PDA

View Full Version : On "Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban" movie & songs



Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
Can I join in please?

Ulagam Sutrum Valiban was the most challenging work for MGR. When he filmed shots in Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia in 1970 he had limited time and finance. Therefore he was very thrifty, nay stingy in working out the budget. He was counting on financial assistance from close firends as well. Although MGR earned high, much of the income went for charity, and he had little in saving.

He knew that the highlight of the movies would be the EXPO 1970 in Osaka as this film had no proper story line. But Japan had high standard of living and one of the costly areas in the world. So he had to make the tour of the countries within few days and limited cash. To be careful in spending he sent Idhayam Pesukirathu Manian to conduct a survey and make the necessary arrangements. Manian went early and made all the arrangemetns. However MGR was not to show up with his team. In Madras he had to struggle with many things, including Jayalalitha who was demanding a role in this mega movie with MGR's name and fame running highest.

Finally he came down and stayed in a bungalow already booked by Manian. On the following day, MGR's car was denied entry into the packed Expo area. But the survey had to be done. MGR carrried the camera on his shoulder and walked tirelessly the entire length and breadth of the Expo area. this was to the amazement of youngsters who coudl not cope up with the aging, and yet energetic who was about 53 then.MGR was a genius. He spotted all the interesting and useful areas. On the following day the shot was made.

The song Ulagam Azhagu kalaikalin Sigaram had 200 shots altogether. The editor was amazzed at the number of shots. Finally the song was reduced to just 4 minutes. This was the first tamil song to have contained the most number of shots. This song alone covered almost all the important exhibits at the EXPO, and turned out to be a kind of documentary in its own way.

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
MGR could not wait for a sunny day to shoot scenes. The songs Thanga Thoniyile, Nilavum Oru Pennagi, Lily malarukku Kondattam were taken with little lighting- on cloudy days. When the movie was finally sent to processing, the colour lab said the shots were of no quality. But situations forced MGR to finish and relase the movie. Why? MGR was removed from DMK in 1972, and he started ADMK. he had to make a stroming impact, and one of the well thought of ways was the release of this long awaited movie. the songs were already being played across the country- including Singapore, Malaysia and Sri lanka. In 1972 not many Indians could leave India, let alone people from Tamilnadu. So they wanted to see the world thru Ulagam Sutrum Valiban. So MGR had to finish the movie and release it to gain pilitical mielage as well. He wa carefully advised to re shoot. But time and budget was of essence. he could not do that. Instead he made more than 40 sets in Sathya studio and remade some scenes.

1. The last scene of Lily malarukku -Pagoda was re made in Sathya Studio. (Where are Sathya Kabali and Keerthi?) The close up was done on the set. But within seconds distance shot is shown with poor lighting.

2.Thanga Thoniyile was taken teh whole day. MGR was waiting for the mercy of the sun in hong Kong. but the day was cloudy. Look at the clouds in the song. therfore strong filters (blue ) had to be used to give a facelift. it was while waiting that they took the shot of the Cathay Pacific flying into Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong, and as the song ends one coudl also see a Chesna aircraft gliding over the Hong Kong mountains.

3. Sirithu Vazha Vendum- there are scenes wher settings were made, and MGR comes with heavy make up.

5. Nilavum Oru Pennagi- Closely observe the hills at the back of the sea. This is painting in Sathya studio.

Poor MGR, he had chosen the wrong time and season for shooting. But intelligently managed.

6. the song Pachai Kili was also shot fast. Metarunratta, the Siamese beauty falls down, but edited to hoodwink the viewers. She sings "Ponnin Niram Pillai Manam " and walks in the reverse and falls down, but was cut. Careful observation would reveal it.

All odds were covered up. Only the experienced MGR could do it.

MGR had the tendency of shooting any first shot with thaaikulam. The first song was Lily malarukku Kondattam, shot in Kashmir.

When political pressure mounted, MGR took all the processed reels and passed on to teh editor. He viewed it and went cuckoo! the story was confusing, 2 MGRs and 3 heroines. Which MGR to macth with which heroine? What was the sequence of his travels to all the countries? All these confused. usually MGR used to eb around for editing. This time he had to go for politial meetings andentrusted the editor to do all the work. The editing came out with utter confusion, yet highly entertaining.



