Dennis Joseph

Last updated

Dennis Joseph
Dennis joseph.jpg
Dennis Joseph in 1980
Born(1957-10-20)20 October 1957
Died10 May 2021(2021-05-10) (aged 63)
Ettumanoor, Kottayam, Kerala, India
Alma mater Deva Matha College, Kuravilangad (B.Sc.)
Occupation(s)Scriptwriter, Director, Journalist
Years active1985–2021

Dennis Joseph (20 October 1957 – 10 May 2021) [1] [2] was an Indian scriptwriter and director known for his work in Malayalam films. He was active during the 1980s and early 1990s. He frequently collaborated with directors Joshi and Thambi Kannanthanam. He is known for scripting films including Nirakkoottu (1985), Rajavinte Makan (1986), Shyama (1986), New Delhi (1987), No.20 Madras Mail (1990), Kottayam Kunjachan (1990), Indrajaalam (1990),"Appu" (1990), Akashadoothu (1993), Palayam (1994), and F.I.R. (1999). He also directed five films, including Manu Uncle , which won the National Film Award for Best Children's Film in 1988 and the Kerala State Film Award for the Best Children's Film in 1989.[ citation needed ]


Early life

Dennis was born on 20 October 1957 in Ettumanoor, Kottayam, Kerala, India, to M. N. Joseph and Eliyamma Joseph. [3] His father worked in the Indian Air Force, while his mother worked as a local teacher. [4] However, he was also born into a film-making family, being a nephew of actors Jose Prakash and Prem Prakash. [5] He was also the nephew to Francis Prakash, who would go on to be a producer of the 1974 film Shapamoksham . [4] He attended the Ettumanoor Government High School, followed by Deva Matha College, Kuravilangad, where he studied for a BS.c. degree in chemistry. [3] [4]


Dennis's career began at the Malayalam-language film magazine Cut Cut, where he worked as a sub-editor to the cartoonist B. M. Gafoor. During his stint at the magazine, he interviewed prominent actors in the Malayalam film industry, as well as spending time at filming locations. [4] Dennis made his debut into cinema in 1985, as the scriptwriter for the Jeassy film Eeran Sandhya , a film which saw Mammootty star alongside Shobana, Rahman and Joseph's uncle Jose Prakash. [4] [5] He followed this by writing the screenplay for Nirakkoottu , also in 1985. [3] Directed by Joshiy, Nirakkoottu, whose cast included Mammootty, Urvashi, Lizzy and Sumalatha, told the story of a prisoner who seeks revenge for his wife's murder. [6]

Nirakkoottu was a success, leading Dennis to write a series of other films in the subsequent years. This included Rajavinte Makan , loosely adapted from Rage of Angels, a novel by Sidney Sheldon, which was released in 1986. Directed by Thampi Kannanthanam, this film was a huge success at the box office. Appearing as Vincent Gomas, a crime boss, Mohanlal successfully mesmerized the moviegoers and the film raised his stardom. [7] Similarly, after around many flops, Mammootty was in the darkest days of his career in the period 1986–87, when Dennis scripted New Delhi . [8] Directed by Joshiy, this film was also a loose adaptation of an English novel, Irving Wallace's The Almighty. Completely shot in and around Delhi, and went on to become the comeback film of Mammootty. [9]

In 1988, Dennis made his directorial debut with critically acclaimed Manu Uncle starring Mammootty,[ citation needed ] and the film featured a comedic police officer played by Suresh Gopi. [10] It won the National Film Award for Best Children's Film in 1988 and the Kerala State Film Award for the Best Children's Film in 1989.[ citation needed ]

Dennis continued writing scripts throughout the 1990s and 2000s; his last released film to date being 2013's Geethanjali , directed by Priyadarshan. He then took a hiatus from writing until 2020 when he announced a collaboration with director Omar Lulu on a film called Power Star. [11]

Personal life and death

Dennis was married to Leena and had three children – Elizabeth, Rossy, and Jose. [4]

He died on 10 May 2021, in Kottayam from COVID-19. [12] [3] [13] [5] [14] [15]


