Periya Idathu Penn

Periya Idathu Penn (transl. The Wealthy Woman) is a 1963 Indian Tamil-language romantic comedy film, directed by T. R. Ramanna. The film stars M. G. Ramachandran, B. Saroja Devi, M. R. Radha and T. R. Rajakumari. The film, produced by T. R. Ramanna, had musical score by Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy and was released on 10 May 1963. The film was blockbuster, the highest-grossing film of the year and ran more than 100 days. The film was remade in Telugu as Sabhash Suri and in Hindi as Jawab.[1][2] The story of the 1982 Tamil film Sakalakala Vallavan was also inspired by this film.[3]

Periya Idathu Penn
Periya Idathu Penn Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byT. R. Ramanna
Written bySakthi T. K. Krishnasamy
Produced byT. R. Ramanna
StarringM. G. Ramachandran
B. Saroja Devi
CinematographyM. A. Rehman
Edited byM. S. Mani
Music byViswanathan–Ramamoorthy
R. R. Pictures
Release date
  • 10 May 1963 (1963-05-10)
Running time
156 minutes


Murugappan (MGR) is a small-time farm labourer who lives with his widowed elder sister Gangamma (T. R. Rajakumari) in a village.

Kaïlasam Pillaival (M. R. Radha) is the zamindar of the village, Sabapathy (S. A. Asokan) and Punitha (Saroja Devi) are his children.

Punitha is studying in college in a nearby town, while Sabapathy is not educated. Like the father, the children are both arrogant about their wealth and try to rule the villagers.

Murugappa tries to question their authority and this leads to frequent clashes with the zamindar's family.

Pitamdhi (Nagesh) is a wealthy college mate of Punitha, who is crazy about her.

Sabapathy falls in love with Thillaiammal (Manimala), who has been informally engaged to Murugappa for a long time.

Both Pillaival and Gangamma propose to her on the same day.

To avoid a direct clash with the zamindar, her father says that he took a vow that his daughter would marry the winner of a silambam competition.

Punitha promises to marry Pitamdhi if he dopes a drink which Murugappa drinks during the fight. Sabapathy wins the fight and marries Thillaiammal.

Punitha goes back on her word and an angry Pitamdhi confesses his duplicity to Murugappa, who confronts Punitha, the two get into an argument during which Murugappa wows to marry Punitha.

The two families get into another clash regarding the villagers' right to worship at the temple at the same time as Pillaival. In retaliation he sends his henchmen to beat up Murugappa and burn down their house.

When Gangamma confronts him, he rapes her and she disappears after writing a suicide note to her brother urging him to leave the village and make a living elsewhere.

Pillaival is haunted by the fear that Gangamma would return from the grave to take revenge.

Murugappan goes to the city where he meets Pitamdhi again.

Pitamdhi does a Pygmalion on him and Murugappa emerges from the tutelage as Azhagappa competent in English, and even knows to play the piano. He meets Punitha at a club and the two begin dating. She fails to connect the suave Azhagappa with the village bumpkin Murugappa and falls for him.

Pillaival gets an anonymous letter informing him that his daughter is in love with someone in the city and he sends for her immediately and confronts her. She admits to being in love with Azgagappa and her family decides to get them married. Azhagappa and Pitamdhi as Arulappan and his secretary meet Pillaival and the marriage takes place.

He meets Thillaiammal's father (Sethupadhi) and reveals his identity to him.

He discovers that Pillaival is in responsible for his sister's death and the whole family comes to know. Sabapathy tries to support his father and Punitha opposes him.

Azhagappa reveals his real identity, Murugappa and walks out of the marriage. He finds it impossible to live with Punitha after knowing what her father did to his sister.

Punitha discovers that she is pregnant and with the help of her sister-in-law Thillaiammal, meets Murugappan and tells him the truth. Murugappan is caught between his desires to live with his wife and avenge his sister's death. Sabapathy discovers her there and gets into a fight with Murugappan.

Confronted by a deadlock situation, Punitha initially contemplates suicide, but decides to live and have the baby.

Pitamdhi meanwhile, falls in love with Thillaiammal's young sister Valli (Jothilakshmi) and learns silambam from their father in order to wed her.

Murugappan and Punitha have a baby boy and are still unable to be together.

Murugappan longs to see his baby and goes to her house secretly at night.

He finds that Pillaival has been stabbed.

Punitha and Sabapathy think that their father was killed by Murugappan, who tries to follow the killer and finds out that it is his sister. She says that she was in hiding, waiting for a chance to avenge herself and advises him to return to his wife and son.

Meanwhile, he is confronted by Sabapathy and the police pursue Gangamma, who jumps off a bridge and kills herself.

All they find is a note from her confessing to Pillaival's murder and urging Murugappan to return to his wife, Punitha. Pitamdhi marries Valli and the family unites.



Jyothi Lakshmi made her acting debut with this film.[4]


Periya Idathu Penn
Soundtrack album by
GenreFeature film soundtrack

The music was composed by Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy.[5] Once, Kannadasan arrived at 4:00am at Viswanathan's house when Viswanathan was asleep, but the guard denied him entry; Kannadasan wrote "Avanukku enna thoongivittan, agapattavan naan allava" on a paper and gave it to the guard, who gave the paper to Viswanathan when he woke up. Those lines became the basis for a song.[6]

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length
1 "Andru Vandhadhum" (Happy) T. M. Soundararajan, P. Susheela Kannadasan 03:09
2 "Andru Vandhadhum" (Pathos) T. M. Soundararajan, P. Susheela 03:00
3 "Avanukkena Thoongi" T. M. Soundararajan 02:43
4 "Kannenna Kannenna" T. M. Soundararajan 03:14
5 "Kattodu Kuzhalaada" P. Susheela, T. M. Soundararajan, L. R. Eswari 04:58
6 "Paarappa Pazhaniappa" T. M. Soundararajan 03:01
7 "Thulli Odum Kaalgal" T. M. Soundararajan, P. Susheela 03:29
8 "Ragasiyam Parama" P. Susheela

Release and receptionEdit

Periya Idathu Penn was released on 10 May 1963.[7] The film was well-received by P. V. Cherian (then the chairman of the Madras Legislative Council) and Jothi Venkatachalam (then the Madras Minister for Health). The latter praised the film's moral values.[8]


  1. ^ Gbolagun, Martin. "The White wizard: Jeetendra's south fetish". Archived from the original on 10 December 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  2. ^ Vijayakumar, B. (28 September 2015). "Themmadi Velappan: 1976". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  3. ^ Raghavendra, M. K., ed. (2017). Beyond Bollywood: The Cinemas of South India. HarperCollins. pp. 39–40. ISBN 9789352645695.
  4. ^ Krishnamoorthy, Suresh (9 August 2016). "Actor Jyothilakshmi passes away". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Periya Idatthu Penn". Archived from the original on 16 April 2021. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  6. ^ Viswanathan, Nirupama (17 October 2016). "AIR unspools age-old charm for new audience". The New Indian Express. p. 2. Archived from the original on 16 April 2021. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Table: Chronological List of MGR's Movies released between 1960 and 1967" (PDF). Ilankai Tamil Sangam. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  8. ^ Ramachandran, T. M. (31 August 1963). "Tit-Bit". Sport and Pastime. Vol. 17. p. 50.

External linksEdit