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1952 191’ b&w Tamil d T.R. Sundaram/Masthan? p Modern Theatres dial Bharatidasan m S. Dakshinamurthy lp G. Muthukrishnan, K.K. Perumal, A. Karunanidhi, T.A. Rajalakshmi, T.P. Muthulakshmi, M.S.S. Bhagyam, Ramakrishnan, Sowcar Janaki

A film adaptation of a well-known legend which inflects the story of the tribulations of a bigamous husband towards a dramatisation of caste status and its associated codes of honour. In Kaveripoopattinam, the rich but childless merchant Vallayapathi (Muthukrishnan) is married to Sundari (Rajalakshmi), which prompts him to take a second wife, Sathyavathy (Janaki) from a Vannaya family, to the distress of his first wife. When the shy Sathyavathy becomes pregnant, Sundari openly feigns pregnancy and manages to arrange matters so that her husband thinks Sathyavathy’s child is not his. Rejected by all, Sathyavathy seeks refuge with an old man and bears Uttaman (Ramakrishnan), who turns out to be an intelligent and brave youth. As for Sundari, she passes off her brother’s lover’s brattish son Azhgan as hers. The two sons are rival students until a tattoo is found on Azhgan’s body, betraying his low-caste origins, but Sundari manages to hide the mark from Vallayapathi, who persecutes Uttaman. The latter eventually learns of his parentage and sues his father. The lengthy court case which follows unravels the various subterfuges and Sundari commits suicide while the nuclear family of father, mother and son is happily reinstated.