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Directed by  K. Balachander
Cinematography  N. Balakrishnan
Initial release  1971
Language  Tamil
Written by  K. Balachander
8/10 IMDb

Music by  M. S. Viswanathan
Edited by  N. R. Kittu
Director  K. Balachander
Music director  M. S. Viswanathan
Punnagai httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumbe

Produced by  R. Venkatraman K. Arumugam, H. Nagaraja Rao S. S. Nachammai
Starring  Gemini Ganesan R. Muthuraman Nagesh, M. R. R. Vasu Jayanthi
Cast  Jayanthi Sivaram, Vanisri, Nagesh, Gemini Ganesan, R Muthuraman
Similar  Endrendrum Punnagai, Punnagai Mannan, Punnagai Desam, Iru Kodugal, Payanam

Punnagai (தமிழ்: புன்னகை, English: Smile) is a 1971 Tamil Social - Drama film was directed and written by K. Balachander. The film produced by R. Venkatraman, K. Arumugam, H. Nagaraja Rao and S. S. Nachammai under Amutham Pictures. Music by M. S. Viswanathan assets to the film. It stars Gemini Ganesan, R. Muthuraman, Nagesh, M. R. R. Vasu played lead with S. V. Ramadoss, Jayanthi, Sahasranamam and V. S. Raghavan played pivotal role. The film remake of Hindi film as Satyakam in 1969.



The story of Punnagai concerns a group of college friends Sathya(Gemini Ganesan), Rajan(R. Muthuraman), Nagesh, M. R. R. Vasu and Haniff(V. Gopalakrishnan), who all graduate from the same College. In order to celebrate it, they go on a drive around Madras city in Haniff's(V. Gopalakrishnan) car singing about the then ideals in life. But sadly, the car meets with an accident and Haniff dies leaving his friends in a state of shock. Sathya(Gemini Ganesan) who a righteous young man, who remains unaware in this ideals even in the face of adversity. Mean while his friends, Rajan, M. R. R. Vasu and others change their values to suit their convenience. Sathya meets a young women Kanchana(Jayanthi), who has been seduced, raped, impregnated and abandoned by a Playboy(S. V. Ramadoss). She begets a son, Sathya marries her, knowing about her history and raises the son as her own. S. V. Ramadoss meanwhile, leaves his wealth to his illegitimate son, but Kanchana rejects it. In the meantime, Sathya kidneys are affected and all of his friends walk away when the doctor asks them of any of them would donate their kidneys for their friend. In the end Sathya dies, his wife realises that she has successfully up held the values that her husband had taught her. The story is narrated by Nagesh, a writer who wants to write a book and requests his rich friend to get it published. All these sequences are narrated by him and acted by the artiste as chapter of the book. Finally, Sathya's friend realise their folly and bring out the book with the title as Punnagai


  • Gemini Ganesan as Sathya
  • R. Muthuraman as Rajan
  • Nagesh
  • Major Sundararajan
  • M. R. R. Vasu as Manthramoorthy
  • V. Gopalakrishnan as Haniff
  • Jayanthi as Kanchana
  • S. V. Sahasranamam as Sathya's Grandpa
  • S. V. Ramadoss
  • V. S. Raghavan
  • I. S. R.
  • Saisikumar
  • A. Sakunthala as Sakunthala
  • Nalini
  • Kalavathi
  • Shobha
  • S. N. Parvathi
  • Baby Mythili as Kumar, Kanchana's Son
  • Box office

    Randor Guy stated his article Though the film was not a Box — Office hit, it is considered by critics as a classic.


    Randor Guy stated his article Generally referred to as Kaadhal Mannan in film credits Gemini Ganesan is referred for the first time as Nadippu Selvam in Punnagai. Hrishikesh Mukherjee's classic film Satyakam(1969) was remade in Tamil as Punnagai and directed by K. Balachander. Though the basic themes was retained in the Tamil version, many other changes were made to adapt it.


    Music by M. S. Viswanathan and Lyrics written by Kannadasan.


    Punnagai Wikipedia