Saturday, August 25, 2012


Savitri was an excellent  versatile actress who acted as heroine in several Telugu,Tamil,Kannada films and also appeared in some Hindi films in her acting career.She was born in Chirravur of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh to parents  
Nissankara Guruviah and Subhadramma on Dec 6, 1935..She was well trained in Carnatic Music and Classical dance from childhood itself.She worked in the professional drama troupe run by N.T.Rama Rao and later formed her own drama company in the name 'Nava Bharata Natya Mandali'.
She entered film industry with a small role in Telugu film 'Samsaram' in 1950.
Next year in the film 'Patala Bhairavi' she presented a dance.As second heroine she could act in the film 'Pelli Chesi Choodu' in 1952 which earned her name and fame.From there on she got prime roles in Telugu films and was able to act with top stars like N.T.Rama Rao,Akkineni Nageswara Rao etc.
Telugu films like "Chandra haram,Ardhangi,Donga Ramudu,Amara Deepam,Abhimanam,Aradhana,Pandava Vanavasam etc gave her much accolades.
Film 'Misamma' of 1955 was a nice film in which N.T.Rama Rao was the hero
and it was  directed by L.V.Prasad.N.T.Rama Rao,Akkineni Nageswara Rao,Savitri,Jamuna etc were in the cast.Savitri was in the title role as 'Misamma'.This film was remade in Tamil as Misiyamma' and in the Tamil version also Savitri handled the lead role as 'Misiamma'.When this film was made in Hindi 'Meena Kumari' acted in main role.
'Mayabazar' was 1957 Telugu film which was a super duper hit.N.T.Rama Rao acted in lead role as Krishna while Savitri acted as lead female role as 'Sasirekha'(Bala Rama's daughter).This film was dubbed to Tamil also.
'Sri Venkiteswara Mahatyam' was a hit film of N.T.Rama Rao-Savitri pair.
1962 film 'Gundamma Kadha' was a hit film of N.T.Rama Rao,S.V.Ranga Rao and Akkineni Nageswara Rao in which female lead role was handled by Savitri.
In the 1978 super hit Telugu film of Narasimha Raju and Jaya Malini, Savitri acted in a supporting role.
Savitri could earn good reputation and love in Tamil Film industry.She could act opposite the Gigantic heroes M.G.Ramachandran,Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan and she  was the part of several classics as well as well acclaimed blockbuster films.
Her 100 th film was a Tamil super hit film 'Konjum Salangai' opposite Gemini Ganesan.This film was released outside India with the original, dubbed in to 22 languages with sub titles by a British Company.This film was produced and directed by M.V.Raman.
'Paasa Malar' was a super duper hit film with melodious songs in which Gemini Ganesan-Savitri were the pair and Sivaji Ganesan acted as her brother.'Paava Mannippu' was a very big hit film in Tamil in which Sivaji Ganesan,Gemini Ganesan,M.R.Radha,Savitri, and Devika acted.It was directed by A.Bhimsingh.
'Karpagam' was a blockbuster box office record breaker of 1963 in which K.R.Vijaya acted in title role as 'Karpagam'.Savitri handled the role as 'Amutha'.The producer built a cinema film studio with the profit he earned from this cinema.
'Karnan' was another super duper hit in which Sivaji Ganesan acted as 'Karnan' which the story was from the epic Mahabharata.In the film 'Thiruvilayadal' Savitri acted as Devi Parvathy and Sivaji acted as Lord Shiva.Her role as one of the three heroines in 'Saraswathi Sapadham' was also gracious.The dispute aroused between Goddesses Parvathi,Lakshmi and Saraswathi regarding their powers was the theme of this film.
In the film 'Navarathri' Savitri was in the lead female role where as Sivaji Ganesan portrayed nine characters and it remained as a record till 2008 when Kamal Hassan acted in ten roles for his film 'Dasavatharam'.
Savitri directed films like "Chinnari Papule,Chiranjeevi,Mathru Devatha,Vidha Samsaram" in Telugu and "Kuzhainthai Ullam ,Praptham" in Tamil.
She appeared in Hindi films like "Bahut din Huwe,Ghar Basaka Dekho,Ganga Lahren,Amardeep, Vadina,Devatha etc".
She married Gemini Ganesan in 1955.
She received 'Rashtrapathi Award for Best acting for film ' Chivaraku Migiledi' in 1960.
She got 'Kalaimamani Award from Govt. of Tamil Nadu
She received 'Nata Siromani Award' from Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
She was titled 'Natigar Thilakam' for her excellence in acting Tamil films.
She died in the year 1981 on Dec 26 at the age of 46 in Chennai.
Selected Filmography
Patala Bhairavi
Pelli chesi choodu
Bale Rama
Chandra Haran
Donga Ramudu
Amara Deepam
Nammine Bantu
Sri Venkiteswara Mahatyam
Kalathur Kannamma
Pandava Vanavasam
Ganga Ki Lahren
Doctor Chakravarthy
Maro prapancham
Gundamma Kadha
Chivaraku Migiledi
Circus Ramudu
Pavitra Prema
Parthal Pasi theerum
Chivaraku Migiledi
Saraswathi Sapadham
Konjum Salangai
Kai kodutha Deivam
Padithal Mattum Pothuma
Paava Mannippu
Manchi Manasulu
Prana Mitralu
Manasu Mandiram
Jagan Mohini
Mooga Manasulu
Rakta Tilakam
Appu Chesi Pappu koodu
Mangalya Balam
Pooja phalam