Ulakam Sutrum Valibanodu payanam Vanthaval naan-was not included. Likewise, "Ninaikkumpothe Thankkul Sirikkum mmaathe" was also shot, but not included.





3.

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
Why was this movie released in hurry? Politics and nothing else. MGR's popularity was growing high. In 1971 there was a thought that Indira Gandhi will kill DMK. Somewhow DMK won ar too many seats and Congres was moved into oblivion. This threatened Indira gandhi and boosted the ego of Mu karunanithi. MGR went to Cashmir for shooting of Idhaya venai and phoned karunanithi and asked for a post as minister in his cabinet-as Trade Minister. Mu Ka told him the constitution did not allow for an actor to hold such a post while still acting. karunaithi asked MGR to leave acting. But that would kill MGR. Then MGr requested mu ka to speak to Annai Indira on the adjustment in the constitution. Mu ka refused and told him to come back and discuss at home. When he came back the conversation between them was not cordial.

Meanwhile Mu ka had built up Mu ka Muthu in MGR style and made him start fans club Mu ka rasikar mandram. As the Mandram grew, Mu ka told him to abolish the Mandram on the grounds that party members acting infilms should not have such mandrams. MGr knew where karunainthi was arriving at. His club would be the next target. Apparently while in Kashmir,Indira had used Mohan Kumaramangalam to get MGr to release hic accounts of the expenses overseas when he went to shoot Ulakam Sutrum valiban. MGR could not provide the account. A compromise was made. MGR was to leave the party (break DMK). A pretext was worked out.MGR was to ask for accounts of the DMK misters who were corrupt then.

In a DMK meeting inmadurai MGR asked those gathered "Congress is blaming DMK as a corrupt party. Do you all think so?" The people denied DMK as a corrupt party. MGR replied "Makkal Theerppe Magesn Theerppu"

but the following month MGR, as treasurer of DMK asked all the ministers to give their accounts as there were accusations of DMK ministers piling up wealth. All refused. Mu Ka said the treasurer's duty is to give accounts, not ask for accounts. heated arguments pursued. MGR left the meeting. Navalar and MU KA met and decided to sack MGR. Then MU KA announced the sacking of MGR. Immediately after the announcement, Cho ramasamy phoned his very close friend Kannadasan and mentioned about this most shocking news. As Kannadsan put down the receiver. Mu Ka himself phoned Kannadasan and asked "YOW! Ethavathu Kevli Patteera?" Kannadasan said "AMMAMAIYA. IPPOTHAAN CHO PHONE PANNAAN" Mu KA's next question was "What do u think fo my decision?" to which the poet laurel said " Yow Avanudaya balathai Kuraithu Edi Podatheer! Kalattaa kattayam Varum" Mu Ka said "I know, but I shall manage"

The dismissal of MGR was conveyed to MGR who was taking a break at the shooting of Amalraj pictures NETRU INRU NAALAI. AS MGR heard it he was so happy (plot worked well) andsupplied payasam sent to him to all the workers. "This is my Birthday" he said. he finshed Netru Indru Naalai with much political message.
As his party was kick started, the MLA of Dindigul passed away and a by election was called for. "Thamby naan padichen Kanchiyile NEtru" in N I Naalai shows a flag of ADMK and a poster of K. Mayathevan standing for election in Dindikul under ADMK ticket. Then he worked on U SU Valiban's early release. the DMK was using the government machnery to block all efforts of ADMK in winning the votes of Dindigul. Madurai Muthu challenged MGR he woudl cut off his ears should the movie be released. They crossed each other and MGR and Muthu almost had a physial fight, if not for the presence of supportes form both side. (I was in Kaaraikkal in 1977 when Parlimentary elections took place. At a party rally Muthu was already campaigning for ADMK, and his ears were intact)

