wiki:Marmayogi-Ek Tha Raja

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Marmayogi/Ek? Tha Raja

aka The Mysterious Sage 1951 175’ b&w Tamil/Hindi? d K. Ramnoth pc Jupiter Pics, Ratna Films p M. Somasundaram sc/dial A.S.A. Sami st Robin Hood legend, Marie Corelli’s Vendetta (1886) lyr Kannadasan, K.D. Santhanam c M. Masthan m C.R. Subburaman, S.M. Subbaiah Naidu lp M.G. Ramachandran, Serukalathur Sama, Jawar Seetaraman, S.A. Natarajan, M.N. Nambiar, Madhuri Devi, Anjali Devi, S.V. Sahasranamam, Pandharibai, M.S.S. Bhagyam

A royal fairy tale set in an unspecified place and time (although there is medieval jousting tournament) granting set and costume designers full freedom. The evil courtesan Urvashi (Anjali Devi) tries to kill the King Marmayogi (Sama) and assumes power, but he survives and returns disguised as a ghostly sage while his son Karikalan (MGR) becomes a Robin Hood figure in the forest. After many adventures the king exposes the courtesan, who dies of shock, and the prince becomes a benign ruler after marrying the general’s daughter (Madhuri). Sami tailored the script, Flynn/Fairbanks? references and all, for his friend MGR, giving him a character named after a legendary Chola king, fitting in with the current wave of Tamil revivalism. The credit sequence freely uses Ivan the Terrible imagery.The narration is whimsically misogynist but seems to delight in the unfettered cinematic play with popular imagery and stories.