Gulebakavali (English: The Flower of Bakavali) is a 1955 Indian Tamil-language adventure film produced and directed by T. R. Ramanna. The film stars M. G. Ramachandran, T. R. Rajakumari, Rajasulochana, G. Varalakshmi, S. D. Subbulakshmi and E. V. Saroja in the lead roles, while K. A. Thangavelu, J. P. Chandrababu, E. R. Sahadevan and A. Karunanidhi play supporting roles.
The film tells the story of a young man who sets out to find a mysterious flower, which is believed to have the power to restore anyone’s eyesight, in order to restore the eyesight of the blind king, and the various challenges he faces during his journey. The story originated from the Arabic folklore classic, One Thousand and One Nights.
A king has two wives. He banishes his first wife (S. D. Subbulakshmi) as an astrologer told him that he would lose his vision because of her son (M. G. Ramachandran). The mother and son live in the woods and when he meets his father without knowing his identity, the king loses his sight. When the son gets to know about the sad tale from his mother, he sets out to bring a rare flower from Bakavali, which would restore the king’s sight.
To achieve it, he undergoes many adventures — enters into a debate with a queen (G. Varalakshmi) and wins the battle of wits, challenges a woman (Rajakumari) held captive by a crook (K. A. Thangavelu) in a fake dice contest, and rescues a slave dancer (Rajasulochana) of a tribal chief. The hero wins them all and succeeds in getting the flower along with the three women who turn out to be princesses and siblings! Meanwhile, his stepbrothers try to steal the flower, but are exposed.
Directed by TR Ramanna
Produced by TR Ramanna
Written by Thanjai Ramaiah Das
Starring MG Ramachandran, TR Rajakumari, Rajasulochana, G Varalakshmi, SD Subbulakshmi, EV Saroja
Music by Viswanathan Ramamoorthy
Cinematography TK Rajabahathar
Edited by MS Mani & A Thangaraj
Production RR Pictures
Distributed by RR Pictures
Release date 29 July 1955
Running time 165 minutes