But MGR took the challenge. he finished the movie. But Karunaithis was giving trobule in teh censorhip Board. MGR had to settle his income tax. Finally the movie was released in the midst of high tension. In Kanchipuram ( later) a procession was held. The film box was paraded along thousands of supporters and taken to the theatre. But before that the original film roll had already reached the theatre. the film bokx that came with the procession had only sand and stones inside. That much fear of oppoesion wa there)

the ADMK party was only 6 months old when the by election took place. So MGR had ot either make it or break it-life and death problem.
DMK did all the preliminary campaign and indications were there that DMK was prepared to win. But just 10 days before the by election, agains tradition, thsi movie's first release was in Dindigul. Peopel saw the movie at the box office and then went to the election box. MGR won. It was U SU valiban, among othre factors, that paved way for MGR to become the Chief Minster.

Title song" Vetriyai naalai Sarithiram Sollum- Ippadai Thorkin Epadai Vellum?"

So such was the impact of the movie.

Want to know what happened in malaysia? In 1969 there were racial riots in malaysia following which all midnightshows wre banned. Midnigtt shows wre screened on Sturdays. Only famous adn firt time releases were screened this way. However the ban was lifted for Ulagam Sutrum valiban. What was the use? Tickets were already sold out 12 hours ahead. Many came and were disappointed. What used to be just one dollar ticket was sold for 30 dollars and yet tickets were not enough. the film started at mindnight. Hundreds were stranded outside the theatre with indescribable frustration and ANGER! the thatre owner purposely increased the volume. As someone waoked out o the theatre door to purchase some sweets, the door opened and sound of songs came drilling into the ears of those stranded. Tensionran high. IN the uncontrollable anger some threw stones at the theatre and broke the window panes. Police was called. The crowd dispersed. The theatre decided not to screen mndnigt movies. Malaysia too had die hard MGR fans. That was for Deepavali 1973.
HAPPY DEEPAVALI TO ALL.

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
Manisekaran,
Excellent write-up, as usual.
Having seen the movie at least 20 times, I have noticed these 'odd' stuff thoughout the movie, where outdoor scenes were patched with shots in Sathya Studios.
MGR wrote his U.su.vaa filming experiences, the hard times he had, in Bommai magazine at that time.

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
After MGR was expelled from DMK in 1972, MU KA did all tricks to block the release of USV - but could not succeed. At that time, DMK was running the Madras Corporation. They suddenly increased the tax on wall posters just to stop the advt for USV. MGR decided not to put any wall poster fr USV. The film was released in Devi Paradise and two other theatres. Till now, nobody would have seen such a crowd for advnace booking. Even the queue for advance booking went beyond Anna Silai on Mount Road. A superhit picture. I don't remember how many times I have seen this movie, both in theatre and in VCD.

MSV's music / songs also played a big part in the success of the movie. Especially, the background score when MGR/Chandrakala/Nagesh going to the Floating Market in Bangkong, chased by Ashokan & CO.

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
When the movie was in the making, MGR told to Vali in a light jest, "You will not be given a chance to write songs for this movie" to which Vali replied "This movie will certainly include my name"

MGR was puzzled and sought clarification. Vali replied my name Vali is already buried within the film tilte- VALIBAN. MGR laughed it off.

The original title of the movie was ULAGAM SUTRUM THAMIZHAN. For reasons not known to us he later changed it to Valiban.

The strength of MGR movies had always been the music and songs. More than anything else MGR gave most attention to the lyrics, tune and the song scenes. For this film he sat with MSV and kept on chaging the tunes, until MSV almost dropped dead. Finally MGR approved teh tune and went home. Upon reaching home he would phone MSV and request him to improve further. This trend contiuned for a few days. This unstable mind of MGR became a sore point for MSV and finally MSV told MGR off. He told MGR to look for other composers. On the following day, MGR sent for MSV. When MSV refused to go, MGR told him the tunes had come out so well and told him to collect the cash of Rs 15,000. Just compare with the rate todays' composers are demanding.

MGR gave chance to many singers:

TMS- gave life to the film
PS- most appropriate female singer
Seergazhi Govindarajan- title song with political theme
SPB- upcoming then
KJ Jesudas- MGR was building him
S. Janaki- suited the Expo scene
LR Eswary- suited for Banzayee- a Japanese atmoshere.

