Aayirathil Oruvan (Eng: One man in a Thousand) is a 1965 Indian Tamil action-adventure film directed by B. R. Panthulu. Starring M. G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa in the lead roles, the film further also stars M. N. Nambiar, R. S. Manohar, Nagesh and Madhavi Krishnan. It was a commercial success, and ran for more than 100 days in theatres.
Manimaran (M. G. Ramachandran), is a doctor living in the country of Neidhal Naadu with his sidekick Azhaga (Nagesh). He helps cure the illness of one of the rebels against the dictator (Manohar) of Neidhal Naadu. The ruler’s guards arrest the rebels, along with Manimaran for helping them. Manimaran and the rebels are sold as slaves by the ruler to the nearby island called Kanni Theevu (Tamil for Virgin Islands), ruled by Sengappan. Manimaran leads the slaves, and fights for their rights.
Poongodi (Jayalalithaa), the princess of Kanni Theevu and niece of Sengappan who is the guardian of the orphaned princess, falls in love with Manimaran at first sight. Simultaneously, her servant Thenmozhi (Madhavi Krishnan) falls for Azhagan, after initial arguments. Despite the differences between Poongodi and Manimaran, Poongodi tries to woo him on many occasions. She even offers freedom from slavery only to him, who rejects the offer demanding freedom for all of the slaves. Meanwhile, the island is attacked by pirates headed by a leader (M. N. Nambiar). As Sengappan’s troops are out of the island on another assignment, Sengappan pleads with Manimaran and the other slaves to help him. Manimaran demands freedom slavery in return for fighting the pirates, only to be betrayed later.
The slaves make an escape plan of their own and successfully take over the pirate ship, with whom they fought earlier. Manimaran explains to the pirate captain/leader, about their plight and asks him to help them reach Neidhal Naadu. The captain, apparently agrees, while actually taking them to his pirate island and holds them captive. He coerces them to work for him as pirates or Manimaran will see all of his other men die before him. With no option in place, Manimaran agrees to work as a pirate to escape the situation. In one of his pirate hunts, he finds Sengappan and Poongodi. He brings Poongodi to the pirate island, and tries to hide her from the pirate leader. Nanjappan, the right hand of the pirate leader, finds out tells the leader about Poongodi. As per the policy of the island, any treasure pirated must be auctioned and so Poongodi is also auctioned. After a tight bidding, Manimaran bids the highest, buys her and keeps her with him.
After few dramatic events, Manimaran gets married to Poongodi and as per the pirate island’s laws the pirate leader cannot attempt to separate a married couple. The pirate leader attempts to take Poongodi by force, gets defeated by Manimaran in a sword fight and reforms into a good man. He accompanies the slaves led by Manimaran, to achieve their goal of freeing Neidhal Naadu from the clutches of its cruel dictator. In the ensuing war, the dictator is defeated but tricks into arresting them instead. However, in his court the dictator begs Manimaran to take over the throne. Everyone else also supports the idea. However, Manimaran politely rejects the offer and further states that he wants to continue his noble work as a doctor, serving the people. He then takes leave from the royal court and walks away with his wife and his medical kit.
Directed by B. R. Panthulu
Produced by B. R. Panthulu
Written by R. K. Shanmugam
Screenplay by K. J. Mahadevan
Starring M. G. Ramachandran, Jayalalithaa
Music by Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy
Cinematography V. Ramamoorthy
Edited by R. Devarajan
Production Padmini Pictures
Distributed by Padmini Pictures
Release dates 9 July 1965
Running time 167 minutes