The film was critically acclaimed and commercially successful, leading to a Telugu remake titled Pelli Kanuka (1960) which starred Nageshwara Rao in the lead, with Saroja Devi reprising her role. Sridhar later remade the film in Hindi as Nazrana (1961) which starred Raj Kapoor and Vyjayanthimala in the lead, along with Gemini Ganesan in a different role. It was remade in Kannada as Premanubandha. A second Telugu remake titled Devatha was released in 1982, and a second Hindi remake in Hindi titled Tohfa in 1984; both directed by K. Raghavendra Rao.
Baskar (Gemini Ganesan) and Vasanthi (Saroja Devi) are college mates. A naughty girl creates misunderstanding between them, and an enraged Vasanthi complains to the college dean, who immediately dismisses Baskar. Now left homeless, Baskar however manages to get employed at a Tea Company, and gets to stay with his close friend Sampath (K. A. Thangavelu). Vasanthi approaches Baskar and apologises for her cruel act. Baskar forgives her, and they both fall in love. Vasanthi lives with her mother and her elder sister Geetha (C. R. Vijayakumari) who is unmarried. Baskar rents the vacant portion of their house. Over time, Vasanthi passes her exams and gets employed.
One day when Baskar falls ill, Geetha nurses him and in the process, falls in love with him. She confides her love to Vasanthi who is heartbroken, but decides to sacrifice her love for the sake of her sister. Since Geetha was responsible for raising Vasanthi, she is granted her wish, and Vasanthi convinces Baskar to marry Geetha. After Baskar and Geetha get married, they shift to Coimbatore where Baskar has been transferred. Meanwhile, Vasanthi's manager Raju (Akkineni Nageswara Rao) falls in love with her and expresses his desire to marry her, but she is unable to respond to his feelings.
Baskar is not able to lead a happy life in Coimbatore as he often thinks about his disappointment in love. He receives a letter from Vasanthi who advises him to forget about the past and lead a happy life with Geetha, and he relents to this. Shortly, Geetha becomes pregnant and returns to her original home where she delivers a son. Raju again meets Vasanthi and proposes to her, but she tells him her past history and expresses her inability to respond to his love. Heartbroken, Raju leaves her and resigns from his job. Vasanthi’s mother dies and Vasanthi joins Geetha at their house in Coimbatore. When Geetha falls sick, Vasanthi attends to all the household work. Baskar spends more time with Vasanthi than his own wife, and Geetha, suspecting them of being in a relation, abuses them both. Due to this, Vasanthi leaves them.
Geetha, having realised that Baskar and Vasanthi loved each other, dies in guilt, leaving Baskar alone to bring up their child, making him promise that he will find Vasanthi and make her the child's mother. He searches for Vasanthi all over the city, to no avail. Meanwhile, Vasanthi meets with an accident, but is saved by a wealthy old man (M. N. Nambiar) who allows her to stay in his house. The man's son arrives and is revealed to be Raju, who Vasanthi agrees to marry. Through Sampath, Baskar learns about Vasanthi's impending marriage, and rushes to the marriage hall with his son. However by the time they arrive, Vasanthi is already married. Baskar then hands over his child to her as a wedding gift, and walks away.Gemini Ganesan as Baskar
B. Saroja Devi as Vasanthi
C. R. Vijayakumari as Geetha
K. A. Thangavelu as Sampath
M. Saroja as Malini (Sampath's wife)
Akkineni Nageshwara Rao as Raju
M. N. Nambiar as Raju's father
The film marked the directorial debut for C. V. Sridhar, who was previously a partner in the production unit Venus Pictures, where he was an associate of S. Krishnamurthi and T. Govindarajan, since 1956. In 1959, he created the story of Kalyana Parisu and narrated it to Krishnamurthy and Govindarajan, expressing his desire to direct the film. Though his partners liked the story, they were sceptical about his directorial capabilities and discouraged him. Sridhar requested them to give him a chance and offered to direct a few scenes for their approval. If they approved of his work, he would continue, otherwise some other director could be selected. He directed a few scenes, everyone was pleased with the outcome and he continued.
