MGR and Sivaji’s films ready for digital re-release

Chennai: A few yesteryear films starring MGR and Sivaji still hold sway among movie-lovers. The likes of Ayirathil Oruvan (MGR) and Karnan (Sivaji Ganesan) were re-released in digital format to rousing reception. They both completed successful 100-day runs across the State.

Perhaps taking a cue from this a few more films featuring the yesteryear legends of Tamil cinema are waiting to see the light of the day again but in a different avatar. They will be re-mastered, digitalised with Dolby sound. Industry sources say that MGR’s Mattukara Velan and Adimai Penn will be out soon.

Similarly, Sivaji Ganesan’s Vasantha Maaligai and Raja would be out soon.A team of technicians are working to give a fresh look to it.

Remember, Maatukara Velan, which released in 1970, was directed by P Neelakantan. It featured Jayalalithaa and Lakshmi as heroines. S A Ashokan was the villain. Songs tuned by K V Mahadevan were chartbusters then. MGR played a dual role in the film. It had all commercial elements. The film saw 400 houseful shows in Chennai alone.

Adimai Penn, the 1969 blockbuster, was directed by K Shankar. MGR shared the screen space with Jayalalithaa. S A Ashokan, Pandari Bai, Rajasree, R S Manohar, Chandrababu and Cho Ramaswamy played supporting roles.

Jayalalithaa plays the role of a peasant and queen, two very different characters, which she carried off with equal conviction. K V Mahadevan was the music composer.

Released in 1972, Vasantha Maaligai was a romantic drama was directed by K S Prakash Rao and produced by D Ramanaidu. The film featured Sivaji Ganesan and Vanisri in the lead and it was a remake of the 1971 Telugu film Prema Nagar. Vasantha Maligai was a blockbuster, running in theatres for nearly 750 days. The highlight of the movie was its music. K V Mahadevan’s songs including Mayakam Enna, Kudi Magane, Oru Kinnathai and Kalaimagal are popular even today.

A C V Rajendran film, Raja was released in 1972. It featured Sivaji Ganesan, Jayalalithaa, S V Ranga Rao and K Balaji in lead roles. The film had musical score by M S Viswanathan.

It was a remake of the Hindi film Johny Mera Naam. M S Viswanathan’s song Nee Varavendum Endru, Irandil Ondru, Kalyana Ponnu were huge hits. A stylish Sivaji Ganesan in the movie won appreciation of movie-lovers.

M BHARAT KUMAR