Movies, TV Shows Based on the Works of Malgudi Days Writer

RK NARAYAN DEATH ANNIVERSARY: Best known for his Malgudi Days stories, RK Narayan, considered one of the greatest Indian writers in English, wrote 15 novels and multiple short stories. His vivid depictions of life in Malgudi and its people inspired filmmakers and producers who eventually adapted his writings for both films and television. On his death anniversary, we take a look at such adaptations of his works below.

  1. Miss Malini (1947)
    Miss Malini was the first and only film for which RK Narayan officially wrote the story. The screenplay of this cult film was written by Tamil author and filmmaker Kothamangalam Subbu, who also directed the film. The film tells the story of a woman named Malini who joins a theatre group to help her family financially, but is seduced by success and experiences a downfall after she falls for the charms of a charlatan.
  2. Mr Sampat (1952)
    Both RK Narayan’s 1949 novel, Mr. Sampath – The Printer of Malgudi as well as the film, Miss Malini served as the basis for the story of this Hindi-language satirical film, by director S.S. Vasan. Here, we have a con artist who uses his charms and cunning to exploit a theatre actress and a ghee merchant for money. In 1972, another film named Mr. Sampath was made based on the same novel by Narayan.
  3. Guide (1965)
    Director Vijay Anand’s Guide, starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman, Guide became a cult-hit film that won numerous awards. The film traces the journey of a man from being a corrupt tour guide to a man eventually finding enlightenment. Narayan received a Filmfare Award for Best Story.
  4. Banker Margayya (1983)
    This National Award-winning Kannada-language film was based on Narayan’s The Financial Expert (1952) novel. Directed by T.S. Nagabharana, Banker Margayya is about a money lender who faces a series of unfortunate financial and social mishaps that teach him valuable life lessons.
  5. Malgudi Days (1986-88)
    The most famous adaptation of RK Narayan’s work is of course Malgudi Days on Doordarshan. The television series was directed by Shankar Nag while RK Laxman, Narayan’s younger brother, did the sketches. The series documented the life of the people of Malgudi.

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