Thursday, August 16, 2012


S.Varalakshmi was a well acclaimed actress who acted mainly in Telugu and so many Tamil as well as Kannada Films.She will be ever remembered for her several prestigious roles in these languages and also for the enchanting melodious songs she sang in those films.In a career which spanned for more than five decades she could act in more than 500 films and sang hundreds of film songs in Telugu,Tamil and Kannada.
S.Varalakshmi was born in Jagampetta,Andhrapradesh on 13 Aug 1925 .She was  given Carnatic Music training from an young stage itself because of her attractive voice and  her flair for music.
S.Varalakshmi acted as a  child saint in the film 'Bala Yogini' when she was 9 years old.Later she appeared in K.Subramanyam's famous film 'Sevasadanam' with M.S.Subbulakshmi.She acted as an intimate  friend of M.S's character and in real life also they became close friends thereafter.S.Varalaksmi also conducted Carnatic Music concerts like M.S.Subbulakshmi.
S.Varalakshmi after the film  'Sevasadanam'  played a notable role in Tamil film 'Parasurama(1940) along  with T.R.Mahalingam.Then she acted in the blockbuster film 'Ayiram Thalai Vanagi Apoorva Chinthamony'.Its lead role was played by V.N.Janaki.She was cast in other successful films like 'Mayalokam' and Bhojan'.

