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Kalamegam poster.jpg
Advertising poster
Directed byEllis R. Dungan
Produced bySri Dhandayuthapani Films
Salem Mohini Pictures
Written byBharathidasan
StarringT. N. Rajarathnam Pillai
S. P. L. Dhanalakshmi
N. S. Krishnan
T. A. Mathuram
Kali N. Rathnam
Music byR. N. Chinnaiah
CinematographyV. Namachivayam
Edited byR. S. Mani
Release date
17 May 1940

Kalamegam (Tamil: காளமேகம்) is a 1940 Tamil film directed by Ellis R. Dungan and starring Nadaswaram player T. N. Rajarathnam Pillai. This was the second film as script writer for the Tamil rationalist poet Bharathidasan. This was only film in which Pillai acted in his life.[1][2][3][4][5]


Dungan was hired to direct a film based on the life of the 15th century Tamil poet Kalamega Pulavar. Nadaswaram Maestro T. N. Rajarathnam Pillai was cast in the title role as poet Kalamegam. The script was written by the rationalist poet Bharathidasan. To satisfy Rajarathnam Pillai's fans, scenes with Kalamegam playing the Nadaswaram were added to the film. S. P. L. Dhanalakshmi was cast as the heroine and the comedy parts was played by N. S. Krishnan, T. A. Mathuram and Kali N. Rathnam. According to the Kalamegam legend, he cursed a village to be destroyed in a sandstorm. Dungan filmed some of the sandstorm scenes on location and shot the remaining scenes using large sized miniatures constructed on the Elliot's beach in Madras. The completed film was 18,986 feet in length[1][2]


Kalamegam is based on the life of 15th century Tamil poet Kalamegam.

Cast and crew[edit]

  • T. N. Rajarathnam Pillai - Kalamegam
  • S. P. L. Dhanalakshmi
  • N. S. Krishnan
  • T. A. Mathuram
  • Kali N. Rathnam
  • M. S. Muthukrishnan
  • P. R. Mangalam
  • T. N. Rajalakshmi
  • P. S. Gnanam
  • Ellis R. Dungan - Director
  • William J. Moylan - Co-Director
  • Bharathidasan - Screenplay, Lyrics
  • R. N. Chinnaiah - Music
  • V. Namachivayam - Cinematographer
  • R. S. Mani - Editor[2]


The film was released on 17 May 1940 and was a box office failure. But the sandstorm scenes were well received by the audience.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Blast From the Past - Kalamegham 1940, The Hindu 21 September 2007
  2. ^ a b c Film News Anandan (2004). Sadhanaigal padaitha Tamil Thiraipada Varalaaru (in Tamil). Chennai: Sivagami Publications. pp. 28:20.
  3. ^ Baskaran, S. Theodore (1996). The eye of the serpent: an introduction to Tamil cinema. Chennai: East West Books. p. 180.
  4. ^ Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1994). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute. p. 88. ISBN 9780851704555. ISBN 0-85170-455-7, ISBN 978-0-85170-455-5.
  5. ^ Arandhai Narayanan (2008). Arambakala Tamil Cinema (1931-41) (in Tamil). Chennai: Vijaya Publications. p. 106.

External links[edit]