in disgust, he returns home.

Kannamma's son Selvam grows up into an intelligent boy and is living in the orphanage in Sevalpatti. Murugan visits the orphanage and on meeting Selvam, decides to shift to Sevalpatti to be near him. Kannamma becomes a teacher in Selvam's school and feels attracted to him. She invites him to stay with her but he refuses as he has to look after Mani, a lame orphan living with him. Raja is invited to Sevalpatti by Singaram, a rich merchant who wants to marry his daughter Maduram to him, to preside over a school function. Raja takes a fascination for Selvam who acts in the school drama. After the drama ends, he encounters Kannamma again and orders the headmistress to dismiss her.

Mani is critically ill and Selvam turns to Raja for help. Raja brings a doctor who is unable to save Mani. Raja takes Selvam with him to the palace. On Selvam's insistence, he stops drinking and to give him a mother, also decides to marry Maduram. A seriously ill Murugan confesses to Kannamma that her child is not dead and reveals the identity of Selvam. Kannamma tries to contact Selvam but does not find him in the orphanage. The news shocks Murugan and to soothe his nerves, they move down to their village Kalathur. In the local temple, Kannamma meets Selvam and tells him that she is his mother. On learning from him that Raja is bringing him up and is marrying shortly to find him a mother, she asks him not to mention anything about her to Raja. While preparations were going on for the marriage of Raja with Maduram, she comes to know from Selvam that he is the son of Raja. Singaram insists on a written undertaking that the properties of Raja would go to the children of Maduram only. The news of this conflict spreads in the village.

On learning this, Murugan rushes to the palace to own the boy but collapses near the palace gate. Kannamma who has followed takes Selvam and tries to move away when she is intercepted by Raja who demands the boy back. Raja refuses to believe that Selvam is Kannamma's son and abuses Kannamma for her shameless life. Ramalingam observes that even in such a humiliating situation, Kannamma is silent and does not breathe a word about her promise to him. He is moved and acknowledges her as his daughter-in-law. Selvam is united with his parents, and Raja's marriage with Maduram is cancelled.



Originally, T. Prakash Rao was the director of the film.[7] While AVM Productions paid its directors salaries ranging from 15,000 to 20,000, Prakash Rao charged 40,000. Producer M. Saravanan discussed this with his father A. V. Meiyappan, who approved as he did not want to stand in the way of Saravanan's enthusiasm.[8] Prakash Rao had directed "nearly half the film", but because Meiyappan and he "didn't see eye to eye", the entire film was re-shot by A. Bhimsingh.[9] Although Meiyappan offered to retain Prakash Rao's name in the credits, he declined.[10] The film was written by Javar Seetharaman, and is loosely adapted from the Moral Rearmament Army's play The Forgotten Factor.[11] While Gemini Ganesan and Savitri were cast in the lead roles, Kamal Haasan – who was then a child – was cast in the film, making his cinematic debut.[12] The original choice for Haasan's role was Daisy Irani, who had already been paid 10,000 in advance.[13][14] S. P. Muthuraman, who later became a leading director in Tamil cinema, made his debut as an assistant director in this film.[7][15] Gemini Ganesan was paid a salary of 75,000 (equivalent to 5.0 million or US$73,000 in 2018).[16]

There have been varying accounts regarding Haasan's entry into this film. In 1997, V. S. Srinivasan wrote for Rediff that young Haasan accompanied a doctor who went to treat an ill woman at the home of Meiyappan. On hearing loud shouting from a first-floor tenant of the bungalow, the doctor became uneasy. Haasan strode up the stairway to ask the noisemaker not to shout over the phone as someone was ill, leaving the person astonished. An impressed Meiyappan later provided him an entry into films.[17] However, other sources state that when Haasan accompanied a family doctor of Meiyappan to his house,[18] Meiyappan's son, producer M. Saravanan noticed Haasan as a hyperactive child. He took him over and introduced to Meiyappan who was looking for a young boy to act in Kalathur Kannamma.[14][19] According to film critic Naman Ramachandran, Meiyappan cast Haasan after being impressed with his impressions of actors M. G. Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan, and his performance of a song from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958).[20] The first shot filmed on Haasan was a scene featuring Savitri's character feeding him upma. Haasan held on to the upma in his mouth until the shot was done. He had not swallowed it. After the shot, he ran out and spat the upma, believing it to be fake. He refused to believe that the upma was real until after Muthuraman convinced him.[21][22] The final length of the film was 17,570 feet (5,360 m).[23]