[16] [17]

As writer

1985 Eeran Sandhya Jeassy [4]
Nirakkoottu Joshiy [18]
1986 Sayam Sandhya [19]
Aayiram Kannukal [20]
Shyama [ citation needed ]
Nyayavidhi Dialogues Only [19]
Veendum [5]
Pranamam Bharathan [21]
Rajavinte Makan Thambi Kannanthanam [18]
1987 New Delhi Joshiy [18]
Bhoomiyile Rajakkanmar Thambi Kannanthanam [ citation needed ]
Kathakku Pinnil K. G. George [19]
Vazhiyorakazchakal Thambi Kannanthanam [20]
1988 Dhinarathrangal Joshiy [22]
Thanthram [5]
Sangham [20]
1989 Nair Saab [23]
1990 Indrajaalam Thambi Kannanthanam [ citation needed ]
Kottayam Kunjachan T. S. Suresh Babu [20]
No.20 Madras Mail Joshiy [24]
Oliyampukal Hariharan [21]
1991 Thudar Katha HimselfStory Only [25]
1992 Kizhakkan Pathrose T. S. Suresh Babu [26]
Mahanagaram T. K. Rajeev Kumar [27]
Maanyanmar T. S. Suresh Babu [28]
1993 Sarovaram Jeassy [29]
Arthana I. V. Sasi Story Only[ citation needed ]
Akashadoothu Sibi Malayil [21]
Gandharvam Sangeeth Sivan [5]
1994 Palayam T. S. Suresh Babu [30]
1995 Agrajan Himself [25]
Indian Military Intelligence T. S. Suresh Babu [31] [32]
1997 Bhoopathi Joshiy [33]
Shibiram T. S. Suresh Babu [34]
1998 F. I. R. Shaji Kailas [35]
2002 Phantom Biju Varkey [36]
2004 Vajram Pramod Pappan [11]
2005 Thaskara Veeran [11]
DecemberAsok R. Nath[ citation needed ]
2006Chirattakalippattangal Jose Thomas [37]
2007Abraham & LincolnPramod Pappan[ citation needed ]
Ayur RekhaG. M. Manu [38]
2009 Kadha, Samvidhanam Kunchakko Haridas Keshavan [39]
Patham Nilayile Theevandi Joshy Mathew [37]
2010 Kanyakumari Express T. S. Suresh Babu [29]
2013 Geethanjali Priyadarshan Dialogues Only [11]
2014Thomson VillaAbin Jacob [21]
TBAPower StarOmar Lulu [11]

As director

1988 Manu Uncle Written by Shibu Chakravarthy
1989 Adharvam
1990AppuWritten by Sreekumaran Thampi
1991 Thudar Katha
1995 Agrajan

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mohanlal</span> Indian actor and producer

Mohanlal Viswanathan, known mononymously as Mohanlal, is an Indian actor, film producer, playback singer, film distributor, and director who predominantly works in Malayalam cinema besides also having sporadically appeared in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada-language films. Mohanlal has a prolific career spanning over four decades, during which he has acted in more than 400 films. Mohanlal's contributions to the Malayalam cinema have been praised by his contemporaries in the Indian film industry. The Government of India honoured him with Padma Shri in 2001, and Padma Bhushan in 2019, India's fourth and third highest civilian honours, for his contributions to Indian cinema. In 2009, he became the first actor in India to be awarded the honorary rank of lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army. Mohanlal was named as one of "the men who changed the face of the Indian Cinema" by CNN-News18.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mammootty</span> Indian actor and film producer

Muhammad Kutty Panaparambil Ismail, known mononymously by the hypocorism Mammootty (/mɐmːuːʈːi/), is an Indian actor and film producer who works predominantly in Malayalam films. He has also appeared in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and English-language productions. In a career spanning five decades, he has acted in over 400 films. He is the recipient of several accolades, including three National Film Awards, seven Kerala State Film Awards, and thirteen Filmfare Awards South. For his contribution to film, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri in 1998. In 2022, he was honoured with Kerala Prabha Award, the second-highest honour given by the Government of Kerala.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mohanlal filmography</span> List of performances by Indian actor Mohanlal

