Filmi flashback: This director assured Rajinikanth’s ‘herogiri’ in Tamil cinema, 46 years ago!

Filmi flashback: This director assured Rajinikanth’s ‘herogiri’ in Tamil cinema, 46 years ago!

Director P Madhavan’s films were remade in Hindi which had big names like Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar starring in them during the 1970s and 1980s

The advent of the New Year ushered in the 96th birth anniversary of multi-lingual film director P Madhavan, (1.1.1928) who directed nearly 50 films in Hindi and Tamil. In a career nearing three decades, he also produced nearly 30 films, a few of them which were remade from Telugu and later reprised in Hindi by leading names in Bollywood.

Having begun his directorial career with a hit film starring MGR and Saroja Devi ( Dheiva Thaai) in 1964, in the later phase, Madhavan focused solely on working with Sivaji Ganesan in the 1970s. Quite interestingly, of the 21 films released of Rajinikanth in 1978 ( the year in which he was bestowed with the ‘Superstar’ title), two films were of P Madhavan and both of them smoothened the path for Rajini to establish himself as a hero. This was after attempting a successful transition from a villain to a hero with ‘Bairavi’ released in June 1978.

Madhavan’s ‘ Shankar Salim Simon’, a Tamil remake of the Manmohan Desai hit ‘ Amar Akbar Anthony’ was the first film of Rajini and his next ‘ En Kelvikku Enna Badhil’ was a solo hero film which ran solely on the star power of the hero.

Madhavan’s 1974 hit ‘Thangapadakkam’ was remade as ‘Shakti’ in Hindi, released in 1982 starring Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar, hailed as a cult classic for its casting coup and powerful performances by the titans. One more Sivaji Ganesan film ‘ Gnana Oli’ was remade as ‘Devta’ starring Sanjeev Kumar and Shabana Azmi, released in 1978. Sanjeev Kumar was once again seen in ‘Ram Tere Kitne Naam’ which hit the theatres in 1985, with the original helmed by Sivaji Ganesan winning a National Award in 1970.

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