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Nalla Thambi.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Krishnan-Panju
Produced by N. S. Krishnan
Written by C. N. Annadurai
Starring N. S. Krishnan
T. A. Madhuram
Bhanumathi Ramakrishna
M. N. Rajam
V. K. Ramasamy
S. V. Sahasranamam
Music by C. R. Subburaman
Cinematography V. Kumaradevan
Distributed by NSK Films - Uma Pictures
Release date
  • 4 February 1949 (1949-02-04)
Running time
192 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil

Nallathambi (Tamil: நல்லதம்பி) is a 1949 Tamil film starring and produced by N. S. Krishnan. The film's script was written by C. N. Annadurai (later chief minister of Tamil Nadu). This film marked Annadurai's debut in Tamil films.[1][2][3][4][5]


Tamil film actor and Annadurai's friend thiru m.nallathambi saw the 1936 son of prabakaran film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town which was having a successful theatrical run in the late 1940s in Madras. He thought it would be a good story to remake for his friend father in law of manoj.v (NSK). He convinced Annadurai to watch the movie and adapt the film to a Tamil rural setting. The film was titled as Nallathambi (lit. The good younger brother). However during filming, NSK heavily modified the script, reducing the role of the character played by Bhanumathi Ramakrishna and introducing another character to be played by his wife and comedian T. A. Mathuram. The script was further changed to include a number of musical skits to bring out the social satire of NSK. "Vinganatha Valarkka porendi" (lit. I am going to the develop science) and Kindanar kathakalatchepam (a parody of the story of Nandanar and a telling of B. R. Ambedkar's life story) were two of the musical skits thus included. With the modifications, the plot was sidelined and importance was given to the socio-political messages and themes. The director duo of R. Krishnan and S. Panju were hired to direct the film. C. R. Subburaman composed the music, while Udumalai Narayana Kavi wrote the lyrics for the songs. M. N. Rajam, Sahasranamam and V. K. Ramaswamy were cast in supporting roles.[1][2][6][7]


Nallathambi (NSK) a simple rural man inherits an estate from his deceased Zamindar relative. The Zamindar's daughter Pushpa (Bhanumathi) falls in love with Nallathambi. However he loves another girl (T. A. Madhuram). Bhoopathy (Sahasranamam) the estate manager has his eye on the wealth and tries to cheat Nallathambi out of it. He goads Pushpa into filing a suit that Nallathambi is mentally insane. In the end Nallathambi defeats Bhoopathy's machinations.[1]


Screenshot from Nallathambi


The film was a commercial failure and a critical success. Its songs became hits and were popular. The musical skit "Kindanar Kalatchepam" became popular. To offset the financial loss of his backers, NSK announced a new film project titled Thambithurai to be written by Annadurai. However furious with the changes made to his Nallathambi script, Annadurai refused to work with NSK again.[1][8][9]


The music was composed by C. R. Subburaman. Lyrics by Udumalai Narayana Kavi.

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 Kudi Keduththa Kudi N. S. Krishnan Udumalai Narayana Kavi
2 Enadhu Uyir Egypttu P. Bhanumathi
3 Malardhanil Oru Azhagu Mayil Ghantasala & P. Bhanumathi
4 Gaanalolan Madhanagopaalan M. L. Vasanthakumari
5 Naattukku Sevai Seiyya Naagareega Komaali Vandhanayya N. S. Krishnan
6 Varuvaare Dear Varuvaare P. Bhanumathi
7 Kindhanaar Kaalatchebam N. S. Krishnan
8 Naan Vanangum Dheivam P. Bhanumathi


  1. ^ a b c d Guy, Randor (14 December 2007). "blast from the past - Nallathambi 1949". The Hindu. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  2. ^ a b Film News Anandan (2004). Sadhanaigal padaitha Tamil Thiraipada Varalaaru (in Tamil). Chennai: Sivagami Publications. pp. 28:50. 
  3. ^ Velayutham, Selvaraj (2008). Tamil cinema: the cultural politics of India's other film industry (Hardback ed.). New York: Routledge. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-415-39680-6. 
  4. ^ Baskaran, S. Theodore (1996). The eye of the serpent: an introduction to Tamil cinema. Chennai: East West Books. p. 29. 
  5. ^ Saravanan (13 September 2006). "Song of the Day # 809". Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  6. ^ Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1994). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute. p. 43. ISBN 0-85170-455-7, ISBN 978-0-85170-455-5. 
  7. ^ Ravindran, Gopalan (6 September 2009). "Understanding the Making of Nalla Thambi (1949) and the Production Conventions of Tamil Cinema During 1940s I". Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  8. ^ Naryanan, Aranthai. "Tamil Cinema through the eyes of a politician". (in Tamil). Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  9. ^ Guy, Randor (19 June 2009). "Scripting cinema's role in politics". The Hindu. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 

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