Malayalam Films | 1950-1960

Sathyan and Ragini in Nair Pidicha Pulivaal After a long break of 10 years, ( there were no movies produced between 1941-1948 in Malayalam, from what we know now) it was production back to normal, averaging 6 movies every year, for the next decade. The films in this decade had a few firsts (it was bound to be), with Malayalam’s first box-office hit Jeevithanouka(1951), which established a set formula and format for a ‘winning story’ at the box-office and gave us our first megastar –Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair! Janova (1953), was the first and last film which saw MGR in a Malayalam film! 




Jeevitha Nouka 1951 K. Vembu
Kerala Kesari 1951 V. Krishnan
Rakthabandham 1951 M. R. Vittal
Prasanna 1951 Velswamykavi
Vanamala 1951 G. Vishwanathan
Yachakan 1951 R. Velappan Nair
Amma 1952 K. Vembu
Suhruth 1952 Joseph Pallipad
Athma Santhi 1952 Joseph Thaliyath (Jr)
Athma Sakhi 1952 G. R. Rao
Vishappinte Vili 1952 Mohan Rao
Marumakal 1952 S. K. Chari
Premalekha 1952 M. K. Ramani
Alphonsa 1952 O. J. Thottan
Kanjana 1952 Sri Ramulu Naidu
Achan 1952 M. R. S. Mani
Velakkaran 1953 E. R. Kooper
Thiramala 1953 Vimal Kumar,PRS Pillai
Lokaneethi 1953 R. Velappan Nair
Aasha Deepam 1953 G. R. Rao
Genova 1953 F. Nagoor
Sheriyo Thetto 1953 Thikkurissi Sukumaran
Ponkathir 1953 E. R. Kooper
Avakasi 1954 Antony Mitradas
Sandehi 1954 F. Nagoor
Puthradharmam 1954 Vimal Kumar
Avan Varunnu 1954 M R S  Mani
Neelakkuyil 1954 Ramu Karyat,P Bhaskaran
Manasakshi 1954 G. Vishwanath
Balyasa 1954 Antony Mitradas
Snehaseema 1954 S. S. Rajan
Kidappaadam 1955 M. R. S. Mani
Harishchandra 1956 Antony Mitradas
Kalam Marunnu 1956 R. Velappan Nair
Natyathara 1956 C S Rao ( Dubbed !)
News Paper Boy 1956 P. Ramdas
C. I. D. 1956 M. Krishnan Nair
Aniyathi 1956 M. Krishnan Nair
Rarichan Enna Pouran 1956 P. Bhaskaran
Aatmarpanam 1956 G.R. Rao
Manthravathi 1956 P. Subramanian
Koodapirappu 1956 J.D. Thottaan
Avar Unarunnu 1956 N. Sankaran Nair
Paadaatha Painkily 1957 P. Subramaniam
Atchanum Makanum 1957 Vimal Kumar
Minnaminungu 1957 Ramu Kariyatt
Minnunnathellam Ponnalla 1957 R. Velappan
Jail Pulli 1957 P. Subramaniam
Thaskaraveeran 1957 Shri Ramalu Naidu
Devasundary 1957 M.K.R. Nambiar
Nayaru Pidicha Pulival 1958 P. Bhaskaran
Lilly 1958 F. Nagoor
Mariakutty 1958 P. Subramaniam
Randidangazhi 1958 P. Subramaniam
Chathurangam 1959 J.D. Thottan
Naadodikal 1959 S. Ramanathan
Minnal Padayali 1959 G. Viswanath
 Aana Valarthiya Vaanambadi  1959 ?  P.Subramaniam.

Neelakkuyil (1954) gave us P.Bhaskaran and Ramu Kariat, and the first indigenous Malayalam narrative, one of our own. Newspaper Boy(1956) was the first film,completely done by a bunch of students, led by P.Ramdas – a first in Indian Cinema! Naayaru pidicha Pulival (1958) became the first movie based on traveling circus in Malayalam Cinema, and Aana Valarthiya Vaanambadi(1959 ?) became our first Jungle Movie, directed by P.Subramaniam.

It must have been a very exciting decade.

40 thoughts on “Malayalam Films | 1950-1960

  1. Hi All,
    I am Karunakaran Pillai from Singapore. I am particularly very interested in Malayalam Films from 1928 to 1970s. The reason being these were the period whereby Songs were produced in the Shellac 78 rpm records. if I am not mistaken, Recordings of Malayalam Songs on Shellac records started for the Film “GNANAMBIKA” in 1940. (Please correct me if I am wrong) Although “BALAN” was the first Soundtrack recording of Malayalam Film (1938). I was told that no Records were produced.
    I am trying to compile 78 rpm Records listing produced from “GNANAMBIKA” in 1940 to the last 78 rpm produced in 1970. I am not sure as to which was the last Malayalam Film for which 78rpms were produced. Does anybody has any information on this? Perhaps anybody who has worked with the Gramophone Company Of India may be able to give some information.
    First Recording Numbers started with CA.XXXX , then COLUMBIA and HMV Records were
    introduced with Prefix GE.(for COLUMBIA) and N.(for HMV) Records respectively.
    With self Research and Information contributions from Malayalam Records Collectors, I hope
    that I can compile as much information on the 78rpm Malayalam Records issued.
    Please feel free to e-mail me at :