Mohanlal is an Indian actor, producer, distributor, television host and playback singer who has starred in both mainstream blockbuster and art house films. During his career, he has appeared in more than 350+ feature films, primarily in Malayalam cinema, and also in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, and Kannada films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joshiy</span> Indian filmmaker

Joshiy is an Indian film director and scriptwriter who works predominantly in Malayalam cinema. He has also directed Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada language films. He is a pioneer of action thrillers in Malayalam cinema. His films are known for its stylized imagery, color grading and film noir.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ranjith (director)</span> Indian film director, screen writer, producer and actor

Ranjith Balakrishnan is an Indian film director, screenwriter, lyricist, producer, and actor who works in Malayalam cinema. Ranjith made his directorial debut in 2001 with Ravanaprabhu, the sequel to Devaasuram. His films Thirakkatha and Indian Rupee won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam in 2008 and 2011 respectively. He is also the current chairman of Kerala State Chalachitra Academy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kunchacko Boban</span> Indian actor and film producer

Kunchacko Boban is an Indian actor and film producer. Sometimes referred to as Chackochan, he works in the Malayalam film industry and has acted in more than 100 films in more than two decades. He is a member of the Kunchacko family. Kunchacko's debut was as a child in the film Dhanya (1981) produced by his father Boban Kunchacko.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mammootty filmography</span> List of performances by Indian actor Mammootty

Mammootty, is an Indian actor and film producer who works predominantly in Malayalam films. In 1972, he made his onscreen debut as an extra in K. S. Sethumadhavan's Anubhavangal Paalichakal while studying law in Maharaja's College. Since then he has acted in over 400 films in Malayalam and other languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and English films. After his debut, he appeared in an uncredited role in Kaalachakram (1973). In 1979, while he was practising law in Manjeri he was offered a pivotal role in M. T. Vasudevan Nair's Devalokam. However, this film was never released.

<i>Nirakkoottu</i> 1985 Indian film

Nirakkoottu is a 1985 Indian Malayalam-language film directed by Joshiy, written by Dennis Joseph, starring Mammootty, Sumalatha, Urvashi, Lizy, Babu Namboothiri and Jose Prakash. The music was composed by Shyam. The story follows journalist Sasikala Varghese's (Urvashi) investigation of millionaire Ravi Varma (Mammootty), who is sentenced to death for the murder of his wife Mercy (Sumalatha).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shaji Kailas</span> Indian film director (born 1965)

Shaji Kailas is an Indian film director and screenwriter known for his works in Malayalam cinema. Shaji got a breakthrough with the comedy film Dr. Pasupathy (1990).

<i>Rajavinte Makan</i> 1986 film by Thambi Kannanthanam

Rajavinte Makan is a 1986 Indian Malayalam-language gangster film directed and produced by Thampi Kannanthanam from a screenplay by Dennis Joseph, based on the 1980 Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon. It stars Mohanlal as crime boss Vincent Gomes, and also features Ratheesh, Ambika and Mohan Jose in supporting roles. The film revolves around the rivalry between an underworld don, Vincent Gomes and the Home minister, N. Krishnadas.

<i>No.20 Madras Mail</i> 1990 Indian film

No.20 Madras Mail is a 1990 Indian Malayalam-language comedy thriller film directed by Joshiy and written by Dennis Joseph from a story by Harikumar. The film stars Mohanlal in lead role and Jagadish, Maniyanpilla Raju, M. G. Soman, Ashokan, and Suchitra Murali in supporting roles, while Mammootty appears in an extended cameo as himself. The background score was composed by S. P. Venkatesh while the song was composed by Ouseppachan. The plot follows three youngsters who are embroiled in the murder mystery of a young woman in a train journey from Thiruvananthapuram to Madras. No.20 Madras Mail was released on 16 February 1990 and received positive reviews. Almost half of the film was shot inside a train. Four years later, the film was remade in Hindi as Teesra Kaun by Partho Ghosh.

