Tamil Talkies completed 80 years today (October 31, 2011).
Kalidas was the first talkie made in Tamil, shot at Bombay and released at Kinema Central (later called Murugan Theatre) in the then Madras on October 31, 1931.
Kalidas starred TP Rajalakshmi, P G Venkatesan, Thevaram Rajambal, T Sushila Devi, M.S.Santhanalakshmi and LV Prasad. The story, lyrics and music was by Madhura Kavi Bhaskara Das and directed by HM Reddy and produced by Ardeshir M Irani.
Says G Dhananjayan author of the “Best of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 2010” : “ Kalidas was the beginning of Tamil Cinema and a big hit as it was a novelty for the audience to witness an audio visual with dialogues and songs of their language".
He adds: "When the film reels were brought to Madras, thousands gathered at Madras Central Railway station and followed the reel box to Kinema Central. Crowds showered rose petals, broke coconuts and burnt incense sticks in the procession of the reels of the film, all along Wall Tax Road from the railway station”.