Sandow M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar
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|Sandow M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar|
|Born||Marudur Marudachalamurthy Ayyavoo Chinnappa Thevar
28 June 1915
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
|Died||8 September 1978
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Occupation||Actor, Film producer|
|Parent(s)||Ayyavoo thevar (Father)
|Relatives||Subbiah thevar (Elder Brother)
Nataraja thevar (Brother)
Arumugam a.k.a. M.A.Thirumugam (Brother)
"Sandow" Marudur Marudachalamurthy Ayyavoo Chinnappa Devar (28 June 1915 – 8 September 1978) was an eminent producer of Tamil films in the mid-1950s through the 1960s and 1970s. He is best known for his films featuring animals, and has produced numerous movies with M. G. Ramachandran as lead actor (16 movies with under his famous banner: Devar Films).
The title of "Sandow" was given to Chinnappa Thevar in tribute (to the father of the modern bodybuilding, Eugen Sandow) and because of his impressive muscles.
M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar was born in Ramanathapuram locality in Coimbatore to Ayyavoo thevar and Ramakkal. He has one elder brother named Subbiah thevar and three younger brothers named Nataraja thevar, Arumugam (M.A.Thirumugam) and Mariappan. His father was an agriculturist.
Chinnappa thevar studied only till 5th grade due to financial reasons. During his youth in the 1930s, he joined in Pankaja mill for a salary of Rs.9 and started his earnings. He later worked in Stanes motor company for few years. He also earned through milk production, rice shop and soda production.
From a very young age he was interested in gymnasium. He started "Veera Maruthi Deha Payirchi saalai" with his friends in Ramanathapuram area. To join the film industry, he mastered various martial arts and improved his physique.
He and his brother first acted in the 1940 film Thilottama. It was a fight sequence where only their shadows were filmed. Devar earned the title ‘Sandow’ because of his physique and fighting skills.
He had started playing small roles in films that were shot in Coimbatore, until he was roped in by Jupiter Pictures for villain role in the 1947 movie Rajakumari with then-a-relatively unknown lead actor M. G. Ramachandran with whom he formed a deep friendship.In the film Mohini (1948) there was a scene taken in forest, where the character played by M.G.Ramachandran rushes to rescue a family travelling in a bullock-cart from being robbed by a gang and the main robbers role was played by M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar as the main robber.
Chinnappa thevar developed a deep friendship with M. G. Ramachandran. MGR too apparently recommended Devar in the films he worked. This went on till 1956 when Devar started his own production company Devar Films, and asked MGR to be the hero. MGR agreed, and they made Thaikkupin Thaaram. The film was a success, and launched Devar as a filmmaker.
He later during moved to Chennai in the early 1950s, which by then became the South Indian Cinema Hub. He launched his production company the famous "Devar Films" and used the facilities of Vijaya Vauhini Studios for indoor shooting and post production activities.
When MGR became busy with his own production Nadodi Mannan, Devar was forced to make a few other movies.
In 1960, he started to record the music for Thaai Sollai Thattadhe and cast Ashokan as the hero. When the recording was over, MGR heard the songs and wanted the story to be narrated. Apparently, after this there was a promise between them that MGR will adhere to all of Devar’s conditions and, in return, Devar would make films only with him and no other ‘big’ hero. This ‘agreement’ led to Devar making 16 films with MGR, the last being Nalla Neram in 1972, the Tamil remake of Haathi Mere Saathi.
Devar is also known for using animals as a supporting theme in his movies, and at times as the lead character. His brother M. A. Thirumugam was also a successful director was worked predominantly for "Devar Films" production company.
In Tamil film industry he was one of the most successful movie producers and his two recurring subjects were his animals and devotional movies, as he was an ardent devotee of Lord Murugan.
In his later years with MGR getting more and more into active politics, Devar started to make films in the Socio –mythological Genre.They were films set in modern times with the Central theme that faith and belief in God will solve one’s problems.
Chinnapa thevar also planned to make movies with Rajinikanth who was rising popular at that time. Rajini worked on the movie Thai Meethu Sathiyam under the Devar Films banner directed by Thevar's son in law R. Thyagarajan. While shooting for the movie, Chinnapa thevar fell ill and died couple of days later.
Chinnapa thevar got married to Mari Muthammal at an early age of 21 by 1936. The couple has one son named Dhandayuthapani, and two daughters named Subbulakshmi and Jagadeeshwari. His elder daughter Subbulakshmi got married to R. Thyagarajan, who became a director later. Vellikizhamai Viratham (1974) and Aattukara Alamelu(1977) are a couple of famous films to his credit.