<i>New Delhi</i> (1987 film) 1987 film by Joshiy

New Delhi is a 1987 Malayalam language neo-noir action thriller film written by Dennis Joseph and directed by Joshiy and produced by Joy Thomas. It stars Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Thiagarajan, Sumalatha, Urvashi, Siddique, Vijayaraghavan, Mohan Jose, Devan, and Jagannatha Varma.

<i>Shyama</i> (film) 1986 Indian film

Shyama is a 1986 Indian Malayalam-language romantic thriller film produced by Joy Thomas under Jubilee Productions, directed by Joshiy and written by Dennis Joseph. It stars Mammootty and Nadia Moidu in the lead roles. The film was remade in Tamil as Unakkaagavee Vaazhgiren. It is partially inspired by Gulzar's Kinara.

<i>Kottayam Kunjachan</i> Malayalam movie

Kottayam Kunjachan is a 1990 Indian Malayalam-language action comedy film directed by T. S. Suresh Babu and written by Dennis Joseph, loosely based on a novel by Muttathu Varkey. It stars Mammootty in the title role as Kunjachan, with Ranjini, Innocent, KPAC Lalitha, Sukumaran, Babu Antony, and Prathapachandran appearing in supporting roles. Produced by M. Mani, the plot was set in the Kottayam-Catholic backdrop in Kerala, with characters speaking the native Kottayam dialect. It was the third highest grossing film of 1990 behind His Highness Abdullah and Aye Auto. The film and its title character Kunjachan went on to achieve cult status in the years following its release.

<i>Nair Saab</i> 1989 Indian film

Nair Saab is a 1989 Malayalam language action thriller film, written by Dennis Joseph and directed by Joshiy and produced by Liberty Productions. It stars Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Mukesh and Geetha. It was released on the occasion of Onam. Nair Saab was one of the biggest blockbusters of Mammootty's career and established his super stardom

<i>Indrajaalam</i> 1990 film by Thampi Kannanthanam

Indrajaalam (transl. Magic) is a 1990 Indian Malayalam-language crime thriller film produced and directed by Thampi Kannanthanam and written by Dennis Joseph. The film stars Mohanlal, Rajan P. Dev and Geetha, with music composed by S. P. Venkatesh. It was released on 3 September 1990. The Film became major commercial success and was major breakthrough for Rajan P Dev for his villain character Carlos.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Priyadarshan filmography</span> List of films by Priyadarshan

Priyadarshan is an Indian film director, producer, and screenwriter. Priyadarsan movies are mostly known for their comedy but he did an artistically historical epic film about freedom fighters in India known as Kaalapani and his epic period drama is Kancheevaram. In a career spanning almost three decades, Priyadarshan has directed over 90 films in several Indian languages, predominantly Malayalam and Hindi, besides six in Tamil, and two in Telugu. Though he began his career in Malayalam cinema in 1984, Priyadarshan was active mainly in Hindi cinema for 2001–2010. In 2013, he announced Rangrezz would be his last Hindi film for a while; and he is shifting focus to Malayalam Cinema.

<i>Kasaba</i> (2016 film) 2016 Indian Malayalam film by Nithin Renji Panicker

Kasaba is a 2016 Indian Malayalam-language action thriller film written and directed by Nithin Renji Panicker, starring Mammootty, along with Neha Saxena as his pair, while Varalaxmi, Sampath Raj, and Jagadish played the important supporting roles. The first day gross was the highest for a Malayalam film. The film ended up grossing 14.37 crore (US$1.8 million)


