Sattam Oru Iruttarai (1981 film)

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Sattam Oru Iruttarai
Sattam Oru Iruttarai 1981.jpg
Directed byS. A. Chandrasekhar
Produced byVadaloor S. Chidambaram
Written byS. A. Chandrasekhar
Poornima Devi
Music bySankar Ganesh
CinematographyD. D. Prasad
Edited byB. Gowtham Raj
Vadularan Combines
Distributed byVadularan Combines
Release date
  • 14 February 1981 (1981-02-14)
Running time
123 minutes

Sattam Oru Iruttarai (lit. The Law is a Dark Room) is a 1981 Tamil language action film directed by S. A. Chandrasekhar in his debut. The film stars Vijayakanth in the lead role. The film is about a man who wishes to avenge the killers of his parents. After it massive success, it was remade in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada languages. Recently, the film was also remade in Tamil again, by the director's granddaughter, Sneha Britto. The songs and score was composed by Shankar Ganesh.[1]


  • Vijayakanth as Vijay (voice dubbed by S. N. Surendar)[2]
  • Aziz Chowdry as Bhairavan
  • Poornima Devi as Rekha
  • Vasumathi as Sheela
  • S. A. Chandrasekhar as HitchHiker at End
  • Sangili Murugan as George
  • Nithin as Ranga Chari
  • G. Srinivasan as Rekha's Father
  • Amjath Kumar as Peter
  • S. R. Veeraraghavan
  • Kallapatti Singaram as Singaram
  • Ennatha Kannaiya as Police Constable
  • Ganesh as Beggar
  • Baby shakila as Younger Sheela
  • Master Anil Kumar as Younger Vijay
  • T. K. S. Natarajan


Sattam Oru Iruttarai is the directorial debut of S. A. Chandrasekhar.[3] The film borrows its title from a dialogue spoken in Velaikaari (1949): "Sattam oru iruttarai, aathil vakeelin vadham oru vilakku. aanal adhu ezhaikku ettadha vilakku", which translates to, "[The] law is a dark room where the lawyer's argument is a lamp. But it is inaccessible to the poor".[4] Chandrasekhar revealed that the script of the film was rejected by 20 producers.[5] Producer Chidambaram chose Vijayakanth for the lead character after he was impressed by his performance in Neerottam. Selection of actor arose stiff opposition from some quarters protesting against giving the hero chance to Vijayakanth in the film. Despite these objections, the producer stood firm in his decision and made Vijayakanth the lead actor in the film.[6]


The music was composed by Shankar – Ganesh. Lyrics were written by Gangai Amaran, Poonguyilan and Gnani. The audio was released under the label Saregama.[7]

No. Title Singer(s)
1 "Pagalil Oru" Shobha Chandrasekhar
2 "Sattam Oru Iruttarai" Malaysia Vasudevan
3 "Thanimayile" S. N. Surendar, S. Janaki
4 "Rajathi Munnale" S. N. Surendar

Release and reception[edit]

Sattam Oru Iruttarai was released on 14 February 1981.[8] On 1 March 1981, Ananda Vikatan positively reviewed the film, particularly the script.[9]


Sattam Oru Iruttarai was remade in Telugu as Chattaniki Kallu Levu (1981), in Hindi in as Andha Kanoon (1983), in Malayalam as Maattuvin Chattangale,[10] in Kannada as Nyaya Ellide (1982),[citation needed] and again in Tamil under the same title by S.A.C.'s granddaughter Sneha Britto (2012).[10]


The film's success established Vijayakanth as a star in Tamil cinema.[6] The success also inspired similar themes about law system which were mostly directed by Chandrasekhar and his disciple Shankar.[11][12]


  1. ^
  2. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (2 July 2018). "சட்டம் ஒரு இருட்டறை - அப்பவே அப்படி கதை!". Kamadenu (in Tamil). Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Tamil actor Vijay's father S.A. Chandrasekhar undergoes surgery after fall". The Indian Express. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Tamil cinema, p. 4". Jump Cut. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  5. ^ M. Allirajan (21 March 2005). "`Message' man". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Cine Biography: Vijayakanth (Part-1)". Dinakaran. Archived from the original on 18 January 2000. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Sattam Oru Iruttarai". Saregama. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "சட்டம் ஒரு இருட்டறை". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 1 March 1981.
  10. ^ a b "Tamil Friday: 'Sattam Oru Iruttarai' is all set to hit the silver screens". News18. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  11. ^ malathi rangarajan. "Back to his route". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  12. ^ "A direct hit?". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 September 2015.

External links[edit]