Madabhushi Rangadorai[1][2] (Tamil: மாதபூஷி ரங்கதுரை; 8 November 1937 – 23 April 2023), better known by his pen name Randor Guy (Tamil: ராண்டார் கை), was an Indian lawyer, columnist and film[3] and legal historian associated with the English language newspaper The Hindu.[4][1] He was also the official editor of the weekly column "Blast from the Past" that appeared in The Hindufor many years; in this series Randor Guy wrote about not so well known details about the Tamil movies and the personalities (producers, directors, movie stars, lyricists, featured songs and box office collections), produced since mid 1930s to late 1960s.

Early life

Randor Guy was born on 8 November 1937.[5][6] His original name was Rangadorai, but his pen name (an anagram of his birth name) later became official.[7] He graduated in BSc and B. L. from Madras University[8] and commenced his career as a lawyer.[8][9] After practising as a lawyer for a short time, he quit his job and joined a firm called Paterson and Co. where he worked for five years. In 1976, he resigned to devote all his time to writing.[citation needed]

Work as a film historian

Guy has been writing books on history and films since 1967. He became popular when his article on Frank Capra was purchased by the United States Information Agency for use as a reference work.[8] As of 2008, he remains the only non-American whose work has been acquired as reference material by the Government of the United States of America.[8]

Guy was a regular columnist for such newspapers as the Mylapore Times, The Hindu and The Indian Express. He also wrote for the film magazine, Screen. He wrote on a variety of topics though he is mainly popular as a film historian and critic.


Guy wrote the screenplays for a few short documentaries and feature films. He has also produced a few advertisement films.[9] In 1999, he scripted a 100-minute feature film in English titled Tales of The Kama Sutra: The Perfumed Garden for a Hollywood film company, directed by Jag Mundhra.[8] It was subsequently dubbed into Hindi, Tamil and Telugu as Brahmachari.[2][8] He later worked with the film's cinematographer, Ashok Kumar, on his trilingual production, Kaama (1999). He has written a Sinhalese film called Paradise Peak based on a best-selling crime novel written by him.[8] His recent works include Kamasutra Nights: Maya starring actress Namitha.[10] Maya is Namitha's first film in English.[10]


Guy died on 23 April 2023, at the age of 85.[11][12][13]

Awards and felicitations

On 12 November 2007, during a function commemorating the fifth anniversary of Samudra, a magazine dedicated to art and culture, Guy was awarded the Gnana Samudra award in recognition of his contributions to the arts.[14]



  1. ^ a b "Romancing the reel". The Hindu. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b Varma, Shreekumar (13 November 2007). "Remembrance of things past". The Old Indian Express:Sunday Headlines. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  3. ^ Vasudev, A. (1988). Cinemaya: the Asian film magazine. p. 61.
  4. ^ "Silk Route". Mint. 30 September 2011.
  5. ^ Bhushan, Ravi (2007). Reference India. Rifacimento International. p. 106.
  6. ^ Dutt, K. C.; S. Balu Rao; Sahitya Akademi (2001). Who's who of German Writers, 1999: A-M Vol 1. Sahitya Akademi. p. 439. ISBN 81-260-0873-3.
  7. ^ "Randor Guy remembers it all « Madras Musings - We Care for Madras that is Chennai". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "The GUY called RANDOR". Sify. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2008.
  9. ^ a b Fernandez, p 164
  10. ^ a b "Sensuous Namitha sizzles in Maya". Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  11. ^ "Veteran columnist, author and film historian Randor Guy no more". The Hindu. 24 April 2023. Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  12. ^ "Chronicler of Madras Randor Guy passes away". Times of India. 24 April 2023. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  13. ^ "Popular historian Randor Guy dies at 86". DT Next. 25 April 2023. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  14. ^ "'Gnana Samudhra' award for Randor Guy". The Hindu. 13 November 2007. Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  15. ^ Mehta, Purushottam Pragji (1979). Indo-Anglian Fiction: An Assessment. Prakash Book Depot. p. 367.