In 1948 she played lead role in 'Balaraju' which turned to be a roaring success which was produced and directed by Ghandasala Balaramaiah.Because of the curse of Indra an Yaksha and Yakshini(Celestial beings) had to take human lives and Akkineni Nageswara Rao and S Varalakshmi acted as 'Balaraju' and 'Sita', the lead pair in that film.The film contained 19 songs out of which 9 were solo songs sung by Varalaksmi and two duets of Varalaksmi too.
In 1950 another hit film 'Swapna Sundari' of Ghandasala in which Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Varalakshmi acted was  released in Telugu and dubbed  in Tamil also.She used to sing songs for her character in all languages she acted.
'Veera Pandya Katta Bomman' was a super duper hit Tamil film of Sivaji  Ganesan produced and directed by B.R.Panthulu in 1959.Sivaji Ganesan,Gemini Ganesan,Padmini.Varalakshmi,V.K.Rama Swamy  etc acted in that first Tamil film  shot in Techni Colour.This movie ran for 100 days in 28 centres.Varalakshmi acted as 'Jakkamma' who was wife of Sivaji's title character role 'Veera Pandya Katta Bomman.
'Sri Venkiteswara Mahathmyam' was a film of 1960 in which N.T.Rama Rao was in the  main role.NTR acted as Maha Vishnu and Varalakshmi as Sree Lakshmi.
'Mahamantri Timmarasu' was another film which earned accolades for Varalaksmi which was also N.T.Rama Rao film.It was directed by Kamalakara Kamaleswara Rao.NTR acted as 'Krishna Devaraya' and Varalakshmi as 'Tirumala Devi' of Sreerangapatanam Kingdom.The film won National Silver medal award in 1962.
S.Varalakshmi acted with  M.G.Ramachandran in films like "Chakravarthi Thirumagal,Mattukkara Velan and Neethikku Thalai Vanangu".
'Satya Harichchandra' of 65 was N.T.Rama Rao and Varalakshmi film.This film contained 22 songs and poems.The songs of Ghandasala and Varalakshmi are
very popular.
In 1973 Tamil film 'Raja Raja Cholan' she acted as elder sister of 'Raja Raja Cholan' which was acted by Sivaji Ganesan.It was the first Tamil Cinemascope film.
In 1977 she acted in Tamil film 'Kandhan Karunai' in the role as 'Indrani'.
 1977 film 'Daana Veera Soora Karna' written,produced and directed by N.T.Rama Rao was another blockbuster film in which Varalakshmi acted as 'Kunti Devi'.NTR acted in three roles in this cinema.

She married A.L.Sreenivasan, a film producer who was brother of poet Kannadasan.She got 'Kalaimamani Award' and several other awards.

S.Varalakshmi passed away on 22 Sept 2009 at the age of 84.
Selected Filmography
Ayiram Thalai Vanagi Apoorva Chinthamony
Palnati Yudham
Swapna Sundari
Vali Sugreeva
Naga Panchami
Chakravarthi Thirumagal
Sati Savitri
Mangalya Balam
Siva Gangai Seema
Veera Pandaya Katta Bomman
Sri Venkiteswara Mahatmyam
Mahamantri Timmarasu
Lava Kusha
Sreekrishnarjuna Yudham
Panama pasama
Satya Harichchandra
Adarsha Kutumbam
Prem Nagar
Yasodha Krishna
Daana Veera Soora Karna

Saturday, August 11, 2012


M.Krishnan Nair was an eminent Malayalam film director who became independent director at an early stage of Malayalam Cinema in 1955 and achieved heights  working sedulously. He directed several classic films in Malayalam.He was the only Malayali who could direct four Tamil Films of Shri. M.G.Rama Chandran 

 which were all Super Hits .He directed two Telugu Films also.He had directed more than 100 films.
M.Krishnan Nair was born on 2 Nov 1917 in Trivandrum to parents R.Madhavan Pillai and Chellamma.After intermediate course he became Assistant director 

of famous film directors of those period  and became an expert in all aspects of film making.
In 1955 he became an independent director by the Malayalam film C.I.D. which was made by Merryland Studios of Trivandrum.It was the first Malayalam film in C.I.D. category.Later so many films were made in Malayalam as Prem Nazir as the C.I.D Officer.In this film also Prem Nazir acted as CID 'Sudhakaran' who investigates the murder of a wealthy planter.Miss Kumari was his pair as Vasanthy.The story was written by T.N.Gopinathan Nair.Kottarakkara,Kumari Thankam,S.P.Pillai, Adoor Pankajam,Jose Prakash etc acted in this film which was a success.
M.Krishnan Nair presented his films attractive to all sectors of the society by including nice songs, dances and selected scintillating themes so that most of his films were hits and success at the box office.
'Kuttikkuppayam' was a film released in 64 which was a blockbuster film.The songs mesmerised all the viewers and still are popular.
"Velukkumbol kulikkuvan pokunna vazhivakkil velikkal ninnavane" 
"Pon vala illenkilum ponnada illenkilum thankakudam" etc are from this cinema
and the lyrics were written by P.Bhaskaran.
'Kavyamela' of 65 was also a film which gave importance to songs and music.
It won National film award as Best feature film in Malayalam.Prem Naszir acted as a blind poet 'Jayadevan' in this film and Sheela a nurse 'Sreedevi'

