Billa (1980)

 ●  Tamil ● 2 hrs 52 mins

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Fast-paced and fiery, this masterfully crafted crime thriller daringly depicts the dangers faced by an innocent villager, Rajappa, when he agrees to assist the police. During a police encounter, Billa (Rajinikanth), a feared Mafia don in Madras is fatally wounded. However, the police decide to hide this truth, identify a lookalike, train him to believably impersonate the dreaded mob boss even in the midst of his long time and close associates. Can a mere impersonator learn fast enough and be suave enough to fill the shoes of an international criminal? Will he succeed in exposing the criminal network around Billa, unravel the Don's closely held secrets and bring down the criminal empire before his own life is threatened?

Cast: Rajinikanth, Sripriya Raj Kumar

Crew: R Krishnamurthy (Director), G Or Nathan (Director of Photography), MS Viswanathan (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller

Release Dates: 26 Jan 1980 (India)

Tamil Name: பில்லா

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Did you know? By the end of the 1970s, Rajinikanth had become a popular actor in South Indian cinema. During this phase of his career, Rajinikanth abruptly chose to quit acting, but was coaxed back. He made a comeback with this movie, playing dual roles. This movie eventually became his first ever commercial success. Read More
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as Billa/Rajappa
Special Appearance
Special Appearance
as Inspector Varma
as Kamini
as DSP Alexander
as Jagdesh
as Manoharan

Direction

Director

Production

Producer
Production Company

Writers

Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography

Editorial

Editor
Film Type:
Feature Film
Language:
Tamil
Colour Info:
Color
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Stereoscopy:
No
Music Director: MS Viswanathan
Lyricist: Kannadasan
01 
04:26
Music Director: MS Viswanathan
Lyricist: Kannadasan
Playback Singer: SP Balasubramaniam
02 
04:39
Music Director: MS Viswanathan
Lyricist: Kannadasan
03 
04:48
Music Director: MS Viswanathan
Lyricist: Kannadasan
Playback Singer: Malaysia Vasudevan
04 
04:38
Music Director: MS Viswanathan
Lyricist: Kannadasan
Playback Singer: SP Balasubramaniam
05 
04:23
Music Director: MS Viswanathan
Lyricist: Kannadasan
Playback Singer: LR Eswari
Trivia:
SA Ashokan and Manorama made cameo appearances in this movie.

K Balaji, who produced the film, played the role of the Deputy Superintendent of Police in this movie.

This movie is extensively based on the Hindi film Don (1978), with changes made in the script to suit the Tamil audience.

By the end of the 1970s, Rajinikanth had become a popular actor in South Indian cinema. During this phase of his career, Rajinikanth abruptly chose to quit acting, but was coaxed back. He made a comeback with this movie, playing dual roles. This movie eventually became his first ever commercial success.

This movie is the second of several remakes of the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Don (1978), the first being the 1979 NT Rama Rao starrer "Yugandhar". It is also said to have borrowed elements from the MG Ramachandran starrer Kudiyirundha Koyil (1968) which was itself a remake of Shammi Kapoor's film China Town (1962).

This movie was a phenomenal success, running for over 260 days at the Alankar, Maharani and Bala Abhirami theatres, and become the actor's biggest commercial success of that time, having run for over 25 weeks theatrically.

The success of this movie led to it being remade again in Tamil in 2007 under the same title by Vishnuvardhan, with Ajith Kumar portraying the titular role. This remake was also inspired by the successful Hindi film Don (2006), a remake of the 1978 namesake. After its commercial success, Vishnuvardhan decided to launch a sequel – 'Billa II' with Ajith Kumar reprising his role. But due to date issues, Vishnuvardhan walked out of the project, leaving it to Chakri Toleti. The film was released on 13 July 2012.

The songs 'My Name is Billa' and 'Vethalayai Potendi' were later remixed in the 2007 remake of this movie.
Movie Connection(s):
Remake of: Edalo Cheragani Gurutulu (Telugu)
Remade as: Billa (Tamil)