Sivandha Mann (Eng: Red Soil) is a 1969 Indian Tamil-language romantic action film written, produced and directed by C. V. Sridhar. The film stars Sivaji Ganesan and Kanchana, with S. V. Ranga Rao, M. N. Nambiar, Muthuraman, Nagesh and Sachu in supporting roles. It revolves around an Inspector General’s son and a princess who rebel against the tyrannical ruler of their region.
Sivandha Mann was the first Tamil film to be shot extensively in locations outside India; shooting locations included Switzerland, France and the Alps. It was released on 9 November 1969, Diwali day, and became a major commercial success, running for over 100 days in theatres. The film’s success inspired many later Tamil and Telugu films to shoot in foreign locations. It was later remade by Sridhar in Hindi as Dharti (1970).
The Portuguese want to set up an army base in Vasanthapuri, a territory in Tamil Nadu, India. They approach Diwan, a corrupt ruler of the area and decide to make him the king if he agrees to carry out the plan. He subsequently agrees, but none of the local people are happy and protest against this. Hence he starts killing them in large numbers. Anand, who lost his father in the shootout, swears that he will have revenge for the outrage when his friend Bharat, son of the Inspector General Chandrasekar, returns from abroad. Meanwhile, Chithralekha, the princess of Vasanthapuri is living in Zürich, and is completely unaware that her samasthanam is in danger. She sees Bharat’s photo in a local daily, and learns that he is also from Vasanthapuri. She reads that he came first in the University of Bern, and develops interest in meeting him. That night, Chithralekha meets him at a club and congratulates him for his performance, while introducing herself as “Vasanthi” to hide her true identity. Quickly, they both fall for each other.
Bharat and Chithralekha enjoy as they start touring all over Europe, but when Chithralekha hears about the danger in her homeland, she has to return. Bharat also agrees to come, as he too is determined to save Vasanthapuri. During the flight to India, one of the flight attendants announces that Diwan wants to marry the princess and will receive her at the airport. Chitralekha is not happy and commands that the flight take a different turn, but the attendant stops her from trying to escape. Bharat fights the attendant, causing the flight to continuously spin and in the process, the flight drowns in the sea. Bharat and Chitralekha are presumed dead, but are washed ashore onto an island unconscious. They are cured by two local doctors who befriend them, and arrange a special raft for their return. Bharat realises that “Vasanthi” is actually princess Chitralekha, but she advises him just to see her as his lover and not as the princess.
They both arrive at Anand’s house, and he is surprised to see Bharat alive. However, Chitralekha takes the guise of a normal girl because she does not want anyone to know that the princess is still alive, and to aide Bharat. Her true identity remains a secret to everyone except Bharat. The next day, people again protest at Diwan who starts killing them all; Anand dies in the shootout, saying that his death will be honoured as a sacrifice and that Vasanthapuri would be avenged by Bharat. Anand’s mother also dies in the shock of her son’s death, making Bharat and his friends more determined to save Vasanthapuri. They kill a few of Diwan’s men, and seek shelter in a bar whose owner Dickie also becomes their ally. Bharat, Chithralekha and the rest of their gang secretly deal with Diwan and his army.
Later at Diwan’s castle, “Vasanthi” finally reveals herself as princess Chithralekha, and shocks everyone. Diwan immediately kidnaps her and boards a hot air balloon. But Bharat manages to reach him and after an intense fight, kills Diwan. Peace returns to Vasanthapuri, while Bharat and Chithralekha are married.
Directed by C. V. Sridhar
Produced by C. V. Sridhar
Written by C. V. Sridhar
Starring Sivaji Ganesan, Kanchana
Music by M. S. Viswanathan
Cinematography N. Balakrishnan
Edited by M. N. Shankar
Production Chithralaya Films
Release date 9 November 1969
Running time 179 minutes