Last updated

Mudhalali poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Muktha Srinivasan
Written byA. K. Venkat Ramanujam
Based onMudhalali
by Venkat Ramanujam
Produced byM. A. Venu
Starring S. S. Rajendran
CinematographyK. Ramachandran
Edited byT. Vijayarangam
Music by K. V. Mahadevan
M. A. V. Pictures
Distributed byRadhakrishna Films [1]
Release date
  • 22 October 1957 (1957-10-22)
Running time
160 minutes

Mudhalali (transl.Proprietor) is a 1957 Indian Tamil-language drama film, the directorial debut of Muktha Srinivasan and written by Venkat Ramanujam. The film was produced by M. A. Venu under M. A. V. Pictures. [2] [3] It stars S. S. Rajendran and debutante Devika, while M. N. Rajam, A. Kannaiyan and T. P. Muthulakshmi play supporting roles. The film's soundtrack and background score were composed by K. V. Mahadevan, while the lyrics for the songs were written by Ka. Mu. Sheriff.


K. Ramachandran and T. Vijayarangam handled cinematography and editing respectively. The film is based on Ramanujam's stage play of the same name. Film development started during the making of Sampoorna Ramayanam , whose own production was temporarily shelved. The film was released on 22 October 1957 and became a box office hit, establishing the career of actors Rajendran, Devika and Srinivasan. It was remade in Telugu as Mundadugu (1958) and in Malayalam as Muthalali (1965). [4]


Vasanthan goes to the United States to further his education. During his absence, his widowed mother Karpagam manages their glass factory in Salem with the help of manager Balu, who has a relationship with Vasanthan's cousin Kokilam. Since Vasanthan's mother does not understand how to manage the factory, Balu brings everything under his control and swindles the company by various means. Vasanthan returns to India several years later. He lands at Bombay en route to Madras in order to reach Salem. While there, he meets a hotel boy, Poongavanam, who causes Vasanthan to realise the need to understand the life of a worker before becoming a factory owner. He informs his mother that he has to go on another tour and will arrive in Salem in two months, but lands in Salem as a worker under the pseudonym Varadhan. He joins the factory with the help of Valli, who works in the factory with her father.

Slowly, Vasanthan comes to understand the misdeeds of Balu in managing the factory, and learns of his niece Kokilam's relationship with Balu. Meanwhile, Vasanthan and Valli fall in love. Vasanthan's mother becomes desperate to find her son and starts spending money to trace him. Vasanthan decides to reveal his true identity and goes out of town. Balu has an eye on Valli, and when she does not accept his lecherous advances, he throws her and her father out of the factory quarters. They leave in search of Varadhan, who has left Salem. When Vasanthan returns, his mother becomes happy. He meets the workers and promises changes since he now understands the misdeeds of the manager. Gradually, he starts addressing all the workers' issues. Manager Balu is kept in his place and brought under control. Unable to accept his reduced status, and being under excessive control, Balu starts spreading rumours that Vasanthan is not the real owner, but an imposter. Varadhan has come as Vasanthan. Even Vasanthan's mother starts doubting this, since Vasanthan (who was found of Kokilam before going abroad) is not behaving as before with her. Vasanthan proves that he is the real owner and exposes all of Balu's misdeeds. With the help of a Cycle — rickshaw puller, he traces Valli in Madras (who had gone there search of him) brings her back, and marries her.


Production and release

M. A. Venu who produced Sampoorna Ramayanam at the same time, had only 10 days in a month to shoot that film, since many artists involved were busy with other commitments. To make use of the remaining 20 days, Venu bought the rights for the stage play Mudhalali and chose Srinivasan to make his directorial debut. [5] Unlike most films, this film's production was completed in four months and two days within the budget of ₹2 lakh (worth ₹11 crore in 2021 prices). [5] [6] Pramila, who was given the screen name Devika, made her acting debut. [7] Rajendran was paid ₹7,000 while both Devika and Srinivasan were paid ₹5,000. [5] The film returned 900 per cent on investment in opening week. [5]


The film's soundtrack and background score were composed by K. V. Mahadevan, while the lyrics for the songs were written by Ka. Mu. Sheriff. [8] The song Aerikkaraiyin Mele is set in Arabhi raga. [9] [10]

1"Yeri Karaiyin Mele"T. M. SoundararajanKa. Mu. Sheriff03:28
2"Yawwana Ranithaan"Jikki02:48
3"Yengirundho Vandhaar"M. S. Rajeswari02:48
4"Kunguma Pottukkaaraa"T. M. Soundararajan & M. S. Rajeswari03:22
5"Chikkanama Vazhum"A. G. Rathnamala & G. Kasthoori04:51
6"Enga Mudhalaali Thanga"V. N. Sundharam, S. V. Ponnusamy,
A. G. Rathnamala & G. Kasthoori
7"Aasai Kalyaanam"M. S. Rajeswari03:20
8Seerkazhi Govindarajan

