Aayiram Thalai Vaangi Apoorva Chinthamani (ஆயிரம் தலை வாங்கி அபூர்வ சிந்தாமணி English: Unique Chinthamani, who took a thousand lives) is a 1947 Indian Tamil language adventure-thriller film directed and produced by T. R. Sundaram. The screenplay was written by T. R. Sundaram and the dialogue by Bharathidasan. Music was composed by G. Ramanathan. The film stars M. R. Swaminathan, P. S. Govindan, V. N. Janaki and Kali N. Rathnam in the lead roles with S. Varalakshmi, M. G. Chakrapani, C. T. Rajakantham in supporting roles. The film was a big success among the masses. Thirteen years later, the film was remade in Telugu under the title Sahasra Sirchedha Apporva Chinthamani (1960) and that version was dubbed and released in Kannada.
The film was based on a popular folk tale about a sinner Saint's garb, who had the princess Chinthamani under his control and how he uses her as the pawn to achieve his goals. Those who were interested in marrying the princess were asked three intriguing questions by her and those who could not answer were beheaded as a punishment. When 999 of princes were killed like this, the film reveals how a prince goes about finding the answers.
A Saint(M. R. Swaminathan) wants to become all powerful(Ashtamasithi) and prays to obtain such powers. He was told that if he can achieve the sacrifice of 1000 men, he shall achieve such a supreme power. As he cannot achieve this feat on his own, he works out a plan. Princess Apoorva Chinthamani(V. N. Janaki) is the daughter of a king Neethi Kethu(M. G. Chakrapani). Due to her intelligence knowledge and interest in various arts, she is referred to as Apoorva Chinthamani. The happy king encourages her learn more. The magician comes to the Aditayapuri Kingdom in the garb of a Saint and becomes Chinthamani's teacher.
Gradually, he brings her under his control and manipulates her to achieve his goals. When she attains marriageable age, the magician advises that she should get an equally knowledgeable man and hence asks her to organise a contest whereby three peculiar questions will be asked to the aspiring grooms, those who fail to answer will beheaded. Since only the magician knows the answers, he is sure that he can behead 1000 prospective grooms who fail to answer and thus achieve his target 1000 sacrifices.
The justification for the killings is to prevent leakage of the questions to other contestants. Chinthamani agrees and also convinces her father for the contest. The first to be sacrificed happens to be her cousin Purantharan(E. R. Sahadevan), who is keen to marry her. In this manner, she kills 999 people, which includes six elder brothers of Prince Meyyazhagan(P. S. Govindan). He decides to take revenge on Chinthamani when he comes to know about the killings, and comes to her kingdom with his friend and assistant Kali(Kali N. Rathnam). They decide to find the questions and their answer before venturing to meet Chinthamani. In this process, the prince falls in love with Chinthamani's friend Princess Sengamalam(S. Varalakshmi).
Through her he learns the questions. He goes to Various countries named as Madhivadhanapuram, Sambangi Puram and Nathiseela Puram, find the answers and brings the people involved with him to Chinthamani's palace. He answers the questions and wins the contest. Along with that, he also exposes the game plan of the magician, who gets killed by one of the kings affected by him. The prince advises Chinthamani to marry her cousin who was keen to marry her and marries her friend Sengamala.Male Actors
P. S. Govindan as Prince Meyyazhagan
M. R. Swaminathan as Sanniyasi
Gannesa bhagavathar as Sathyaseelan
Kali N. Rathnam as Kali
M. G. Chakrapani as King Neethikethu
E. R. Sahadevan as King Purantharan
K. K. Perumal as Gunapathy
R. Balasubramaniam as King Mathivathanan
T. S. Durairaj as Kavalan
M. E. Madhavan as Velan
V. K. Ezhumalai as Velan
V. N. Janaki as Princess Apoorva Chinthamani
S. Varalakshmi as Princess Sengamalam
C. T. Rajakantham as Thangam
R. Padma as Manjalaazhagi
Madhuri Devi as Dhampathi
P. R. Chandra as Velamma
Suseela as Sundaravalli
Saraswathy as Selava Nayagam
Chellam as Pachchai Veni
M. S. Subbulakshmi
Music and lyrics was composed by G. Ramanathan. The film had 11 songs.
This was the first film which presented several sub — plots and inner sub — plots in a flashback and stories were presented logically making the entire film interesting and a big hit among the masses. The film was very popular with the masses for its interesting script. The film had several sub — plots and inner sub — plots which were interwoven logically. These sub — plots were presented in flashback mode and become a landmark in the history of Tamil Cinema as it was the first time such a technique was used effectively on the screen. Another, highlight was the comedy scenes of Kali N. Rathnam and C. T. Rajakantham, which were presented well.
Kali N. Rathnam, who acts as a dumb person in a scene sang the most popular song of M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar's Haridas(1944) Manmadha leelai Vendrar Undo through miming and music and created a sensation among the audience. The screenplay and dialogue were written by the Popular Tamil poet Pavendar Bharathidasan but he did not wish to be credit in the titles as his convictions were against the concept of the film with illogical or unbelievable folk tales.
The film was later, 1960 remade in Telugu under the title Sahasra Sirachedha Apoorva Chinthamani by the same producer Modern Theatres and was directed by S. S. Lal — S. D. Lal. The film dialogues was written by Athreya. C. A. S. Mani and Madhavan Nair handle camera and L. Balu edited the movie. The movie released on 1 April 1960. Music by K. V. Mahadevan and Lyrics by Athreya assets to the film. The film Starring Kantha Rao, Devika, Girija, Gumnadi, Ramana Reddy paired with Chayadevi and M. L. Narayanan played lead with Haranath, Rajanala, Rajasri, Allu Ramalingaiah, Jayanthi, Kaikala Satyanarayanan and B. S. Saroja played portraying supporting roles. The Tamil version ran to nearly four hours with 20,050 ft. length. S. D. Lal trimmed it down to 17,000 ft.length. He had deftly linked the three sub plots to the main story and presented the third sub plot by showing the actual incidents as inter cuts. This technique was appreciated by both audience and the critics. The film was a big success in Telugu.
Kongara Jaggaiah was the original choice to play the hero and a few days work was also done on him. Despite polite requests not to smoke on the set, when jaggaiah continued with his habit. T. R. Sundaram settled his account and called Kantha Rao who was chosen to play one of the princes for a fresh make up test and took him for the lead role.