who helped him to get back his vision.
'Vivahitha' of 1970 earned good appreciation from the masses and it was the remake of Hindi film 'Gumrah'(63) by B.R.Chopra.
'Agni Mrigam' of 71 was a super hit film made by M.Kunchacko in which Prem Nazir,Sheela,Ravi Chandran etc acted.
'The film 'Rowdy Ramu' of Madhu,Sharada and Raghavan earned accolades.
'Cochin Express' was a nice film of Prem Nazir and Sheela in which Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair acted as a fantastic villain.
'Yamini' of 73 was a good  film in which Madhu and Jayabharathy acted as lead pair.Kottarakkara,Sadhana,Adoor Bhavani,P.K.Abraham etc acted in it.
M.Krishnan Nair directed four Tamil films in which M.G.Rama Chandran acted in lead role.
'Mannippu' was 69 film of M.G.R and Bhanumathi which was a beautiful film of that period.
In 1971 he directed 'Rickshawkaran' of M.G.R which was a super mega  hit.
M.G.R received National Award as Best Actor for this film.Manjula was his pair
in this film.
'Annamitta Kai' was another major success of M.G.R. and Jayalalitha in 72 directed by Krishnan Nair.
In 1976 M.Krishnan Nair directed 'Oorukku Uzhaippavan' which was another 
super hit film of MGR.It was remake of Rajesh Khanna's Hindi film 'Humshakal'.
M.Krishnan Nair was a man who loved simplicity.I have read an incidence regarding his simple character.  When M.G.R. selected him as director of his film he was given accommodation in a posh Star Hotel at Chennai.At that time Krishnan Nair was residing in a moderate lodge room at Chennai itself.Krishnan Nair vacated the posh Hotel room the first day  and preferred to stay in his previous lodge only.
His elder son K.Jayakumar I.A.S.  is Chief Secretary of Kerala Government and he is a writer,poet and lyricist also.Another son Sreekuttan is a Malayalam film and T.V.Serial director.M.Krishnan Nair expired on May 10, 2001.
Selected Filmography
Viyarpinte Vila
Kattu Mainah
Karutha Kai
Kattu Thulasi
Kathirunna Nikah
Pinchu Hridayam
Kalyana Rathriyil
Collector Malathy
Cochin Express
Padunna Puzha
Anchu Sundarikal
Agni pariksha
Sabarimala Sreedharma Sastha
Padicha Kallan
Santha oru Devatha
Ithanente Vazhy
Kalliangattu Neeli
Anjatha Theerangal
Oru Ragam Pala Thalam
Puzha Ozhukum Vazhi
Kalam mari Kadha mari

Friday, August 3, 2012


M.Kunchacko is one of the names to be inscribed in golden letters in the history of Malayalam Cinema.He took courage to establish a film studio at 
Alapuzha  in the name 'Udaya Studios' in the early stage of Malayalam cinema.
Kunchacko was the son of Mani Chacko Maliampurackal and Eliamma of Pulimkunnu in  Alapuzha District.After passing intermediate course he entered
in to film field with a friend K.V.Koshy and started the film studio at Alapuzha in 1947.
In Malayalam there were only a few films released till then such as "Vigatha Kumaran,Marthanda Varma, Balan(First Talkie), Jnanambika, Prahlada(1941) and the number of cinema theatres were also very less.Still then the friends took the risk of establishing the film studio when they knew the failure details  of J.C.Daniel's film studio at Thiruvananthapuram.
Scene from film 'Bharya'
After a gap of seven years a film by name 'Nirmala'  was released in 1948 and in the same year first film of Udaya Studio 'Velli Nakshatram' under the banner
K&K productions was released.It was directed by 'Felix J. Beyse'.
"Gayaka Peetambaran, Ambujan,Miss.Kumari,Lalitha,Kuttanadu Ramakrishna Pillai etc acted in it.Chidambaranath was the music composer.
In 1950 the second film from Udaya Studio 'Nalla Thanka' was released and it was a super hit movie.Two eminent actors from drama field entered film industry by this film and they were 'Augustine Joseph and Vaikom Mani'.Dakshina Moorthy composed music for the first time in  this cinema.

