Film Poster
Directed by Ellis R. Dungan
Written by Pammal Sambandha Mudaliar
Starring T. R. Mahalingam
M. G. Ramachandran
N. S. Krishnan
T. A. Madhuram
Music by Lalitha Venkatraman
S. Rajeswara Rao
Edited by R. S. Mani
Minerva movietone
Newtone Studios
Bhuvaneswari Pictures
Distributed by Devi Films
Release dates
3 March 1943
Running time
150 min. (13,623 Feet)
Country India
Language Tamil

Dhaasippen also spelled as Daasippenn (Tamil: தாசிப்பெண் English: Dancing Girl) is a 1943 Tamil film directed by Ellis R. Dungan and produced by Bhuvaneswai Pictures. Starring T. R. Mahalingam and M. G. Ramachandran. Music by Lalitha Venkatraman and S. Rajeswara Rao assets to the movie .The film was also had an alternate title - Jothi Malar (Tamil: ஜோதி மலர்).[1][2][3] Interestingly the film based on a folk tale about a Devadasis dedicating her life to workship of Lord Shiva and refusing to the follow the traditional family profession of entertainment men. The film had three titles Dasi Penn, Jyothi Malar and Thumbhai Mahatmayam. Desi Penn performed fairly well at box-office.[4]


M. G. Ramachandran as Shiva as shiva dancer with Balasaraswathi much to her delights. It was one of MGR early movies, he played divine role in some, looked impressive. The melodious song, dances of Balasaraswathi and MGR and excellent on screen.2nd, silver medalist(s)

Randor Guy [4]

A young Devasasi(R. Balasaraswathi) is forced by her family to yield to lustful Zamindar(V. K. Dass). But she refuses for, she is devoted to Lord Shiva(M. G. Ramachandran). She wishes to marry to her lover(T. R. Mahalingam). But there are lot of hurdles. The Zamindar attempts to kidnap the women to make her his mistress. But his attempts fail thanks to the intervention of Shiva and his Consort Parvathi(M. R. Santhanalakshmi). A parallel story in the film about a married sister(T. A. Madhuram), who carries on an affair with a travelling sari sales man(N. S. Krishnan) and their illicit romance is always thwarted by the appearance of fierce looking gaint(Pulimooti Ramasamy). The Devasasi is tired of her life, answering her prayers, Shiva transformed her into Thumbhai Plant. Even day, it flower are offered to lord shiva during workship in many places. Hence the film also had the title Thumbhai Mahatmayam.[4]


Dhaasippen (lit. Dancing Girl or Prostitute) was based on a play of the same name written by Pammal Sambandha Mudaliar.[5] It was produced by Buvaneshwari Pictures and directed by Ellis Dungan. T. R. Mahalingam played the lead role and M. G. Ramachandran (later Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) was cast in a supporting role. Comic relief was provided by the husband and wife comedy duo of N. S. Krishnan- T. A. Madhuram. This film was short (13,623 feet) when compared to the Tamil films of 1930s due to the shortage of film negatives during World War II. It was released on 3 March 1943 in tandem with another film - Kizhattu Mappilai (Tamil: கிழட்டு மாப்பிள்ளை).[2]

The talented editor R. S. Mani and was shot at Minerva Movie tone in Bombay and Newtone Studios in Madras(now Chennai). Mani began his career as an editor and worked with dungan on Kalamegam and later become a success filmmaker with hits such as Kannagi, Kubera Kuchela and Krishna Bakthi. He Produced hit film Maaman Magal. Later he turned religious and forgot all about films for the rest of his life.[4] Dugan made several culture films based mostly on Mythology and folk tales without knowing a word a Tamil(expect for saying Paiyaa Brandy Kondaa!). However, he created the film history with his superb on screen narration and technical fine and made classic such as Sathi Leelavathi (1936 film), Sakuntalai, Meera (1945 film) , Kalamegam and Manthiri Kumari(in which he shared credit with its producer T. R. Sundaram).[4]




Music composed by Lalitha Venkatraman and S. Rajeswara Rao. There were nearly 30 songs rendered mostly by R. Balasarawathi an excellent singer, T. R. Mahalingam who also sang duets with her. In such duets, Mahalingam Vanishes. Lalitha Venkatraman noted singer of the day, who sang and also played Veena. A Mylaporean who started a Music school in that area. She later relocated to Bombay after marriage and created history by being the first female in Tamil Cinema to sing off-screen(playback) for the AVM film Nandakumar(1938).[4]


  1. Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1994). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute. p. 147. ISBN 0-85170-455-7, ISBN 978-0-85170-455-5.
  2. 1 2 3 Film News Anandan (2004). Sadhanaigal padaitha Tamil Thiraipada Varalaaru (in Tamil). Chennai: Sivagami Publications. pp. 28:33.
  3. Saraswathi, S. (1996). Government, politics, and people: linkage politics of Tamil Nadu. Manak Publications. p. 230. ISBN 8185445761, ISBN 978-81-85445-76-2.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Randor Guy (2011-02-20). "dasi penn jyothimalar 1943". "The Hindu". Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  5. He drew inspiration from Shakespeare, The Hindu 18 April 2008

External links

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