P.Ramlee – Trivia

Air Mata Di Kuala Lumpur
The last song written by P.Ramlee and recorded by his wife Saloma. Air Mata Di Kuala Lumpur was written for a film which did not materialize. The lyrics of the song described frustrations over his failed ambitions after he moved to Kuala Lumpur.

Akira Kurosawa
Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa was P.Ramlee’s main inspiration. His top films include Rashomon – 1951 and The Seven Samurai -1954.

Azizah
Title of a song written by P.Ramlee about a love interest in Penang named Azizah Hameed. Two song versions: Originally performed with Teruna Sekampung circa 1940s and revised lyrics for his film Penarik Beca – 1955.

Bintang
Name of an entertainment magazine produced by P.Ramlee’s company registered at 12, Robinson Road, Singapore 1. Later they moved to 453, Geylang Road, Singapore 14. The first issue of Bintang dated March 10th. 1953 featured one of P.Ramlee’s leading lady Mariam Baharom on cover and P.Ramlee with Siput Sarawak as inside story. The magazine was a hit with local film fans but was discontinued following mismanagement.

Damaq
Title of a traditional drama by H.M.Rohaizad. The story adaptation by Zain Mahmood had been aired on local radio. P.Ramlee had wanted to make Damaq his first stage play. But there were arguments with Zain Mahmood over suitability of the radio script. Damaq eventually became part of Ragam P.Ramlee – 1965.

Dr. Rushdi
The most controversial film by P.Ramlee. P.Ramlee’s had this reply on sex and nudity in Dr.Rushdi – 1971 : “…the sex scenes were respectable, not wild and within any normal person’s sanity…”

Gelanggang Filem
Name of bi-monthly entertainment tabloid published by Penerbitan P.Ramlee (P.Ramlee Production). The company was registered at 307 Race Course Road, Singapore in 1956. It was the second time P.Ramlee entered publishing in anticipation of backlash over his criticisms of the media.

Hang Tuah
A film based on a Malay legendary warrior directed by an Indian national Phani Majumdar. Hang Tuah (1956) won Best Music Score for P.Ramlee at the 3rd. Asian Film Festival in Hong Kong and was the only P.Ramlee’s film in Eastmancolor. The film studio did not allow P.Ramlee to make subsequent films in color because of high production costs.

Hidayah
A film project which P.Ramlee wanted to make in 1961. Pre-production and film poster were already completed but shooting was postponed awaiting religious advice on the script. It was never resolved long before P.Ramlee died in 1972.

Eid-Ul-Fitri
Festive day for Moslems after completion of the fasting month of Ramadhan. Teuku Zakaria a.k.a. P Ramlee was born on Eid-Ul-itri morning of March 22nd. 1929 at his grandmother’s house in Penang, Malaya. At the age of 19, he took a train to Singapore on another Eid-Ul-Fitri of August 8th. 1948 to join Malay Film Productions of Jalan Ampas.

Jalak Lenteng
A traditionl song about a Malay legendary warrior recorded by singer Rubiah. P.Ramlee would play the song on his gramophone whenever he felt depressed.

Kwek Chip Jian
Manager of Malay Filem Productions Studio of Jalan Ampas from late 1950s until its closure in 1968. P.Ramlee was at one time rehearsing a new song and trying out lyrics when his good friend Mr. Kwek entered the studio. P.Ramlee spontaneously sang a catchy chorus “kwek kwek kwek kwek kwek kwek kwek kwek mambo … hei mambo!” The song was called ‘Kwek Mambo’.

Masam Masam Manis
A comedy drama about love-hate relationship between school teacher Sahari (P.Ramlee) and cabaret singer Norkiah (Sharifah Hanim). Names of the lead characters in Masam Masam Manis (1965) were taken from P.Ramlee’s good friends; married couple Lieutenant Colonel Sahari Sulaiman and Norkiah Ahmad of Singapore.

P
Alphabet ‘P’ preceding Ramlee’s stage name stands for ‘Puteh’, short for his father’s name ‘Teuku Nyak Puteh’. He first used the initial ‘P’ in 1947 and became a successful artiste later. Some fans would believe ‘P’ means ‘Pujaan’ (Idol).

Pancha Delima
The third film directed by P.Ramlee. Pancha Delima (1957) was the only film made by P.Ramlee in which he did not act. He introduced the then supporting actor Jins Shamsuddin as the leading actor instead.

Pancha Sitara
Vocals group formed by P.Ramlee in 1955. Original members of Pancha Sitara were P.Ramlee, Normadiah, Kassim Masdor, Ahmad CB and Aziz Jaafar. Saloma and Ahmad Daud later replaced Normadiah and Aziz Jaafar in Pancha Sitara.