'Visappinte Vili' and 'Jeevitha Nauka' were  the other two films produced and released by Kunchacko and K.V.Koshy together  and they got separated afterwards.Kunchacko started film production under the banner 'Udaya' later on.Jeevitha Nauka was considered as the first super  duper hit cinema in Malayalam.Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair was the hero in that film of 1951.When Kunchacko was producing films on his own, a 
 film by name 'Kidappadam' turned to be a big flop and Kunchacko closed the Studio for a few years because of financial difficulties.It was reopened with the help from famous  Politician and Minister T.V.Thomas.
When new films were released continuously in Malayalam after 1950 the scenario changed completely which in turn helped producers also because 
new cinema theatres started to flourish in all parts of Kerala.Earlier  foreigners and other language directors used  to  direct Malayalam films  which  could not  
justify the social and cultural scene prevailed in Kerala.When local technicians and directors  entered the industry the film field was redefined.Thus 
in 1960 Kunchacko started film direction by directing the film 'Umma' which was a success.Thus he became confident and continued directing films with varied subjects such as Social,historical,mythological etc and he tried to make all his films fully enjoyable to all sectors of the society.He was of the opinion that the film media was for entertainment purpose and tried to include fascinating sequences,beautiful locations,melodious songs, colourful dances etc to attract audiences to cinema halls.
Udaya studios produced the maximum number of 'Vadakkan Pattu Stories' for their films  and released super duper hits such as "Unniyarcha,Palattu Koman,Othenante Makan,Aramalunni,Thumbolarcha,
Kannappanunni" etc.
Unniyarcha was the first film in that genre and the 'Kalari Payattu' sequences and the nice songs attracted the audience.When later colour films were produced largely he included gigantic marvellous sets,colourful glittering attire,fascinating locations etc in   such kind of 'Vadakkan Pattu'  films as well as for  historical and mythological films also  so that they all turned to be a  visual treat for the audience.
'Bharya' was a super duper hit film released in 1962 directed by Kunchacko in which Ragini and Sathyan were in lead roles.The songs of that film are still popular.The dialogues of that film was also released as gramaphone records.

There was a competition between 'Neela Studio' of Trivandrum and Udaya Studio which was a boon to the audience since excellent films were made by both of them because of that cold war.When Neela Studio released 'Bhaktha Kuchela', 

Udaya Studio released 'Krishna Kuchela', both having the same theme.But Krishna Kuchela of Udaya studio flopped and hence Kunchacko  stopped such kind of competition but tried to release  movies of varied subjects  with excellent quality to win the hearts of his viewers.
"Seetha,Sakunthala,Anarkali,Rebecca,Bharya,Pearl View,Kasavu Thattam,Punnapra Vayalar,Aromalunni" etc were all super hit and unforgettable films of Kunchacko.
Kunchacko directed Vadakkan Pattu story 'Kannappanunni' which was the last
film of Kunchakko.It was the 75th film of Udaya Studio and the 100th film of "Prem Nazir and Sheela" as a leading pair.Prem Nazir was the hero of large number of Udaya films.Kunchacko and Prem Nazir were close friends too.
Kunchacko passed away on 15 July 1976 at Madras(Chennai).
His Son Boban Kunchacko acted in some films and later produced some films
like "Theekkadal' and directed films "Palattu Kunjikannan,Aazhi and Sanchari".
Kunchacko's grandson Kunchacko Boban is an established actor in Malayalam films.
Selected Filmography
Neeli Sali
Krishna Kuchela
Palattu Koman
Ina Pravukal
Kasavu Thattam
Punnapra Vayalar
Pearl View
Othenante Makan
Panchavan Kadu
Postmane Kananilla
Ponnapuram Kotta
Pavangal Pennungal
Neela Ponman
Dharmaksetre kurukshetre
Mallanum Mathevanum