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Priya (1978 film)

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Theatrical release poster in Tamil
Directed byS. P. Muthuraman
Screenplay byPanchu Arunachalam
Story bySujatha
Produced byS. P. Tamilarasi
Edited byR. Vittal
Music byIlaiyaraaja
S. P. T Films
Release dates
  • 22 December 1978 (1978-12-22) (Tamil)
  • 12 January 1979 (1979-01-12) (Kannada)
Running time
148 minutes (Tamil)

Priya is a 1978 Indian thriller film directed by S. P. Muthuraman, starring Sridevi in the title role along with Rajinikanth, Aznah Hamid, and Ambareesh. It was simultaneously made in Tamil and Kannada languages.[1] The film shares the same name as a novel by Sujatha,[2] but actually adapts from multiple works by the writer including the aforementioned novel.[3] The Tamil version was released on 22 December 1978, and the Kannada version on 12 January 1979.[4] It was dubbed and released in Telugu as Ajeyudu which released on 10 March 1979 and was also dubbed in Hindi as Love in Singapore in 1983.[5] The soundtrack of this film is recorded using Dolby Stereophonic technology for the first time in Tamil cinema. It was Sridevi's first and only Kannada film as a lead actress.[6][7]


Priya is a movie star who is exploited by her producer Janardhan. Janardhan has such a tight control over Priya's financial and personal affairs that he refuses to let her marry her boyfriend Bharat. Before she flies off to Singapore for a film shoot, Priya seeks the help of lawyer Ganesh to get rid of Janardhan. How Ganesh helps Priya overcome her problems accounts for the rest of the film, which includes a side story of Ganesh falling in love with a Malay-Indian girl named Subadhra.



The film was shot in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia,[3] and wrapped within a month.[9] Rajinikanth received 110,000 (equivalent to 3.0 million or US$36,000 in 2023) for acting in the film.[10]


The soundtrack was composed by Ilaiyaraaja.[11] It was recorded using Dolby Stereophonic technology for the first time in Tamil cinema using eight tracks.[12][13] Ilaiyaraaja revealed he wanted to use this technology in Annakili (1976); however since he was a debutant, sound engineers did not encourage him that time. When Ilaiyaraaja came to know that K. J. Yesudas had equipments for stereophonic technology, he acquired them.[13] The pallavi of the song "Akarai Cheemai Azhaginile" is based on the song "Kites" by Simon Dupree and the Big Sound.[14] The song "Hey Paadal Ondru" is set in the Carnatic raga known as Kapi.[15]

All lyrics are written by Panchu Arunachalam

Tamil track list[16]
1."Ye Paadal Ondru"K. J. Yesudas, S. Janaki4:32
2."Akarai Cheemai Azhaginile"K. J. Yesudas4:21
3."Darling Darling"P. Susheela4:39
4."En Uyir Nee Thaane"K. J. Yesudas, Jency Anthony4:51
5."Sri Ramanin Sri Deviye"K. J. Yesudas4:02
Total length:22:25
Kannada track list[17]
1."Kavithe Neenu"K. J. Yesudas, S. Janaki4:32
2."Sagaradacheya"K. J. Yesudas4:21
3."Darling Darling"S. Janaki4:39
4."Nannali Neenagi"K. J. Yesudas, S. Janaki4:51
5."Thangaaliye"K. J. Yesudas4:02
Total length:22:25

All lyrics are written by Rajasri

Telugu track list
1."Darling Darling"P. Susheela4:35
2."Sree Raamuni Sreedevive"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam4:02
3."Nee Pedavula Lona"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki4:23
4."Chakkani Prakruthi Andaalu"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam & Chorus4:21
Total length:17:21


Kousikan of Kalki found Priya to be entirely different from Sujatha's novel but praised the locations and cinematography.[18] Another Tamil weekly wrote, "if this is what Panju wanted to do to Sujatha's novel he needn't have opted it for it at all". Responding to the criticism, Arunachalam said the original novel had dialogues between two characters over 40 pages and audience would not have patience if it was faithfully presented onscreen, so he made changes keeping the "very ordinary filmgoer in mind".[19] Nevertheless, as Rediff.com noted in 2009, "the main characters were completely unrecognisable", prompting Sujatha to "complain vociferously about his characters being mauled".[20]


The footage of the famous car chase sequence from the Steve McQueen film Bullitt was edited and spliced into the climax scene of this film; however, the allegations that ensued was that it was done so without permission.[21]


  1. ^ Nayak 2019, p. 34.
  2. ^ S, Bala (21 August 2023). "எழுத்தாளர் சுஜாதாவின் இத்தனை நாவல்கள் திரைப்படமாகி இருக்கிறதா? ரஜினி, கமல் நடித்த அனுபவங்கள்..!". Tamil Minutes (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 4 October 2023. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  3. ^ a b c Ramachandran 2014, p. 87.
  4. ^ "சூப்பர் ஸ்டார் ரஜினிகாந்த் - ஒரு சரித்திரம் | சூப்பர் ஸ்டாரின் திரைக்காவியங்களின் பட்டியல்கள்". Lakshman Sruthi (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 22 June 2022. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  5. ^ "Ajeyudu". Indiancine.ma. Archived from the original on 6 February 2023. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  6. ^ Nayak 2019, p. 39.
  7. ^ Nayak 2019, p. 259.
  8. ^ a b c d Ramachandran 2014, p. 88.
  9. ^ Darshan, Navein (27 August 2023). "SP Muthuraman: Rajini is a perfectionist, Kamal Haasan is a Sakalakala Vallavan". Cinema Express. Archived from the original on 9 April 2024. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  10. ^ "When Rajinikanth undervalued himself and charged Rs 30,000 salary per film". OTTPlay. 3 July 2023. Archived from the original on 5 July 2023. Retrieved 9 July 2023.
  11. ^ "Ilaiyaraaja – Priya (45-RPM)". MusicCircle. Archived from the original on 5 July 2022. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  12. ^ "'பிரியா' படத்தில் இளையராஜா இசை: இந்தி இசை அமைப்பாளர் சலீல் சவுத்ரி பாராட்டு". Maalai Malar (in Tamil). 30 March 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  13. ^ a b சலன் (4 February 1979). "முதல் சாதனைகள்" [First achievements] (PDF). Kalki (in Tamil). pp. 56–59. Retrieved 10 April 2024 – via Internet Archive.
  14. ^ Shekar, Anjana (5 March 2021). "Tamil film music and plagiarism: What fans feel about recurring issue". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 5 July 2022. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  15. ^ Mani, Charulatha (7 December 2012). "Notes that intrigue". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 18 January 2021. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Priya — EP". Apple Music. Archived from the original on 5 July 2022. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  17. ^ "Priya (Kannada)". JioSaavn. January 1978. Archived from the original on 5 July 2022. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  18. ^ கெளசிகன் (7 January 1979). "ப்ரியா". Kalki (in Tamil). p. 11. Archived from the original on 25 August 2022. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  19. ^ Krishnaswamy, N. (15 August 1987). "Panju Arunachalam turns director; 'Criminal waste of time and film by these new directors irks me'". The Indian Express. p. 35. Retrieved 4 January 2023 – via Google News Archive.
  20. ^ "Cinematic masterpieces from a master-storyteller". Rediff.com. 20 March 2009. slide 2. Archived from the original on 9 April 2024. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  21. ^ "High Five". The Hindu. 7 May 2016. Archived from the original on 2 March 2021. Retrieved 30 August 2020.


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