Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum (English: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves) is a 1956 Indian Tamil action-adventure movie written, directed and produced by T. R. Sundaram under his production banner Modern Theatres. The film features M. G. Ramachandran and P. Bhanumathi in the lead roles, with K. Sarangkapani, P. S. Veerappa, K. A. Thangavelu, M. N. Rajam, P. Susheela and M. G. Chakrapani in supporting roles. The film’s original soundtrack and score were composed by Susarla Dakshinamurthy. The film is a remake of the 1954 Hindi film Alibaba aur 40 Chor; both films are based on the story Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves from One Thousand and One Nights.
Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum is notable for being the first full length colour film made in Tamil. In year 1955, the cencor certificare of T. R. Ragunath’s Kanavaney Kankanda Deivam says that it had some reels in Gevacolor. It tells the story of Ali Baba, a poor woodcutter, whose fortune changes when he learns about a secret cave which contains a huge collection of treasures and antiques, and he resolves to keep his source of wealth as a secret, in order to lead a peaceful life. Whether he keeps it a secret and protect the treasure from falling into the wrong hands forms the rest of the story.
Released on 14 January 1956 with a final film length of 4,382 metres (14,377 ft), Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum received positive reviews and became a success at the box office. The film became a landmark in Ramachandran’s acting career. It was later remade in Telugu as Ali Baba 40 Dongalu (1970) with N. T. Rama Rao and Jayalalithaa in the lead roles. The remake too became a commercially successful venture. This film was also dubbed in Telugu as Alibaba 40 Dongalu (1956).
Directed by T. R. Sundaram
Produced by T. R. Sundaram
Screenplay by T. R. Sundaram
Based on Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Starring M. G. Ramachandran, P. Bhanumathi
Music by Susarla Dakshinamurthy
Production Modern Theatres
Release dates 14 January 1956
Running time 149 minutes