Sirikkadhey (pronounced [siɾikaːðeː]; transl. Don't laugh) is a 1939 Indian Tamil-language anthology film produced by S. S. Vasan under Sri Ranjani Pictures. It consists of five short comedy films: Adangapidari, Malai Kannan, Yama Vadhanai, Poli Samiyar (transl. The fake swami) and Puli Vettai (transl. Tiger hunt). Widely recognised as the first anthology film in India, Sirikkadhey was released on 23 December 1939 and became a major commercial success.

Sirikkadhey poster.jpg
Produced byS. S. Vasan
Sri Ranjani Pictures
Distributed byGemini Pictures Circuit
Release date
  • 23 December 1939 (1939-12-23)


Malai KannanEdit

A man suffering from nyctalopia goes through many misadventures while on the way to the house of his in-laws.[1]

Poli SamiyarEdit

A carpenter lives with his wife. A bearded swami, seemingly holy and spiritual but actually a wolf in sheep's clothing, lusts for the carpenter's wife. She tells her husband about the swami's strictly dishonorable intentions and the clever carpenter plans to expose the pious fraud. The wife pretends to lead the swami on with sly glances and seductive smiles. The swami is delighted and accepts the woman's invitation to visit her house for climactic consummation. The carpenter hides and the swami arrives. To make him more presentable, the woman offers him a popular soap. The "soap" inside the wrapper is actually a cheap cake with depilatory properties. The swami is shocked to find after the wash, his fake beard and all coming off. Now the carpenter arrives with some other people in tow, and the fraudulent swami is attacked with slaps, kicks and jabs, much to the delight of the carpenter and his wife.[2]


Sirikkadhey was produced by S. S. Vasan under Sri Ranjani Pictures.[1] It is an anthology film consisting of five short comedy films: Adangapidari, Malai Kannan, Yama Vadhanai, Poli Samiyar and Puli Vettai.[3] Adangapidari was directed by R. Prakash and featured Kothamangalam Subbu alongside T. Mani Iyer, T. Krishnaveni, K. N. Rajam and K. N. Kamalam. Malai Kannan was directed and photographed by Jiten Banerjee, and featured M. S. Murugesan, E. Krishnamoorthi, P. Sama, P. S. Gnanam, Nagalakshmi, Radha Bai and Meenakshi. Banerjee also directed Yama Vadhanai. Poli Samiyar starred N. S. Krishnan, T. A. Mathuram, T. S. Durairaj and M. R. Swaminathan. In the books Memories of Madras by Randor Guy and Sadhanaigal Padaitha Thamizh Thiraipada Varalaru by Film News Anandan, it is not mentioned who directed Poli Samiyar and Puli Vettai.[4][5] The whole film was shot at Newton Studios in Madras (now Chennai).[1] Many sources such as B. Vijaykumar of The Hindu,[6] Rahul R. of Deccan Herald,[7] and Deepa Venkatraman of Open consider Sirikkadhey to be the first Indian anthology film.[8]

Release and receptionEdit

Sirikkadhey was released on 23 December 1939,[4] and was distributed by Vasan through Gemini Pictures Circuit.[5][9] Vasan promoted the film through cartoon-based advertisements drawn by Mali, a cartoonist.[10] It became a major commercial success, with Poli Samiyar being the most popular of the five segments.[5] Guy considered the novelty of the cartoon advertisement campaign to be instrumental in the film's success.[11] The success of Sirikkadhey led to more anthology films being made in Tamil cinema until the mid-1940s, when it went out of fashion.[9][12]


  1. ^ a b c Guy 2016, p. 121.
  2. ^ Guy 2016, p. 122.
  3. ^ "சந்திரலேகா முதல் சந்திரஹாசம் வரை...!- வாசன் விதைத்த பிரம்மாண்டம் ( தொடர்-12)". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 12 October 2015. Archived from the original on 13 September 2018. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b "1939 – சிரிக்காதே – ஸ்ரீ ரஞ்சனி டாக்கீஸ் – 5 கதைகள் கொண்ட படம். வெளியான தேதி – 23-12-1939" [1939 – Sirikkadhey – Sri Ranjani Talkies – One film consisting of 5 stories. Release date – 23-12-1939.]. Lakshman Sruthi (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Guy 2016, pp. 121–122.
  6. ^ Vijaykumar, B. (19 June 2011). "Chitramela 1967". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 September 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  7. ^ Rahul, R. (15 June 2013). "Anthology of romance". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 17 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  8. ^ Venkatraman, Deepa (2 November 2013). "Kamath's Eleven". Open. India. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  9. ^ a b Guy, Randor (31 August 2013). "Mani Malai (1941)". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  10. ^ Guy, Randor (22 August 2015). "Sanyasi-Samsari (1942)". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 18 April 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  11. ^ Guy 1997, p. 242.
  12. ^ Guy 2016, p. 122; Guy 1997, p. 131.


  • Guy, Randor (2016). Gopal, T. S. (ed.). Memories of Madras: Its Movies, Musicians & Men of Letters. Chennai: Creative Workshop. ISBN 978-81-928961-7-5.
  • Guy, Randor (1997). Starlight, Starbright: The Early Tamil Cinema. Amra Publishers. OCLC 52794531.

External linksEdit