Old Tamil Movies

I had written a post, long back, about my first Tamil move: Pennin Perumai. There's a fun article in the Hindu, by Vijaysree Venkatraman, about revisiting the old black and white Tamil films from that era: What Old Movies Do.

I see that I should think of those old 'socials' with more respect. I still think Sivaji is a lot cuter than Gemini, though.

Ghatotkach, from Maya Bazaar

Update: Vijaysree Venkatraman kindly sent me this YouTube link: Vivaha Bhojanam ("wedding feast"), a song that I love, in which Ghatotkach, the son of one of the Mahabharata heroes, Bhima, and a demoness, eats an entire wedding feast by himself. I have been known to burst out with "Bhojanam Bhojanam, ha ha ha ha ha ha" on occasion, at the prospect of a feast. (This is the Telugu version, so it's vivaha bhojanambu. There's a Hindi version somewhere, as well). Do watch it, I don't think you can help laughing along with it.

Update: And here's the Tamil version: "Kalyana samayal saatham" (same visual, different language)


Anonymous said...


This was a favorite song of us kids growing up in Madr.. err.. Chennai in the 60's & 70's. I had never seen the movie, so much appreciate the YouTube link.

I still remember the Tamil version:
"Kalyana samayal saadham,
Kai karikulam pramadham,
Indha gaurava prasadam,
Idhuve enakku podhum!
Ha ha ha.." etc.

"Swell wedding cuisine,
Veggies and bits are excellent,
This dignifying(?) gift,
Is all I need!"

There was also Jagadhambal, a singer from those times who sang soulful bhajans and such. I am ashaed to say that we used to parody her voice, which was quite something.

And the other memory that I have is watching these flickers in "touring talkies," which were basically a long hall of thatch on stilts that could be put together and pulled down speedily to move it from town to town. The seating was often the sand or bare floor, plus a few folding chairs. The benches often had bed bugs (or critters like them) that would torment one's butt through the show.

Ah... well...


Nancy said...

Hi, lvq -- nice to hear from you, and thanks for the story. I think I've seen touring talkies just beyond Thiruvanmiyur, even in the eighties. I'm sure they still exist somewhere, bugs and all.

Anonymous said...


I really enjoyed this.


RV said...


I write a blog (in Tamil) about old Tamil movies. We get Tamil TV at home, and they broadcast old Tamil movies late in the night for the last 2-3 months. Do check it out! http://awardakodukkaranga.wordpress.com


P.S. I hope you can read Tamil!

Nancy said...

Thanks, RV. I do read Tamil, but not very well, unfortunately.

Winnowed said...

You should also listen to the Tamil version of this song - 'Kalyana samaya saadam, Kaaikariyalum pramadam, edu kaurava prasaadam....' It's equally good.

Nancy said...

I'm sure it is -- do you have a link?

Anonymous said...


there you go, Tamil version....