The film ran for 28 weeks, taking the number two slot in MGR's fim career. The best runner was Enga Veettu Pillai scoring 33 weeks.

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
Manisekaran: Great writeup on U.S.Vaaliban. It was like reliving those days. Thanks.
If I remember right, 'sirithu vaazha vendum' had shots from the famous Tiger Balm gardens of singapore. (Ramki,SK confirm?)
MSV cleverly used the traditional east asian scales in 'bansaaye' to give native flavour (very sincerely I should add), yet appealing to TN makkal.

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
Scenes of songs:

1. Lily malarukku Kondattam start in Kashmir, then to Malaysia,Hong Kong and finally in Singapore. The Malaysia Airport scene is only for a few seconds. That was taken in just one shot.

2. Sirithu Vazha Vendum is in Tiger Balm Gardens in Singapore.

3.Nilavum Oru Pennagi is in Hong Kong

4. Pachai Kili is in Thailand

5. Thanga Thoniyile is in Hong Kong sea.

5. Banzayee is in Japan. The tune and music amazed me.

6. Avaloru navarasa nadakam is under water belle in Japan.

7. Ulakam Azhagu Kalaikalin Surangam is in Osaka Expo.

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
pachai kili too had the native music.. Commandable work by MSV

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
Manisekaran: thanks for the clarification. In Tiger Balm Gardens, the background statues of old men with 'big bellies' are supposed to be ghosts (in chinese tradition). They have been used for illustrating 'uzhaithu vaazha vendum, pirar uzhaikka vaazhndhidaathe' with children laughing in the foreground. :D

raj: true.

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
enna mani saar..parthu rombe naal aaguthuu??

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
Though USV was released in 1973, all the songs except 'namadhu vettri' were recorded and released in 1970 itself. (Mr. Manisekaran, pl correct me, if I am wrong).

I have seen the LP record having 9 songs (4 in one side and 5 on the other side).

It is said that though the film was successful, MGR could not make any money as the film was delayed for 3 years and cost of production was very high having taken the film for almost 6 to 7 hours, reduced to three hours later.

I still remember the Thailand actress "metha" came to Chennai to complete some scenes for the song "pachchai-k-kili", MGR fans gathered at Chennnai Airport to receive her. (the scenes of MGR/Meta wearing Raaja/Raani dress were shot at Sathya Studio)

Oldposts
25th January 2005, 07:37 PM
Mani sir, we TFMDFers are indeed fortunate to be privy to some of the inside details you are giving regarding USV. I feel this *Making of USV* deserves a separate thread. Your info might be of immeasurable value to not only students of political science or political observers, but also to a layman like me . The success of USV decided the course of future turn of events in Tamilnadu politics
<a name="last"></a>

eden
26th January 2005, 01:27 AM
USV was one of the very few films that ran for 100 days in a small town like Dindigul.

One small correction - The Dindigul election in which ADMK (Mayaththevar) won for the first time was for MP and not MLA...That same candidate continued to win that MP seat a few more times (once even under DMK)...

Vazhipokkan
26th January 2005, 01:50 AM
I saw the movie recently and awed with the MGR's directing ability. At the end of the movie the caption says MGR will return with "Thenafricalvil Raju". What happened to the sequel?

Manisekaran
28th February 2005, 05:13 AM
It is Kizhakku Africaavil Raju.

RR
28th February 2005, 03:23 PM
http://www.dailythanthi.com/article.asp?NewsID=168830&disdate=2/28/2005

saradhaa_sn
20th July 2005, 04:18 PM
Really an amzing report about the "birth" of Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban. Yes, as told by someone here, the shooting in foreign countries were done in 1970 only (do you remember Expo'70..?) at that time MGR was in DMK and even in 1971 election also he was there. Only in 1972 October he went out (or sent out..??).

The method of picturisation of USV only different. But the story theme is not new and it nothing but Director Ramanna's "MOONDREZHUTHTHU" released in early 1968, starred by Ravichandran & Jayalalitha.

