Manthiri Kumari

Manthiri Kumari

Theatrical poster
Directed by Ellis R. Dungan
Produced by T. R. Sundaram
Written by M. Karunanidhi
Starring M. G. Ramachandran
M. N. Nambiar
S. A. Natarajan
G. Sakunthala & Madhuri devi
Music by G. Ramanathan
Cinematography J. G. Vijayam
Edited by L. Balu
Distributed by Modern Theatres
Release dates
24 June 1950
Running time
163 mins
Country India
Language Tamil

Manthiri Kumari (English: The Minister's Daughter) is a 1950 Indian Tamil historical fiction film directed by Ellis R. Dungan and starring M. G. Ramachandran, M. N. Nambiar. The title of the film is on the character of Amudhvalli, which was played by Madhuri Devi.This film had limited scope for the heroine of M.G.R and hence G. Shakuntala was paired opposite M.G.R. The screen play was written by M. Karunanidhi based on an incident from the Tamil epic Kundalakesi. This was the last Tamil film directed by Dungan and is considered to be among the most successful films of that decade. Shortly after directing this film, Dungan left the Tamil film industry and did not direct Tamil films again.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] Singer T. M. Soundararajan sang for very first time for Ramachandran in this film.[8]


Manthiri Kumari (lit. The minister's daughter) was the film version of a play written by M. Karunanidhi and based an incident that occurs in the Tamil epic poem Kundalakesi (One of the five Great Tamil epics). T. R. Sundaram of Modern Theatres had previously produced a Dungan directed film Ponmudi (1950) in which Karunanidhi had worked as a script writer. Sundaram decided to make a film based on the play and hired Dungan to direct it (the credits show Sundaram and Dungan as co-directors of the film). M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) who had played the supporting roles in many of Dungan's earlier films had recently achieved success as a hero in Rajakumaari (1947) and Marudhanaattu Ilavarasi (1950). Karunanidhi recommended that his friend MGR be made hero for the new film. Sundaram agreed with a caveat - MGR's double chin had to be hidden behind a beard. G. Ramanathan was hired to compose the music. The lyrics for the songs were written by A. Marudhakaasi and Ka. Mu. Sherriff.[6]


The king of Mullai nadu is dominated by his Raja guru (head priest) (M. N. Nambiar). The guru wants his son Parthiban (S. A. Natarajan) to be appointed as the General of the army. But the king appoints Veera Mohan (MGR) instead. The enraged Parthiban becomes a bandit and starts raiding the country side. Parthiban lives in kingdom during the day time and loots merchants and passengers who pass by in group, in the road during night time or at times when no people from Mullai Nadu frequent the roads. He wants to marry the princess Jeevarekha (G. Shakuntala) who is in love with Veera Mohan. Parthiban sends a message to Jeevarekha to meet him secretly. The message is delivered by mistake to the minister's daughter Amudhavalli (Madhuri Devi) and she goes to meet Parthiban. Parthiban and Amudhavalli fall in love. Parthiban just uses Amudhavali for his pleasure. Meanwhile, the king sends his general Veeramohan to capture the bandits plaguing the country side. Veeramohan captures Parthiban and produces him in the royal court. The Raja guru is enraged and tries to get his son off by various means. He demands a trial for his son in front of the Goddess. During the trial, Amudhavalli hides behind the Goddess statue and pronounces Parthiban as innocent. The minister, who is Amudhavalli's father believes that the statue of Godess spoke to him and announced that Parthiban is innocent. The king never takes decision on his own but consults both Raja Guru and the Minister. King thus believing that the Goddess had spoken releases Parthiban and exiles Veeramohan. Parthiban and Amudhavalli are happily married. Jeevarekha runs away from Kingdom to be with Veera Mohan in his exile period. Amudhavalli asks Parthiban to promise that he would stop being bandit or loot common man. Parthiban however continues to be bandit by going out, after Amudhavalli goes to sleep. But goaded by his father Parthiban wants to take over the kingdom by marrying the princess. Amudhavalli understands this after she gets fooled at night for the second time. Meanwhile Parthiban's team of bandits attack Veera Mohan and capture Jeevarekha and bring her to bandit Parthiban's den. Amudhavalli follows her husband at night and dresses as a warrior and saves Jeevanrekha, when she catches Parthiban trying to rape Jeevanrekha. Amudhavalli, after catching Parthiban red handed in bandit 's den, decides to take Jeevanrekha to kingdom. To escape from nuisance of Amudhavalli, Parthiban decides to kill Amudhavalli. He tricks her into going with him to a cliff edge, he even speaks to her romantically and sings a song and then tells her of his intention to kill her and discloses that his father also plans to kill the King the same day. Amudavalli begs him for a chance to worship him by going around him three times before she meets her death. Parthiban grants her last wish. While going around him she pushes him to his death from behind. Shocked by her actions and her husband's betrayal, she confesses her sins and becomes a Buddhist nun.Meanwhile Veera Mohan decides to go kingdom in a get up to meet Jeevarekha but sees Rajaguru attempting to murder King. However King mistakes Veeramohan to be the person wanting to kill King . Discussion happens in courtroom. Amudhavalli is killed by Rajaguru in court when she proved that Veeramohan was never fraud and that she killed Parthiban. The raja guru is jailed and Veera mohan is reunited with the princess.


