indian cinema heritage foundation

Paava Mannippu (1961)

  • Release Date16/03/1961
  • GenreSocial
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageTamil
  • Run Time193 mins
  • Length5388 meters
  • Number of Reels19 reels
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number31242
  • Certificate Date09/03/1961

alias Forgiveness of SinsClemency

Alavandar (M.R. Radha) is a greedy jeweller. He lives with his wife and two sons, Ramu and Rajan. Out of greed, Alavandar, kills a diamond jeweller who comes to sell him diamonds. When the police interrogate him, he smartly puts the blame on his worker Manickam (T.S. Balaiah). Manickam lives with his wife and daughter Thangam. His wife, on learning about his implication in the murder, dies of shock immediately after delivering a baby girl. A sympathetic neighbour leaves the just-born baby in Alavandar's wife's custody and takes the elder daughter with her. Alavandar's wife hands over the child to James (S.V. Subbiah), their family friend. Manickam, on learning about his wife's death and before getting arrested by the police, kidnaps Alavandar's son Ramu in revenge and leaves him on a railway track to be killed. Before he changes his mind to rescue him, a local Muslim doctor (V. Nagaiah) saves the child and takes him away. All the four children grow; Alavandar's son as Rajan (Gemini Ganesan), Ramu as Raheem (Sivaji Ganesan) in Nagaiah's house, Manickam's first daughter as Thangam (Savithri) in the neighbour's house, and his second daughter as Mary (Devika) in James' house. Rajan falls in love with Thangam while Mary likes Raheem. 

Alavandar continues to indulge in illegal activities. Raheem and his father protect the people in a slum. Though the slum does not belong to Alavandar, he claims it to be his property and plans to sell it. Raheem and Alavandar are often at loggerheads on this issue. Alavandar is also keen to get Mary married to Rajan so that James' property can be inherited by him. On learning about Raheem's love for Mary, Alavandar pours acid on Raheem's face while he is asleep to get rid of him. Though Raheem survives, his face is disfigured. 

Mary continues to love Raheem. Alavandar then implicates Raheem in a false charge of theft and attempt to murder him and gets him arrested. While Raheem is in jail, Alavandar gets the slum vacated. Manickam is released from jail and joins James as a driver to be with his daughter. In the meanwhile, Rajan becomes a police officer and finds out about his father's illegal activities. Both father and son have arguments. Frustrated, Rajan resigns his job as he does not wish to take action against his father. Raheem comes out on bail and tries to help his people. He plans to get Rajan and Thangam married without Alavandar's knowledge. Learning this, an angry Alavandar locks him in a but and torches it. 

 When Manickam comes to know the conflict between them, he reveals to Alavandar's wife that Raheem is her son Ramu, kidnapped by him (Manickam). All of them rush to save Raheem. When the truth is revealed to Alavandar, he realizes his mistakes, rushes inside, and saves his son. Finally, he gets arrested based on his confessions. All family members unite and propogate religious harmony.

(from the book Pride of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 2013, G Dhananjayan, Blue Ocean Publishers, 2014)