The music of the film was composed by R. Sudharsanam,[24][25] while the lyrics were penned by Kannadasan, Kothamangalam Subbu, Ku. Ma. Balasubramaniam, M. K. Athmanathan and T. K. Sundara Vathiyar. The playback singers were C. S. Jayaraman, T. M. Soundararajan, A. M. Rajah, S. C. Krishnan, M. S. Rajeswari, Jikki, A. P. Komala and P. Susheela.[26] For the song "Arugil Vanthaal", Kannadasan came up with 56 pallavis.[27] The song "Aadatha Manamum" is set in the carnatic raga known as Gourimanohari.[28]

The soundtrack received positive response, with major praises for the number Ammavum Neeye.[29] Film historian B. Vijayakumar said "One stand out sequence in Kalathoor Kannamma is the song pictured on Kamal. The song, ‘Ammavum neeye’... by M. S. Rajeswari and Kamal's acting made it an unforgettable experience".[30] A report from The Hindu described the song's verses as "immortal".[31] The Times of India said, "Ammavum Neeye Appavum Neeye... — this is a line that'll forever remain etched in the memory of Tamil cinema fans."[32]

1."Kangalin Vaarthaigal"KannadasanA. M. Rajah, P. Susheela3:33
2."Sirithaalum"KannadasanC. S. Jayaraman3:30
3."Aadatha Manamum"Ku. Ma. BalasubramaniamA. M. Rajah, P. Susheela3:19
4."Arugil Vanthaal"KannadasanA. M. Rajah3:23
5."Ammavum Neeye"T. K. Sundara VathiyarM. S. Rajeswari2:47
6."Unaikkandu Mayangaadha"Kothamangalam SubbuS. C. Krishnan, T. M. Soundararajan, M. S. Rajeswari, A. P. Komala6:58
7."Malaril Madhu Edharkku"M. K. AthmanathanJikki2:93
8."Ammavum Neeye" (Pathos)T. K. Sundara VathiyarM. S. Rajeswari1:26


Kalathur Kannamma was released on 12 August 1960.[33][34] It was a major commercial success,[35] running for over 100 days in theatres.[23]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviews were mostly positive.[36] On 11 September 1960, Ananda Vikatan praised Kamal Haasan's performance and described Kalathur Kannamma as one of the best films in Tamil to that point.[37] The Madras-based film magazine Movieland said, "A new star rises on the movie horizon". The article by film journalist, K. Vasudevan, praised the performance of Haasan.[29] Randor Guy of The Hindu wrote that the film was remembered for "The little boy’s remarkable performance and the song filmed on him".[29] Kamal Haasan's elder brother Charuhasan said, "I have watched Kamal’s first movie a 100 times, as I took him to all the theatres wherever ‘Kalathur Kannamma’ was being screened."[38] S. Saraswathi of Rediff included Kalathur Kannamma in her list of "The 10 Best Films of Kamal Haasan", praising Haasan's performance over that of Gemini Ganesan and Savitri.[39] Pavithra Srinivasan also included it in her list, titled "The best of Kamal Haasan".[40]


Kalathur Kannamma won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil – Certificate of Merit for the Third Best Feature Film in 1961.[5] Haasan's performance earned him the President's Gold Medal.[41][42]

Other versions[edit]

Kalathur Kannamma was dubbed in Telugu as Mavoori Ammayi, which was released on 20 October 1960.[43] The film was also remade in the same language as Mooga Nomu (1969).[44] Bhimsingh later remade the film in Hindi as Main Chup Rahungi (1962), which starred Sunil Dutt and Meena Kumari in the lead roles.[45] The film was also remade in Sinhalese as Mangalika (1963),[46] while the Hindi version was remade as Udarata Menike the same year.[47]

In other media[edit]

In Udan Pirappu (1993), Goundamani as a beggar sings "Ammavum Neeye" as "Mummy-um Neeye".[48] In Kaathala Kaathala (1998), the footage of "Ammavum Neeye" will be shown in the title credits and the young Kamal gets transformed into elder Kamal, he and Prabhu Deva along with children is seen singing this song to a garbage.[49]


