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Monday, January 12, 2009

Iru Sahodarargal -1936

Cast

M. G. Ramachandran (credited as 'G.Ramachandran),
M.G.Chakrapani (credited as 'G.Chakrapani),K. P. Kesavan, K. K. Perumal,M. M. Radhabai,
T. S.Krishnaveni,T. S. Balaiah,S. N. Vijayalakshmi,
P. G.Venkatesan,S. N. Kannamani.

Produced by
Parameswari Sound Pictures,

Directed by
Ellis R.Dungan



Story View

A family tale of two brothers with wives cast in different moulds, onedocile and subservient and the other greedy and scandal mongering.The younger brother (Kesavan) is well versed in music and other artsgoes to Madras to earn money to� keep the family floating and the wolfaway from its thin doors.� Thanks to a Good Samaritan he gets a breakand makes a name as a stage artiste.� The money he sends for theupkeep of the family is received by the troublesome sister-in-law whoforges his wife's signature.� After many twists and turns wisdom dawnson the troublesome sister-in-law and her wayward husband and thanks tothe goodness of the actor brother and his good wife the family isunited once more, proving the father's dying words, "a split familynever prospers"…

"Iru Sahodarargal" (also known as "Two Brothers") was written by notedTamil scholar poet, writer and also filmmaker S. D. S. Yogi and wasdirected by the celebrated American Tamil filmmaker Ellis R. Dungan,his second film which came out after his successful debut in "SathiLeelavathi" (1936). The film produced by the noted Coimbatore-basedproducer of that decade Parameswaran Chettiar, was shot in Bombay at Saroj Movietone Studios.
Kesavan, the hero and the younger brother was one of the leadingactors of the 1930s. An import from theatre he was for a short periodvery popular with many hits to his credit like "Bambai Mail" "PunjabKesari" and others. He also sang well. Not many are aware that hewas the role model of M. G. Ramachandran.A Rationalist during aperiod when such persons were rare he refused to act in godly roleswhich ultimately led to the decline of his career.MGR too followinghim during his early days was reluctant to do such roles. Today K. P.Kesavan is hardly remembered.� Ramachandran and Chakrapani acted in minor roles and were credited with only their initial G, and thus MGRwas G. Ramachandran repeating the role of the policeman while M.G.Chakrapani played the inspector, the role MGR played in "SathiLeelavathi".

To play the role of 'Kuppi Paati' Dungan insisted on casting a 70-yearold woman Alamelu Ammal to lend realism to the role!
Surprisingly the theme and storyline found their way many years laterin the Hindi movie star and producer-director Bhagwan's box officebonanza "Albela".
When this writer drew the attention of the similarity to his friendEllis R. Dungan, he recalled that Bhagwan, not yet famous in 1930s wasa regular visitor to the sets at the Bombay studio and also helped inmany ways with both of them traveling often by tram. "Perhaps thestoryline got stuck in his mind and he used it later, you know,Randor, many do it in movies," Dungan remarked smiling.
Music was provided by Anantharaman and Gopalaswami (now forgotten)with lyrics by S. D. S. Yogi.
"Iru Sahodarargal" fared fairly well at the box office and the careergraph of Ellis R. Dungan began to show the promised upward swing.
The art director S. K. Murthy also designed a rare occurrence, thesong book of the movie in an entirely different fashion whichattracted much attention in those days .(This writer has the only copyof it in his modest archive.)

Article by

Randor Guy

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