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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

RAJAKUMARI - 1947



STAR CAST





M. G. Ramachandran (Character Name : Mohan)
M. N. Nambiar
M. R. Swaminathan
T. S. Balaiah
'Pulimoottai' Ramaswami
K. Malathi
Thavamani Devi
M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar.



Story View


Around 1946 Jupiter Somu asked A. S. A. Sami to develop a screenplay which he could direct himself. Sami worked on a folklore story into which he wove many elements of popular appeal...Arabian Nights… The Invisible Man… other folk tales of our own land, he wove them all into a screen story. When Somu had made it clear to Sami that as he was raw and untried talent as a director, he would have to work only with artistes on Jupiter's monthly roles and not the big names with high price tags. But, much to Sami's surprise the Jupiter boss came out with other ideas after he had read the screenplay. He felt it was too good to be made with small fry studio staff artistes. For the hero and heroine he suggested P. U. Chinnappa and T. R. Rajakumari, big names of the day. In fact, Somu gave the name of that actress for the title of the proposed film 'Rajakumari'!
After some effort Sami persuaded his boss to let him make the picture as decided earlier with small artistes. To play the title role Malathi was chosen. An import from the Telugu screen pretty Malathi was a Vauhini product who had made her name in B. N. Reddi's classic 'Sumangali'. A protegee of K. V. Reddi, she had acted in Jupiter's 'Sri Murugan' as Parvathi with MGR as Shiva.


Who would play the hero? One man, on the studio rolls appeared to a possible choice. He had good physique, and handsome, athletic in movement. His classical dance number in 'Sri Murugan' had impressed many especially Sami. After much hesitation he was fixed to play the lead. The actor was M. G. Ramachandran, a great moment, not only in his life but also Indian Film History.

The producer had planned 'Rajakumari' as an 11,000- feet picture, and after about 7000 feet were shot, nobody was impressed. To Sami's shock, S. K. Mohideen suggested seriously to his partner Somu, that the picture be abandoned! Somu was caught in a dilemma. If the picture were abandoned the future of Sami and MGR would be ruined. Only another 4000 feet were to be made and if the final product was still bad it could be burnt once and for all. Jupiter Somu, an enterprising man, gave his okay to Sami to go ahead who had a couple of interesting, amusing experiences in the making of this picture.


One was with Thavamani Devi who had a dress (designed by her!) so lowed in front that it caused ripples on the set!
The Sri Lankan charmer Thavamani Devi was cast as the vamp and to play a villain, another new man was brought in, an athletic gymnast and milk-vendor who would in later years create history in Indian cinema as one of the most successful producers of the country, M. M. A. Chinnappa Thevar, a legend in Indian Cinema.
Nambiar, Balaiah, and Swaminathan, and 'Pulimoottai' Ramaswami gave good support.
'Rajakumari' was released in 1947 and much to the surprise of Mohideen turned to be a big success! Cheaply made the profits were huge. Sami made a mark, and MGR was atlast a movie hero. The beginning of an astonishingly, amazing career of incredible success, a life of grand achievement that would be discussed for years to come.


The Film Ran For 168 days
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