Actor Role
M. G. Ramachandran General Veera Mohan
S. A. Natarajan Parthiban
M. N. Nambiar The Rajaguru
G. Shakuntala Princess Jeevarekha
Madhuri Devi Amudhavalli
T. P. Muthulakshmi Karpagam
A. Karunanidhi Boopalam
K. S. Angamuthu
Sivasuriyan The King
K. V. Seenivasan
K. K. Soundar


The film was released in June 1950 and became a box office hit. It ran more than 100 days in all major cities and 150 days in Chennai, Madurai, Trichy 146 days. Though MGR was the hero, it was S. A. Natarajan's role which received the most acclaim. Karunanidhi's fiery dialogues became famous and stirred controversy.[3][5][6]


The film's music was composed by G. Ramanathan. Lyrics were by Ka. Mu. Sherrif, and A. Maruthakasi. Playback singers are Thiruchi Loganathan, T. M. Soundararajan, M. L. Vasanthakumari, P. Leela, N. Lalitha & U. R. Chandra.

The song Vaarai Nee Vaarai sung by Trichy Loganathan and Jikki was the most popular song of the film. List of songs in the film:[9]

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 Vaarai Nee Vaarai Thiruchi Loganathan & Jikki 02:52
2 Isai Tamizhe Inidhaana M. L. Vasanthakumari 03:32
3 Ulavum Thendral Thiruchi Loganathan & Jikki 03:17
4 Kaadhal Baliyaagi M. L. Vasanthakumari 02:45
5 Ubakaram Seibavarukke.... Annam Itta Vittile T. M. Soundararajan A. Maruthakasi 02:07
6 Manam Pola Vaazhvu Peruvome M. L. Vasanthakumari & Jikki 02:38
7 Kannadichi Yaarai Neeyum A. P. Komala 03:29
8 Porakka Poguthu A. Karunanidhi & T. P. Muthulakshmi 01:18
9 Aahaahaahaa Vaazhvile M. L. Vasanthakumari 03:07
10 O Raja O Rani Indha Ezhaiyeliya P. Leela, N. Lalitha and U. R. Chandra 05:21
11 Anthisaayura Neram Mandhaarai Chedi Oram 02:20
12 Pengalinaal Jikki 01:54
13 Ennum Pozhuthil Inbam M. L. Vasanthakumari 01:45
14 En Erumai Kannukutti 02:53
15 Aadhavan Udhitthu Tamarai Malarndhadhu 04:31


  1. Americans in Tamil cinema 6 September 2004
  2. Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1994). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute. p. 88. ISBN 0-85170-455-7, ISBN 978-0-85170-455-5.
  3. 1 2 National Film Development Corporation of India (1998). Indian cinema: a visual voyage. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India. p. 112. ISBN 81-230-0646-2, ISBN 978-81-230-0646-8.
  4. Muthiah, S. (2004). Madras rediscovered. Chennai: East West Books (Madras) Pvt. Ltd. p. 404. ISBN 81-88661-24-4, ISBN 978-81-88661-24-4.
  5. 1 2 Thoraval, Yves (2000). The cinemas of India. India: Macmillan. p. 39. ISBN 0-333-93410-5, ISBN 978-0-333-93410-4.
  6. 1 2 3 Manthiri Kumari - A Grand Success (in Tamil), Maalai Malar 27 October 2009
  7. Randor Guy (28 September 2007). "Blast from the past - Manthrikumari (1950)". Chennai, India: The Hindu.
  8. Kolappan, B. (25 May 2013). "Playback singer TMS passes away". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  9. Manthirikumari
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