Kalathur Kannamma (English: Kannamma of Kalathur) is an Indian Tamil romantic movie produced by A. V. Meiyappan and directed by A. Bhimsingh. The film stars Gemini Ganesan and Savitri in the lead, while Kamal Hassan made his debut in this film as a child artist. T. S. Balaiah, Devika and S. V. Subbaiah play supporting roles. The film’s critically acclaimed soundtrack was composed by R. Sudharsanam. The film tells the story of a young couple — a wealthy zamindar’s son and a farmer’s daughter — who are separated by unfortunate circumstances, while their innocent son is forced to grow up in an orphanage.
Kalathur Kannamma was critically acclaimed and commercially successful, and won several awards such as the Certificate of Merit by the Government of India, and the President’s Gold Medal award. The film was remade in Telugu as Mooga Nomu. It was also remade in Hindi as Main Chup Rahungi with Bhimsingh returning as director, in Sinhala as Mangalika, and in Malayalam as Navavadhu.
Rajalingam (Gemini Ganesan) is the only son of Ramalingam (T. S. Balaiah), the zamindar of Kalathur. Kannamma (Savithri) is the daughter of Murugan (S. V. Subbaiah), a farmer of the same place. On the zamindar’s advice, Murugan sends his daughter to Madras for higher education. While returning from Madras, Kannamma meets Raja in the train. Noticing her respect and awe for the zamindar, Raja calls himself an electrician visiting the zamin palace. They fall in love. A few days later, Kannamma learns the truth and to reassure her, Raja marries her secretly in a temple.
Two days later, Raja has to go abroad for higher studies. During his absence, Ramalingam learns of the marriage and orders Kannamma to forget his son. Moved by the zamindar’s feelings, Kannamma promises never to mention their marriage to anyone. Kannamma is now in the family way. Ramalingam arranges for the stay of Murugan and Kannamma in a nearby town, Sevalpatti. Murugan, who is ashamed of Kannamma’s love affair, leaves Kannamma’s newborn son in an orphanage and lies that the child was stillborn. They both decide to leave the place and settle in Bangalore.
When Raja returns, he learns that Kannamma had left Kalathur. His enquiries in Sevalpatti lead him to believe that Kannamma had led an immoral life. Grief-stricken, he travels from place to place to forget Kannamma and takes to drinking as a last resort. In Bangalore, he encounters Kannamma in a dancer’s house where she had come to teach the dancer’s daughter. Her presence in the house and reticence to Raja’s questions strengthens his belief that Kannamma is a woman of ill repute and in disgust, he returns home.
Directed by A. Bhimsingh
Produced by A. V. Meiyappan
Written by Javar Seetharaman
Story by Javar Seetharaman
Starring Gemini Ganesan, Savitri, Kamal Haasan
Music by R. Sudharsanam
Cinematography T. Muthuraj
Edited by S. Suraiya
Production AVM Productions
Distributed by AVM Productions
Release dates 12 August 1959
Running time 176 minutes