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Tukkaram tamil film 1938 screenshot.jpg
Main Characters in the film
Directed byB. N. Rao
Based onThe life of Saint Tukaram
StarringMusiri Subramania Iyer
K. Sarangkapani
R. Balasubramaniam
M. S. Murugesan
Chokkalinga Bhagavathar
K. Seetha
R. Balasaraswathi
Release date
  • 17 September 1938 (1938-09-17) (India)

Thukkaram is a 1938 Indian Tamil-language biographical film directed by B. N. Rao and produced by Central Studios in Coimbatore. The film featured Carnatic vocalist Musiri Subramania Iyer as the eponymous saint.[2]


The film depicts the life story of the saint Tukaram.



This is the only film that Musiri Subramania Iyer had any stint in the celluloid world. According to writer and critic Kalki Krishnamurthy, during the shooting of the film, Tukaram wore a moustache whereas Subramania Iyer had a clean shaved face. When he was acting the part, an artificial moustache was fixed on his face. Subramania Iyer could not bear the itching caused by the gum that held the moustache under his nose. He told the producers to wait for sometime until he grew his own moustache. It was a scene of merriment to see him sporting a moustache because basically he was a Carnatic singer and in those days it was considered a taboo for them to wear a moustache. However, the very next moment shooting was over, Subramania Iyer got a clean shave done.[3]

R. Balasaraswathi who became a popular playback singer in later years, appeared as a child artiste, playing the role of Tukkaram's daughter. The film was produced also in Telugu with C. S. R. Anjaneyulu playing the title role.[2]


Although no print of the film has survived, making it a lost film, some song discs of the film were still available as of January 2008.[2]


Thukkaram was a commercial success, prompting B. N. Rao to make more films with Central Studios.[2]


  1. ^ Film News Anandan (23 October 2004). Sadhanaigal Padaitha Thamizh Thiraipada Varalaru [History of Landmark Tamil Films] (in Tamil). Chennai: Sivakami Publishers.
  2. ^ a b c d Guy, Randor (11 January 2008). "Tukaram 1938". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 25 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  3. ^ "'Thukkaram' Film Review" (in Tamil). Retrieved 30 November 2016.