  1. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 81.
  2. ^ "Did You Know?". The Times of India. 23 August 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Did You Know". The Times of India. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Bali, Karan (28 August 2016). "Lost in remaking? A Bhimsingh's films found new fans in Hindi but are better viewed in Tamil". Scroll.in. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "State Awards for Films". Directorate of Film Festivals. 31 March 1961. pp. 30–31. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  6. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (12 October 2015). "Legendary Tamil actor Manorama tribute: Mistress of arts". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  7. ^ a b Muthuraman, S. P. (13 May 2015). "சினிமா எடுத்துப் பார் 8- திரைக்கதை ஜாம்பவான் டி. பிரகாஷ் ராவ்!" [Try making a film, part 8 – The screenplay legend T. Prakash Rao!]. The Hindu (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  8. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 70.
  9. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (25 August 2006). "The thrill of the hunt". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2 September 2006. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  10. ^ Guy, Randor (August 2009). "Celebrating a Living Legend: Kamal Haasan". Galatta Cinema. pp. 72–75. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  11. ^ Guy, Randor. "Tamil Cinema 75 – A Look Back" (PDF). Anna Nagar Times. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Nothing official about Kamal's 50 years in films!". Sify. 12 August 2009. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  13. ^ "AVM productions finds Gen-Next heirs". The Economic Times. 20 March 2010. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  14. ^ a b Rangarajan, Malathi (19 February 2010). "History created ... and preserved!". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 November 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  15. ^ Jeshi, K. (18 March 2014). "Director's chair". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  16. ^ Saravanan, M. (18 March 2017). "36. குறைந்த சம்பளத்தில் நடித்த ஜெமினிகணேசன்". Dina Thanthi (in Tamil). Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  17. ^ Srinivasan, V S (19 December 1997). "Chachi comes a visiting". Rediff. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  18. ^ Muthuraman, SP (22 May 2015). "சினிமா எடுத்துப் பார் 9- 'களத்தூர் கண்ணம்மா' படத்துக்குள் கமல்ஹாசன் வந்த கதை!". The Hindu (Tamil). Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Potpourri of titbits about Tamil cinema: Gemini Ganesh". Kalyanamalai Magazine. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  20. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (5 November 2012). "Before All The Galata". Outlook India. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  21. ^ Muthuraman, S. P. (12 November 2016). "18.களத்தூர் கண்ணம்மாவே இயக்கிய பீம் சிங்". Dina Thanthi. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  22. ^ Saravanan 2013, pp. 75-76.
  23. ^ a b Film News Anandan (2004). Saadhanaigal Padaitha thamizh thiraipada varalaru [Tamil film history and it's achievements] (in Tamil). Chennai: Sivagami Publishers. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017.
  24. ^ "Kalathur Kannamma (1960)". Raaga.com. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  25. ^ "Kalathur Kannamma (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes Store. Archived from the original on 16 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  26. ^ Neelamegam, G. (December 2014). Thiraikalanjiyam — Part 1 (in Tamil). Chennai: Manivasagar Publishers. p. 195.
  27. ^ Krishnamachari, Suganthy (5 August 2016). "His lyrics held a mirror to life". The Hindu. Tirunelveli. Archived from the original on 30 August 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  28. ^ Sundararaman (2007) [2005]. Raga Chintamani: A Guide to Carnatic Ragas Through Tamil Film Music (2nd ed.). Pichhamal Chintamani. p. 121.
  29. ^ a b c Guy, Randor (25 April 2015). "Blast from the past: Kalathur Kannamma". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2 May 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  30. ^ Pradeep, K. (9 December 2012). "Kamal's 50 glorious years". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  31. ^ "Grand celebrations mark New Year". The Hindu. 2 January 2010. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  32. ^ "Stardom starts early in Kollywood". The Times of India. 14 November 2013. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  33. ^ "Kamal Hassan's first and latest on 12th August". Ayngaran International. 2 May 2009. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  34. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 67.
  35. ^ Kolappan, B. (19 October 2015). "AVM, seven decades and still running". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  36. ^ Ramachandran 2012, p. 16.
  37. ^ "சினிமா விமர்சனம்: களத்தூர் கண்ணம்மா" [Movie Review: Kalathur Kannamma]. Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 11 September 1960.
  38. ^ "'Four Friends' goes to Tamil". The New Indian Express. 1 October 2011. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  39. ^ Saraswathi, S. (7 November 2013). "The 10 BEST Films of Kamal Haasan". Rediff. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  40. ^ "The best of Kamal Haasan". Rediff. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  41. ^ "40th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. 1993. p. 73. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  42. ^ "Kamal Hassan to get Lifetime Achievement Award at Mumbai Film Fest". Firstpost. 12 September 2013. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  43. ^ "Movies from AVM Productions". AVM Productions. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  44. ^ Saravanan 2013, p. 90.
  45. ^ Ramanan, V. V. (12 May 2012). "CinemaPlus Quiz". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  46. ^ Weerapperuma, E. (29 October 2007). "Sri Lankan film industry enters diamond era — Part 4". Daily News. Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2013.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  47. ^ Coorey, Philip (1970). The Lonely Artist: A Critical Introduction to the Films of Lester James Peries. Lake House Investments. p. 4.
  48. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv-2QeIS1dU
  49. ^ Kaadhala Kaadhala (motion picture). Saraswathi Films. 1998. From 0:39 to 2:06.


External links[edit]