Pawagam
Malay word coined by P.Ramlee for ‘motion picture theater’. ‘Pawagam’ is short for ‘Panggung Wayang Gambar’.

Perfima
Name of a film company formed by P.Ramlee and H.M.Shah on December 31st. 1970. Perfima is short for Perusahaan Filem Malaysia (Malaysia Film Industry). It was later joined by Sarul Bariah Abu Bakar, Jins Shamsuddin, Abdullah Hussain and Jaafar Abdullah in 1972. P.Ramlee however never made any film with the company.

Ragam P.Ramlee
A unique film in the history of Malay films. No other local filmmakers would be too daring to use his name for a film title. Ragam P.Ramlee (1965) consisted of 3 parts: a comedy drama Main Nombor Ekor, a musical featuring P.Ramlee with wife Saloma and a film adaptation of H.M.Rohaizad’s traditional drama Damaq. Main Nombor Ekor, a humour about local gambling habits was banned by the authority.

Saloma
Popular name for Salmah Ismail. The singer actress was called ‘Saloma’ after the film ‘Salome’ which featured Rita Hayworth. She later married P.Ramlee in 1961.

Sandera
Title of a Malay novel by Arenawati which P.Ramlee wanted to adapt for film in 1972. It was to be the first project by Perfima, a film company formed by P.Ramlee and a few others. P.Ramlee was however set aside as film director in favour of co-owner actor Jins Shamsuddin. The project never took off. Sandera could have been P.Ramlee’s last film before he died the following year.

Sarimah
P.Ramlee introduced newcomer Sarimah in Ali Baba Bujang Lapok (1961). Since then she became P.Ramlee’s favourite heroin. She acted in six films alongside P.Ramlee and guest-starred in a comedy film.

Sazali
Name of a main character in the film AnakKu Sazali (1956). P.Ramlee won Best Actor at Asian Film Festival in Tokyo for his dual roles as a caring father and his spoilt son. P.Ramlee also had a son named Sazali. Unlike the film, real life Sazali was a humble being employed as a rubbish collector with a company called Syarikat Alam Flora in Kuala Lumpur.

Sergeant Hassan
P.Ramlee acted as an army hero fighting against Malayan invasion during World War Two. P.Ramlee took over when original director Bat Avallana returned to The Philippines before filming of Sergeant Hassan (1958) was completed. The Malay Regiment Army conferred him a rank of ‘Sergeant Titular’ for his film role that boosted the morale of its army.

Shaw Brothers
Duo brothers Run Run Shaw and Runme Shaw formed Shaw Brothers which owned Malay Filem Productions Studio of Jalan Ampas and Merdeka Filem Productions Studio of Ulu Kelang. The company owned copyrights of all P.Ramlee films.

Sultan Mahmud Mangkat Di Julang
The only stage play directed by P.Ramlee co-written with S.Sudarmaji. Kasma Booty, Yusoff Latiff, Jins Shamsuddin, Ali Fiji, Ahmad Rafi and Kemat Hassan performed in Sultan Mahmud Mangkat Di Julang based on an old Johor Sultanate. Due to overwhelming requests from drama associations, the script was published as a book by Penerbitan P.Ramlee.

Takraw
This traditional game of rattan ball popular in Asia was among P.Ramlee’s favourite sport. His takraw teams included Sangka Buana (comprising stars of Malay Film Productions), Pasukan Bawaen Putra and Sekawan Bintang. The Sepaktakraw Association of Singapore awarded The P.Ramlee Cup Challenge Trophy for its tournaments.

Teruna Sekampung
P.Ramlee played with several groups in Penang, Malaya before moving to Singapore. He performed many original songs with Teruna Sekampung – among them Azizah, Baida, Kak Leha, Mi Jawa, Bunda Yang Ku Cinta, Abang Dollah, Joget Malaya, Malam Thaipusam and Di Padang Kota.

Teuku Zakaria
P.Ramlee’s birth name. ‘Teuku’ is a title for descendants of noble families from Aceh of Sumatra, Indonesia. His father Teuku Nyak Puteh was a sailor from Lho’ Seumawe in the province of Aceh.

Yusuf B
One of P.Ramlee’s music mentor when he first joined Malay Filem Productions. P.Ramlee’s songwriting were influenced by Yusuf B’s style of music arrangement. Ironically, Yusuf B would later borrowed ideas from P.Ramlee in his music composition and songwriting.