Ardent Lord Murugan devotee
Chinnapa thevar practiced Hindu religion and was an ardent devotee for Lord Muruga.Once Income Tax Ofiicials raided his house and was astonished to findso many Viboothi packets of Murugan temples, but no cash. Any profit from the movie he splits into 4 parts, one part for Murugan temples as he believed that all of his success was because of Lord Muruga. Because of this many Murugan temples like Pazhani temple, Tiruchendur temple and Marudhamalai temple were benefited. Second part he kept for himself. Third part is for his old friends who supported him during his early days who collected few thousands and sent him to Madras for film making. Fourth and final part he gave to the needy people.
On 6 September 1978, during the shooting of the film Thai Meethu Sathiyam at Ooty, Devar complained of chest pain, since he had high blood pressure he was advised by the doctors in Ooty to get admitted in hospital, he was soon brought in his car from Ooty to Coimbatore. He was admitted in a private hospital upon arrival. After treatment he recovered partially and again got chest pain on 8 September 1978 and died by 10 a.m morning in spite of intense treatment. He was only 63 when he died.
The day of his demise was a ‘Shashti’ day, very special to Lord Muruga.
Tribute and cremation
Thevar's body was brought from hospital to his Ramanathapuram, Coimbatore residence and kept for public to pay their last respect. M.G.R who had long term association with Thevar not only paid rich tribute to Chinnapa thevar but also came to Coimbatore for his funeral. Several eminent personalities like Jaishankar attended the funeral of Chinnapa thevar.
- Films produced by Thevar
|1956||Thaikkupin Tharam||Tamil||First Film under Devar Films banner
First Film with MGR
|1959||Vaazha Vaitha Deivam||Tamil|
|1960||Uthami Petra Rathinam||Tamil||Presented by Devar Films
Produced by Amara Productions
|1961||Thaai Sollai Thattadhe||Tamil||Re-join with MGR|
|1962||Thayai Katha Thanayan||Tamil|
|1963||Dharmam Thalai Kaakkum||Tamil|
|1964||Deiva Thirumagal||Tamil||First Film under Dhandayuthapani Films banner
First and Last Film directed by Sandow M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar
|1965||Kattu Rani||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1965||Thayum Magalum||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1967||Magaraasi||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1967||Deivacheyal||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1968||Nervazhi||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1969||Akka Thangai||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1969||Thunaivan||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1970||Penn Deivam||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1970||Maanavan||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1971||Haathi Mere Saathi||Hindi||First Hindi Film
Highest Grosser of the Year
|1971||Kettikaran||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1972||Nalla Neram||Tamil||Remake of Haathi Mere Saathi
Last Film with MGR
|1972||Janwar Aur Insaan||Hindi||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1972||Dheivam||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1973||Komatha En Kulamatha||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1973||Gaai Aur Gori||Hindi||Remake of Komatha En Kulamatha
Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner
|1974||Vellikizhamai Viratham||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1974||Shubh Din||Hindi||Remake of Vellikizhamai Viratham
Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner
|1975||Thiruvarul||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1976||Thayilla Kuzhandhai||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1976||Maa||Hindi||Remake of Thayilla Kuzhandhai|
|1977||Sorgam Naragam||Tamil||Remake of Swargam Narakam
Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner
|1977||Aattukara Alamelu||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1978||Pottelu Punnamma||Telugu||Remake of Aattukara Alamelu
First Telugu Film
|1978||Mera Rakshak||Hindi||Remake of Aattukara Alamelu|
|1978||Thai Meethu Sathiyam||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
- Films produced after the death of Thevar [By his Son-in-law Sri.R.Thyagarjan B.Sc]
|1979||Thaayillamal Naan Illai||Tamil|
|1979||Annai Oru Aalayam||Tamil|
|1980||Do Aur Do Paanch||Hindi|
|1980||Anbukku Naan Adimai||Tamil|
|1983||Jeet Hamaari||Hindi||Remake of Thai Veedu
Last Hindi Film
|1985||Annai Bhoomi 3D||Tamil||First 3D Tamil Film|
|1985||Panam Pathum Seyyum||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1985||Selvi||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1986||Piranthaen Valarnthaen||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1987||Chellakutti||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner|
|1988||Dharmathin Thalaivan||Tamil||Under Dhandayuthapani Films banner
Last Film for this banner.
- "Mohan's Musings: Sandow M M A Chinnappa Devar". mohanramanmuses.blogspot.in. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- ""Sandow" M.M.A.Chinnappa Devar". Antru Kanda Mugam. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- "Sandow and superstars". The Hindu. 2012-07-24. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- "Rajakumari 1947". The Hindu. 2008-09-05. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- "Kalyanamalai Magazine - Serial story, Thiraichuvai - Potpourri of titbits about Tamil cinema, Director Sando Chinnapa Devar". www.kalyanamalaimagazine.com. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- Randoor Guys article in -The Hindu
- Sandow M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar on IMDb
- Mohan V Raman article in -The Hindu