Recognition and awards

The film received a certificate from the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil (Best regional language film) for the year. [11]

Related Research Articles

<i>Perazhagan</i> 2004 Indian film

Perazhagan is a 2004 Indian Tamil-language comedy drama film directed by Sasi Shanker, starring Suriya and Jyothika with both playing dual roles. The supporting cast includes Vivek, Manorama and Manobala. The movie's score and soundtrack were composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja. The film, which is a remake of the 2002 Malayalam film Kunjikoonan, released on 7 May 2004. Suriya garnered acclaim for his portrayal of a hunchback in the film.

Ennavalle is a 2000 Indian Tamil-language romance film directed by J. Suresh which stars, R. Madhavan in lead role. Sneha made her acting debut through this movie. The film also featured Manivannan, Thalaivasal Vijay and Charle in pivotal roles, while music was composed by S. A. Rajkumar. The film released on 22 December 2000 to negative reviews from film critics.

<i>Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam</i> 2005 film by Balu Mahendra

Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam is a 2005 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film written and directed by Balu Mahendra. The film featured Dhanush and Priyamani, while Karunas and Delhi Ganesh played supporting roles. The music for the film was scored by Ilaiyaraaja, while Sai Suresh produced the venture. The film was loosely based on the director's 1986 Telugu film Nireekshana as well Yathra (1985). The film was released on 2 November 2005, coinciding with Diwali, and received a below average response commercially.

<i>Mullum Malarum</i> 1978 film by J. Mahendran

Mullum Malarum is a 1978 Indian Tamil-language drama film written and directed by Mahendran. Produced by Venu Chettiar and V. Mohan, the film stars Rajinikanth, Sarath Babu, Jayalaxmi and Shoba. It marks Mahendran's directorial debut and is partly based on Uma Chandran's novel of the same name, which was serialised in the Tamil magazine Kalki in 1966. Mullum Malarum tells the story of Kali (Rajinikanth), a winch operator of a cable trolley who dotes on his sister Valli (Shoba) since they were orphaned, and clashes with his boss Kumaran.

<i>Rettai Vaal Kuruvi</i> 1987 film by Balu Mahendra

Rettai Vaal Kuruvi is a 1987 Indian Tamil-language romantic comedy film, starring Mohan, Raadhika and Archana. It is based on the 1984 American film Micki & Maude. The film was released on 27 February 1987.

<i>Annai Velankanni</i> 1971 Indian film

Annai Velankanni is 1971 Indian Tamil-language drama film directed by K. Thangappan. The film stars Gemini Ganesan, Jayalalithaa, Padmini and K. R. Vijaya. Kamal Haasan briefly appears in an uncredited role as Jesus Christ. It comprises three stories pertaining to Catholic beliefs. Velankanni, where the film is set, is a real village in India, and has a large church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Jesus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">S. S. Rajendran</span> Indian politician

Sedapatti Suryanarayana Rajendran, also known by his initials SSR, was an Indian actor, director, producer and politician who worked in Tamil theatre and cinema.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Muktha Srinivasan</span>

Muktha Srinivasan was an Indian film director & producer.

Muthalali is a 1965 Malayalam language film directed by M. A. V. Rajendran. It stars Prem Nazir, Sheela, T. S. Muthaiah and Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair. Muthalali is inspired by the Tamil language film of the same name.

<i>Annaiyin Aanai</i> 1958 film by Ch. Narayana Murthy

Annaiyin Aanai is a 1958 Indian Tamil-language drama film starring Sivaji Ganesan and Savitri. The film, directed by Ch. Narayana Murthy, had musical score by S. M. Subbaiah Naidu and was released on 4 July 1958. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil in 1959.

<i>Moodu Pani</i> 1980 film by Balu Mahendra

Moodu Pani is a 1980 Indian Tamil-language psychological thriller film written, directed and filmed by Balu Mahendra. Starring his then wife Shoba and Pratap, with N. Viswanathan, Ganthimathi, Mohan and Bhanu Chander in supporting roles, it is based on two novels: Idhuvum Oru Viduthalai Thaan (1978) by Rajendra Kumar, and The Collector (1963) by John Fowles. The film follows Chandru (Pratap), who has a strong hatred towards prostitutes and would kill any such woman he encounters. He falls in love with Rekha (Shoba) and believes marrying her will end his psychological distress.