    Sincere Regards,
    Karunakaran Pillai
    25th July 2017

  2. The list of Malayalam films of 1950-1960 is very informative and includes many of my favourite movies. We still sing the song “Kannum Poottiyuranguka neeyen …”to make our grand children sleep. Can anybody inform me where the VCD or DVD of this movie can be obtained?

    1. In my above comment / request, I had forgotten to give the name of the movie, VCD/DVD of which I am interested. It is “Snehaseema” with Sathyan in the lead role.

      1. Hi Dharmarajan,

        Though am not aware of a legal copy of the movie available, there are ofcourse copies of it uploaded online on video-sharing sites. You could Search and find it easily. Thanks.

  3. can any one help in down loading song ‘Akale Arum Kaividum’ from 1951 film
    Jeevitha Nowka ?

  4. Can anybody reproduce the lyrics of Malayalam song of movie PRASANNA. .kalanikete kerala Mathe namasthe namasthe, alola ramyam sashya shyamala vilolam roopam

    1. Here you go,
      Courtesy Jija Subramanian via

      കലാനികേതേ കേരളമാതേ നമസ്തേ നമസ്തേ
      അലോകരമ്യം സസ്യശ്യാമളവിലോലരൂപം തേ
      അമൂല്യസുന്ദര വിഭവ സമസ്തേ നമസ്തേ നമസ്തേ

      പുല്ലിന്മേടുകള്‍ കാടുകള്‍ തോടുകള്‍ നെല്ലിന്‍പാടങ്ങള്‍
      അല്ലും പകലും പണിയും കര്‍ഷകര്‍ വാഴും മാടങ്ങള്‍
      എല്ലാം സുന്ദരമയം പ്രശസ്തേ നമസ്തേ നമസ്തേ
      കേരളമാതേ കോമളജാതേ നമസ്തേ നമസ്തേ

      കൊഞ്ചിക്കൊഞ്ചി തുഞ്ചന്‍ തൂകിയ പൈങ്കിളി നാദത്തില്‍
      കുഞ്ചന്‍ തുള്ളിത്തുള്ളി ചൊല്ലിയ ഹാസ്യവിനോദത്തില്‍
      ചങ്ങമ്പുഴ തന്‍ ചാരുത ചേര്‍ന്നൊരു തനിമലയാളത്തില്‍
      പുഞ്ചിരി തൂകിയ കേരളകവിതേ നമസ്തേ നമസ്തേ


  5. The great play back singer of 50s was H Mehaboob .he lead a unconventional life and always kept away from limelight. He sung songs of saigal and mallick for aam admi of mattancherry and fortkochi.though he stereotyped as a comedy singer in Malayalam movies he was a expert in all geners of hindusthanimusic such as ghazals ,thumris etc. his life was a mystery.

  6. The infancy of 1930s with 2 silent movies and one talkie and the 1940s was overran in 1950s with many movies getting released, incredible achievement

  7. Module 2: Indian Cinema.
    Phalke and the desi enterprise – Indian cinema 30s to the 60s – The golden 50s – Indian art cinema and the
    Indian New wave – History of Malayalam Cinema – New wave in Malayalam cinema – Contemporary
    trends in Malayalam cinema
    can someone find out this syllabus for me plz…am tired out of searching,..:(..plz…plz…

  8. this is a gud page…by the way..i need hindu bakthi filims namely baktha kujela….please provide the url’s of pages that provide bakthi filims….. 🙂

  9. can you please help me…our syllabus has included film studies and history of film..we find it extremely difficult to learn the is highly disappointing that the university haven’t provided us with ample material.can you please help us by providing material and essays based on the milestones and features of the past years of malayalam cinema? the material we have collected are dry and a least remedy to our leaking memory as all we have are list of films years and list of directors

    1. Hi Gayathri,
      Glad to know that Universities are still the same 🙂 THAT still scores on consistency, don’t they ? Could you please be SPECIFIC on what exactly you need in the first place, as the impression I get from reading your note is the entire history from 1930 – 2012 neatly packaged in a audio-visual presentation, which is clse to impossible. If you could let me know what EXACTLY the syllabus require you to learn, it would be good start. And, as such, the Web has a reasonably good amount of resources spread across the cyberscape. You just need to invest time and search. Let me know. Cinematters.

