Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Thiruchengodu Ramalingam Sundaram  was an apprehensive Businessman ,Studio Owner,Profoundly
talented Director,Splendid  Actor, and a highly pensive film Producer.He was born in a wealthy family involved
in yarn business in Tamil Nadu. T.R.Sundaram was sent to England for studying  Textile Engineering to carryout the yarn
business  of the family effectively.T.R.Sundaram did finish his course successfully and returned to India but was  not interested in that business.He  successfully handled and  managed the   Yarn  business for a small period but was interested
in cinema rather than anything else.With the help of a friend by name Velayudham Pillai, he  formed 'Angel
Productions' based at Salem in Tamil Nadu.Both of them produced four films at Calcutta but had some conflicts and had to split.
The tire-less and tenacious T.R.Sundaram determined to go ahead alone and he built the biggest film studio
in South India 'Modern Studios' in Salem in the year 1936.The first film produced in that studio was 'Sathy
Ahalya' in 1937 and the second film was  'Padma Jyothi'.
His film studio was like a film factory which produced at least  three films in an year.There were more than 250 employees in the film studio and he  produced films in all
south Indian languages- Tamil,Telugu,Kannada and Malayalam.T.R.Sundaram had also produced and directed
Sinhalese films.
After the release of the  first feature film of Malayalam 'Vigatha Kumaran' which was a silent movie some people
Scene from the film 'Balan'
were planning to produce a film with sound track in Malayalam.One enthusiastic person among them, A.Sundaram Pillai
who wrote a short story 'Vidhiyum Mrs.Nayarum' approached famous  producers of that period  to produce a feature film based on  that story.T.R.Sundaram of Modern Studios responded and agreed to produce the film.A.Sundaram Pillai had intention to write the screen play and direct the film also  but  that plan did not workout.The screen play written by A.Sundaram Pillai  was changed and re wrote by Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai.The film was directed by Nottani
and cinematographer was a German by name  'Bado Geshwalker'.The  23 songs contained in the film were also written by Muthukulam
Raghavan Pillai.There was no playback singing at that time and the songs were sung mainly by the hero of the film K.K.Aroor and heroine M.K.Kamalam.The name of that film was 'Balan' and it was the first 'talkie' in Malayalam and was  released in the month
of January 1938.The film was distributed by Shyamala Pictures,Madras and it was the first commercially
successful film of Malayalam.
T.R.Sundaram was the producer and director of first ever Malayalam color film also.The film "Kandam Becha Coat' in which
Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair,Ambika,Bahadoor etc were actors was released  in 1961.
The first color film of Tamil was also made by T.R.Sundaram in the year 1955.It was 'Alibabavum  40
Thirudarkalum' in which M.G.R and M.N.Nambiar were in main roles
In the 1950 film 'Manthirikumari' which was a Tamil blockbuster film of MGR and M.N.Nambiar,
T.R.Sundaram introduced M.R.Radha,S.Ranga Rao and Anjali Devi.In that film had dance sequence
of Travancore sisters 'Lalitha,Padmini and Ragini'.
Burma Rani(1944),Sulochana(46),Mayavathy(49)Digambara Swamiyar(50)Sarvadhikari(51)Baghdad
Thirudan(60) were famous films of Modern Studios.More than 136 films were produced by him and his
films were meant for entertainment purpose only and he never dealt any social or political issues in his films.Several films of Modern Studios was directed by T.R.Sundaram itself.
For the adequate information regarding films of all languages  to the public he ran a Tamil film  magazine in the name 'Chandana Ratham'
which was edited by lyricist Kavinjar Kannadasan.T.R.Sundaram died in the year 1963.

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