<i>Neengal Kettavai</i> 1984 film by Balu Mahendra

Neengal Kettavai is a 1984 Indian Tamil-language masala film written and directed by Balu Mahendra. It stars Thiagarajan, Bhanu Chander, Archana and Silk Smitha in major roles, while Jaishankar had an extended cameo as the antagonist. The film's soundtrack and background score were composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The film was commercially successful at the time of release.

<i>Sampoorna Ramayanam</i> (1958 film) 1958 film by K. Somu

Sampoorna Ramayanam is a 1958 Indian Tamil-language Hindu mythological film directed by K. Somu. It is based on Valmiki's Ramayana. The film features N. T. Rama Rao in lead role of Rama and Sivaji Ganesan as Bharatha. The film, produced by M. A. Venu, had musical score by K. V. Mahadevan and was released on 14 April 1958. It became a major commercial success, and ran for over 264 days in theatres, thereby becoming a silver jubilee film. It was dubbed into Hindi as Ramayan in 1960.

<i>Vellaikaara Durai</i> 2014 Indian film

Vellakkaara Durai is a 2014 Indian Tamil-language romantic comedy film directed by Ezhil. The film stars Vikram Prabhu, Sri Divya, Soori, and John Vijay. The film commenced shoot from May 2014. The film opened to mostly mixed-to-negative review from critics, and it was hit at box office.

<i>Santhi</i> (1965 film) 1965 Indian film

Santhi (transl. Peace) is a 1965 Indian Tamil-language film, directed by A. Bhimsingh and produced by A. L. Srinivasan. The film stars Sivaji Ganesan, S. S. Rajendran, C. R. Vijayakumari and Devika. The film had musical score by Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy. The film was remade in Hindi as Gauri (1968).

<i>Thulasi Maadam</i> 1963 Indian film

Thulasi Maadam is a 1963 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film directed by K. B. Srinivasan and written by Thamizhmaaran. The film stars A. V. M. Rajan, Gemini Chandraknatha, V. Gopalakrishnan and Sharadha.

<i>Thenmazhai</i> 1966 Indian film

Thenmazhai is a 1966 Indian Tamil-language romantic comedy film, directed by Muktha Srinivasan and produced by V. Ramasamy. The film stars Gemini Ganesan and K. R. Vijaya, with Major Sundarrajan, Nagesh, Cho, Sachu and Manorama in supporting roles. It was released on 23 September 1966.

<i>Engal Kuladevi</i> 1959 Indian film

Engal Kuladevi is a 1959 Indian Tamil-language film, directed by A. Subba Rao. The film was produced by T. R. Sundaram and stars K. Balaji, Pandaribai and Mynavathi.

<i>Chandrakumari</i> Indian Tamil-language soap opera

Chandrakumari was a 2018-2019 Indian Tamil-language television historical drama and soap opera replacing Vani rani serial and its jointly directed by popular film director Suresh Krissna and O N Rathnam and co-produced by Sun Entertainment and Radaan Mediaworks which premiered on Sun TV from 10 December 2018 to 1 June 2019 for 144 episodes. The soap opera features veteran film actress Viji Chandrasekhar playing the lead role while Uma Riyaz Khan, Bhanu, Venu Arvind and Devipriya play pivotal roles. The sets for the shooting were established in Chennai and Mumbai. The plot of the serial is based on the ancient queen Chandrakumari and on the actual ancient historical story. The first day's episode was extended to one hour instead of a normal 28 minutes schedule and it became Sun TV, Gemini TV and Surya TV's first serial to have its opening episode for one hour. This serial portrays Radhika in a historical role.

<i>Viruman</i> 2022 film directed by M Muthaiah

Viruman is a 2022 Indian Tamil-language masala film written and directed by M. Muthaiah, and produced by Jyothika and Suriya under 2D Entertainment, it stars Karthi and debutante Aditi Shankar. The music is composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja and cinematography is handled by Selvakumar S. K. The film was released theatrically on 12 August 2022 and was a commercial success at the box office.


  1. 1 2 "Mudalali". The Indian Express . 22 October 1957. p. 1.
  2. [ dead link ][ bare URL image file ]
  3. [ dead link ][ bare URL image file ]
  4. Vijayakumar, B. (18 November 2013). "Muthalali 1965". The Hindu . Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Dhananjayan 2014, p. 121.
  6. "A celebrated veteran of the south Indian film industry". The Hindu . 15 April 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  7. "Blend of grace and charm". The Hindu . Archived from the original on 21 June 2002. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  8. "Mudalali". Saregama . Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  9. "Valour and worship". The Hindu . 12 April 2013. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  10. Neelamegam, G. (2014). Thiraikalanjiyam — Part 1 (in Tamil). Chennai: Manivasagar Publishers. pp. 133–134.
  11. "5th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals . Retrieved 2 September 2011.