      1. Our syllabus includes all the basic details on the techniques , major movements, history and all that we could possibly think of not learning 😦 the syllabus as such is as vague as possible and i’m not sure what the university expects us to learn 😦 but for all that we know there isn’t a standardized text book or clear material in hand even for our teachers 😦 but yes you have guessed right we have to learn the whole history of both Indian and Malayalam cinema including movements like the New Wave…Will you be able to help us? its been really tricky because we have to complete all these and the rest of our core portions within a single semester..and we are the first batch to have the sysytem implemented 😦 so text and no question papers for a model 😦

      2. Module 2: Indian Cinema.
        Phalke and the desi enterprise – Indian cinema 30s to the 60s – The golden 50s – Indian art cinema and the
        Indian New wave – History of Malayalam Cinema – New wave in Malayalam cinema – Contemporary
        trends in Malayalam cinema …this what one of our module says 😥 it was actually lengthier but i guess they did a great job publishing an abridged version making it as vague as possible … 😛

  10. This is not my opinion..I read in some magazine that he was suspected of being one as he “vansished” mysteriously. Also..those were the times. there were rumors of german spies all over the world post WW2.

    1. Dear Sibi,
      Could be possible that it must have been the overtly fertile imagination of a copy editor ! 😀 Like you said, those were the times.Anything was fodder.. :)..regards..cinematters

  11. In 1948 or 49 a movie called Vellinakshatram was made with the help of a German. Later on he mysteriously vanished and was said to be a spy. Have any details ?

    1. Dear Sibi,
      That part of being a spy is news to me. Wow. 🙂 As far as I know, the movie was produced by Udaya Studio, and directed by Felix JH Baez, our noire friend. This looks like another exciting lead to pursue. Though launched with much fanfare by Udaya Studios, it crashed and burned at the box-office, as far as i have read about it. This was Ms Kumari’s debut film, also A Chidambaranath’s first as Music Director.It is claimed to the first indigenously made Malayalam film in Kerala..We would need to check also the claims of Merryland to get to the bottom of that, but I guess Kunchacko’s and Udaya’s saga started with Vellinakshathram. regards..cinematters

    1. Dear Prophet Muhammed,

      Thank you for writing in. These are certainly worth the nostalgia for every Malayali out there. Hope to see more of you at OMC..regards..cinematters

  12. Thanks for your efforts. Iwould like to know about the actors of malayalam movies ,those were released in the period 1930 to 1960 .

    1. Dear Sajeev,
      There is no readymade list of actors who were a part of the Malayalam Film Industry between 1930-1950. If its online, you got to do it the old fashioned way, search with the help of Google. Articles that are avaialable have been hyperlinked in that list which will give you a real good idea of the actors and the movies. There are also reference books available offline – Vijaykrishnan‘s Malayala Cinemayude Katha is a good starting point. You can even buy the book online here. Thank you for your kind words. Regards..cinematters

  13. can you help me to find the video clipping of Malayalam lyrics by Mahakavi Pala inthe picture Avarunarunnu. The music direction is done by Dakshinamoorthy Swamy

    Thanking you

    1. Dear Sreekumar,
      Thank you for writing in. I’m not quite sure what you meant by ” video clipping of Malayalam lyrics “. If you mean the Videos of the 11 songs in the movie, I’m sorry I am not even sure there is a commercially released copy of the movie out in the market in the first place. As many malayalam movies of the 50’s are now being released as VCD’s, I hope a VCD of this would be released soon.

      However, if you meant the lyrics of the songs, you can go through all of them here at Malayalasangeetham info. It also has a sample clipping of the tracks that are available.

      Will keep an eye out for a release of the movie VCD copy in the market and keep you posted. Also you could keep a regular check at They do have a great collection of old movies and are pretty reliable too.

      I have deleted your personal number from here as it is unsafe to leave your personal number in an online public domain. Thanks.

    1. Dear Thomas,
      Thank you for passing through OMC and writing in. Other than the details of the movie Alphonsa (1952) and its technical crew, I am sorry I just donot have more on OJ Thottan at this point of time. I am trying my level best to collate any information that I could get off from the Web, writing to people with similar surnames ( I can see that you too carry that illustrious surname), and through community forums on old Malayalam Cinema. Please rest assured that you would be the first to know once I get any information on OJ Thottan. Thanks once again for writing in. Regards, CM

  14. Thank you so much for posting this page about the unbelievably good period of Malayalam film. I have bookmarked it. Definitely see Neelakkuyil. How can I get the others?

    1. Hi Sangeetha,
      Thank you so much for taking your time out to write in and those kind words. Glad that you found the list worthwhile, and thank you for subscribing to OMC :).. Regarding the movies, is a great place to get those old titles. But sadly most of them are only avbl in the VCD format. There is a selflessly committed group of enthusiasts who are collating and making the database on Malayalam Cinema, as we speak, and I am honored to have been invited to be a part of it. You could lose yourself in the ealth of information they have collected over the years at
      Thanks once again for passing through..

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