Gnana Soundari is a 1948 Indian Tamil historical fiction movie written, produced and directed by duo F. Nagoor and Joseph Thalaith Jr. The film stars T. R. Mahalingam, M. V. Rajamma in lead roles with D. Balasubramaniam, Sivabhagyam, Lalitha and Padmini playing supporting roles. The film revolves around Gnana Soundari, daughter of King Dharmar who is ill-treated by her stepmother Lenal. In order to get rid of her, Lenal sends her to a forest. In the process, Soundari loses both of her hands and she gets saved by prince Pilenthiran.
The film was adapted from a stage play conducted by Nawab Rajamanickam which itself adapted from a Christian folk tale. The film’s screenplay was written by Nanjil Nadu and T. N. Rajappa. The film’s soundtrack was composed by S. V. Venkatraman. Jithin Banerjee and Selvaraj handled the film’s cinematography respectively. The film was edited by V. B. Nagaraj. Gnana Soundari was made with an estimated budget of 30,000 with a final film reel length of 5,264 metres (17,270 ft). Development of the film began when Citadel Pictures decided to adapt the film while S. S. Vasan directing another version of same play at that time. The film was released on 21 May 1948 with this version being successful while the version of Vasan failed.
The film’s soundtrack was composed by S. V. Venkatraman and were written by Kambadasan. The song “Arultharum Devamatha” was well received and it is a cult classic. The song was sung by Periyanayaki and young Jikki.
Directed by F. Nagoor, Joseph Thaliath Jr
Produced by F. Nagoor, Joseph Thaliath Jr
Screenplay by Nanjil Nadu, T. N. Rajappa
Story by F. Nagoor, Joseph Thaliath Jr,
Starring T. R. Mahalingam, D. Balasubramaniam, M. V. Rajamma, PS Sivabhagyam
Music by S. V. Venkatraman
Cinematography Jithin Banerjee-Selvaraj
Edited by VB Natraj
Release dates 21 May 1948
Running time 183 minutes