See the main theme:

MOONDREZHUTHTHU:
--------------------------
A suitcase full of money will be buried by a man (Major) in a place, then he make a plan where it was buried, cut the plan in to three pieces and give each one to three persons living in three places (Ooty, Kanyakumari, Hyderabad) then go to jail. Then the hero (Ravi) will come from abroad, search the three pieces and finally get it. In the meantime villians also following the hero to take the plan and the wealth. One main villain will come in the last (Manohar)

ULAGAM SUTRUM VAALIBAN
----------------------------------
A suitcase (with scientific research file) will be buried in a place by one MGR, then note the place in a sheet, cut the paper in to three pieces and give each one to three persons living in three countries (Singapore, Hongkong, Bancok) and will be under the custody of villain group. The another MGR will come and search them and finally he will get it. In the meantime villains also following them to take the research file. One main villain will come in the last (Nambiar).

S.Balaji
25th July 2005, 06:16 PM
Dear Friends,

I heard that MGR promised to MSV that if he gives good music, he will gift him with a Fiat Car ( most used car during those days !!! )

and MSV got it.

Besides, the preview was shown to everybody ( the leading directors of those years ). Infact KB commented once that he could not edit any of the scenes as they were so perfectly linked .

Its like Vashistar vaayaal brahma rishi - If KB says something

One thing which I could not digest - Nagesh was looking very old and not befitting Nagesh . I mean he was not at his best in that movie. Probably MG controlled him and toned him down

blogGreen88
11th May 2006, 04:56 AM
This is a good talking about the reverse aging (http://www.smhs.info/s-reverse-aging.html)!!I learn a lot more about reverse aging here,I like it.
I search Yahoo for long time and find here.By the way I found some content on another website (http://www.smhs.info) about it.Also,you can find some other on it,such as divorce solicitors (http://www.smhs.info/s-divorce-solicitors.html) or multiple sklerose (http://www.smhs.info/s-multiple-sklerose.html) or windows hosting (http://www.smhs.info/s-windows-hosting.html).
LOL!Good job and go on talking plz,boys :)

Jilaba
6th August 2006, 05:04 PM
Really an amzing report about the "birth" of Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban. Yes, as told by someone here, the shooting in foreign countries were done in 1970 only (do you remember Expo'70..?) at that time MGR was in DMK and even in 1971 election also he was there. Only in 1972 October he went out (or sent out..??).

The method of picturisation of USV only different. But the story theme is not new and it nothing but Director Ramanna's "MOONDREZHUTHTHU" released in early 1968, starred by Ravichandran & Jayalalitha.

See the main theme:

MOONDREZHUTHTHU:
--------------------------
A suitcase full of money will be buried by a man (Major) in a place, then he make a plan where it was buried, cut the plan in to three pieces and give each one to three persons living in three places (Ooty, Kanyakumari, Hyderabad) then go to jail. Then the hero (Ravi) will come from abroad, search the three pieces and finally get it. In the meantime villians also following the hero to take the plan and the wealth. One main villain will come in the last (Manohar)

ULAGAM SUTRUM VAALIBAN
----------------------------------
A suitcase (with scientific research file) will be buried in a place by one MGR, then note the place in a sheet, cut the paper in to three pieces and give each one to three persons living in three countries (Singapore, Hongkong, Bancok) and will be under the custody of villain group. The another MGR will come and search them and finally he will get it. In the meantime villains also following them to take the research file. One main villain will come in the last (Nambiar).
My goodness..

Saradha madam, kandu pidicheeteengale.

Ippathaan enakkum ninaivukku varugirathu.

Moonrezuththu padamum Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban padamum orey story thaan.

ramky
7th August 2006, 07:50 AM
Nice to see a separate topic for Ulagam Sutrum Valiban. The whole film moves based on the thin plot, of the villains chasing MGR all over the Orient, to recover the last piece of the secret map. The film ran well because it showed places like Japan, Hong Kong, etc and, also long sequences shot at the international exhibition, Expo 70. It also had nice songs, and Manjula paired once again with MGR in this film.

Btw, thanks, Saradaa_sn, for the information reg "Moondrezhuthu" !