Chitralaya Gopu, who was previously an employee the ACA Enterprises, Triplicane, joined as an associate writer for the film, after which his "tryst with cinema began". A. Vincent, who would later become a successful "multi-lingual filmmaker" was signed to handle the film's cinematography, while N. M. Shankar was signed as the editor. The film's script started out as a "love triangle" of two sisters in love with the same man and one eventually sacrificing the lover for her sister. The character of the sisters were originally offered to Padmini and Savithri however they were replaced by C. R. Vijayakumari and the-then "upcoming actor" B. Saroja Devi, whose breakthrough came previously with Nadodi Mannan (1958). The role of the male lead was given to Gemini Ganesan, while K. A. Thangavelu and M. Saroja were signed for the comedy sequences. Even though Ganesan had contracted typhoid fever, Sridhar felt that only he could do "justice to the role" and had to wait for him to get better before casting him. According to film historian Mohan V. Raman, Thangavelu's scene with M. Saroja where he narrates about his profession to her was filmed in a single take. Sridhar, despite providing the required dialogues, asked Thangavelu to improvise on them so as to make the humour more spontaneous.
The film's soundtrack was composed by A. M. Rajah in his debut in Tamil cinema, while the lyrics were written by Pattukkottai Kalyanasundaram. All the songs were acclaimed, and contributed to the film's success. The success of Kalyana Parisu's songs made P. Susheela a leading female playback singer of Tamil cinema.
The soundtrack received positive response. Tamil film historian S. Theodore Baskaran said, "Its songs were stupendous hits. It owed its phenomenal success in large part to its music composed by A.M. Raja, who was at his peak as a playback singer. the filmic convention of singing the same song twice, once in joy and once in sorrow, is followed. in fact, there are two such happy-sad songs." V. Balasubramanian of The Hindu said, "A. M. Rajah's tryst with composing includes super duper hit songs from the films Kalyana Parisu, Aadi Perukku and Then Nilavu."Tracklist
Kalyana Parisu turned out very profitable at the box office. It had a theatrical run of over 100 days, and became one of C. V. Sridhar's biggest box-office hits. Kalyana Parisu, which created a major impact on the Tamil film industry, was the breakthrough for Saroja Devi and A. M. Rajah. On the film's 100th day celebrations, Thangavelu and M. V. Saroja were married at a temple in Madurai. Actor Sivaji Ganesan, after seeing the preview of the film, highly appreciated it and predicted that it would become a box office hit.
With the success of Kalyana Parisu, Sridhar launched his own production company, Chitralaya Pictures, and he later "went on to scale greater heights" in Hindi, Telugu and Kannada cinema as well. At the 7th National Film Awards, the film won the Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film in Tamil.
Kalyana Parisu received positive critical response. Ananda Vikatan (26 April 1959) said, "We are happy to see a good story in a Tamil film for the first time... The film does not have any villain and everyone has a good heart... In totality, the film deserves a prize for its story, a prize for its acting and a prize for its dialogues and that is Kalyana Parisu."
In a 2007 interview with S. R. Ashok Kumar The Hindu, director K. Balachander said, "‘Kalyanaparisu,’ a love story, is the first of its kind. I became director Sridhar’s fan after watching it." Film historian Randor Guy called it "remarkable", and stated the film would be "remembered for the deft direction, interesting storyline, cinematography, music, and, above all, the comedy sequences of Thangavelu and Saroja." Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu called the film "A love story with well etched characters", and praised the actor's performances as "excellent". In 2005, India Today called Ganesan's performance "memorable".
One of the songs Thulladha Manamum Thullum had inspired a 1999 film of same name. In a scene from Avvai Shanmugi (1996), Viswanatha Iyer (Gemini Ganesan) is shocked to hear that Shanmugi (Kamal Haasan) is married, the song "Kadhalile Tholvi" will be seen as background song for the scene. Malathi Rangarajan in her review of Parthiban Kanavu (2003) mentioned that comedy track performed by Vivek in the film "has touches of the Thangavelu-M. Saroja track in Sridhar's Kalyana Parisu".
The success of Kalyana Parisu led to it being remade several times with different actors in the lead: