Ezhai Padum Padu (1950)

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K. Ramnoth adapts Victor Hugo's Les Miserables for this acclaimed melodrama, featuring one of Chittor V. Nagaiah's finest performances. The film centers on Kandan (Nagaiah), an imprisoned petty criminal who escapes from jail only to be captured again by the gifted and ruthless Inspector Javert (Jawar Seetaraman). Meanwhile, Kandan's pregnant niece (M. N. Rajam) gives up her child to villainous foster parents and joins a circus after her husband suddenly dumps her. When Kandan is finally released from prison, he abandons his former crooked ways, thanks to a Christian priest, and starts a glass making company. The business takes off and soon, after Kandan changes his name, he gets elected mayor of his town. Inspector Javert shows up and threatened to reveal Kandan's mottled past, until Kandan saves the detective's life. Caught between his duties to the British crown and his debt to an ex-con, Javert commits suicide.