Shanti Nilayam (Eng: Peaceful House) is a 1969 Indian Tamil-language film produced and directed by G. S. Mani. Starring Gemini Ganesan and Kanchana in the lead roles, it has Nagesh, Pandari Bai, K. Balaji and V. S. Raghavan in supporting roles. The film won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography for Marcus Bartley.
Shanthi Nilayam was a remake of the Kannada film Bedi Bandavalu (1968) starring Kalyan Kumar and Chandrakala which was adapted from The Sound of Music (1965). S. S. Vasan saw the Kannada film and bought the remake rights for it. He assigned Chitralaya Gopu to write the screenplay and dialogues for the Tamil version. Although Vasan liked the screenplay, he felt that the film would not cater to the rural audience. Gopu, in turn, felt that Vasan’s doubts would be overcome if Nagesh’s comic potential. Vasan’s words however proved to be true as the film ran well only in cities and not so much in smaller towns.
Gopu recommendation of Kanchana for the lead heroine role was agreed by the film’s director Mani. The film was entirely shot at Ooty and art director Mohana Kumari was in charge of erecting the special sets required to shoot the film’s scenes. The flying hellium balloon in the song “Bhoomiyil Iruppadhu” was one of the highlights. Camera techniques were used in the song to show that the balloon was flying while in reality it was not.
Gemini Ganesan and Kanchana play the lead roles in Shanthi Nilayam. Gemini as the father of many kids and Kanchana as the governess are excellent. The children are played by Ramaprabha, Manjula, and Prabhakar. Pandari Bai plays the rich aunt and Nagesh as her son provides the laughs. K. Balajee plays the villain who blackmails the hero’s father (V.S. Raghavan), for having murdered his servant (K.V. Srinivasan), and later, the hero.
Directed by G. S. Mani
Produced by G. S. Mani & S. S. Vasan
Written by Chitralaya Gopu
Starring Gemini Ganesan, Kanchana
Music by M. S. Viswanathan
Cinematography Marcus Bartley
Edited by Umanath
Production Gemini Studios
Release dates 23 May 1969
Running time 149 minutes