  1. "Scriptwriter & director Dennis Joseph no more". The Times of India . 11 May 2021. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  2. Kumar, P. K. Ajith (10 May 2021). "Adieu to Malayalam cinema's master writer". The Hindu . India. ISSN   0971-751X . Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Staff Reporter (10 May 2021). "Dennis Joseph no more". The Hindu. ISSN   0971-751X . Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Onmanorama Staff (10 May 2021). "Dennis Joseph, who scripted many hit Malayalam films, dies". Malayala Manorama . Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Malayalam screenwriter-director Dennis Joseph passes away". The Indian Express. 10 May 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  6. Akhila Menon (27 January 2017). "Past To Present: Who Can Replace Mammootty & Sumalatha If Nirakkoottu Is Remade Now?". FilmiBeat. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  7. Aradhya Kurup (27 October 2016). "From Shakespeare to Sidney Sheldon – Malayalam films inspired by Foreign books". Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  8. Abhijith (26 September 2016). "Malayalam Films Which Gave The Much Needed Breakthrough To Our Stars!". FilmiBeat. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  9. Abhijith (25 July 2017). "30 Years Of Mammootty's New Delhi: Some Interesting Facts About The Movie". FilmiBeat. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  10. Sherin (28 May 2020). "Mollywood's Top 5 Last Minute Changes That was Worth Gold - Mollywood Live". Mollywood Live. Retrieved 11 May 2021. Minnal Prathapan
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 Silpa Rajan (11 May 2021). "Omar Lulu on Dennis Joseph's sudden demise: Sir had completed the script of 'Power Star' and we had a chat two days ago - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  12. "Legendary Malayalam screenwriter and director Dennis Joseph passes away due to COVID-19". 10 May 2021.
  13. Kumar, P. k Ajith (10 May 2021). "Adieu to Malayalam cinema's master writer". The Hindu. ISSN   0971-751X . Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  14. "Dennis Joseph, scriptwriter of 'Rajavinte Makan', 'No.20 Madras Mail' and other hit films, dies". The Week. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  15. "Malayalam film director and screenwriter Dennis Joseph passes away". Deccan Herald. 10 May 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  16. "ഡെന്നിസ് ജോസഫ്". M3DB.COM. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  17. "List of Malayalam Movies screenplay written by Dennis Joseph". Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  18. 1 2 3 P. K. Ajith Kumar (10 May 2021). "Adieu to Dennis Joseph, Malayalam cinema's master writer". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  19. 1 2 3 Onmanorama Staff (11 May 2021). "From back-to-back flops to housefull shows: Dennis Joseph on Mammootty's comeback via 'New Delhi'". Malayala Manorama. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  20. 1 2 3 4 Service, Uniindia News (10 May 2021). "Noted Malayalam scriptwriter Dennis Joseph dies". United News of India. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  21. 1 2 3 4 Shibu B S (11 May 2021). "Dennis Joseph: From human relations to vengeful underworld, he gifted us everything - The New Indian Express". Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  22. Miya Mathew (3 June 2016). "5 magical director-scriptwriter combinations!". Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  23. "Dennis Joseph: The man who made Mammootty and Mohanlal superstars - The Federal". The Federal. 11 May 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  24. "Did you know Mammootty wasn't part of the original cast of 'No. 20 Madras Mail'?". The Times of India. 27 January 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  25. 1 2 P. C. Thomas (11 May 2021). "Legendary Malayalam scriptwriter and director Dennis Joseph passes away". News Track. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  26. Sruthi Hemachandran (11 May 2021). "Screenwriter-Director Dennis Joseph Passes Away; Mohanlal, Mammootty & Other Celebs Offer Condolences". FilmiBeat. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  27. "Famous screenwriter and director Dennis Joseph passes away". Keralakaumudi Daily. 10 May 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  28. Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen (2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Routledge. p. 278. ISBN   9781135943189.
  29. 1 2 "Mohanlal, Mammootty, other stars mourn demise of Dennis Joseph". Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  30. "Dennis Joseph no more". The Hindu. 10 May 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  31. "Indian Military Intelligence". Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  32. "Indian Military Intelligence". Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  33. "Bhoopathi (1997)". FilmiBeat. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  34. "Shibiram". Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  35. "When this 'creator' of Rajavinte Makan, New Delhi drew a blank..." Keralakaumudi Daily. 19 December 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  36. "Biju Varkey movies list". Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  37. 1 2 "Dennis Joseph – Screenwriter". Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  38. "Ayur Rekha - Preview". FilmiBeat. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  39. "Kadha, Samvidhanam Kunchakko (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 11 May 2021.