(Beware of the length of this post. It is Injurious to your golden time. Suggest, you use the weekend productively[!!] here)
When Time magazine announced the all-time best 100 movies couple of weeks ago, the Indian web-portals and the Desi bloggers started discussing about the best 10 of Indian movies. This boiled down to 10 best tamil movies as well, thru the tagging phenomena.
But everybody knew 10 is such a small number, that you cannot squeeze all your great movies within that. After all, tamil movie industry is existing for the last (nearly) 7 decades. So, when our Vatsan
initiated the idea of collating the info on the best 100 tamil movies, I agreed. After our mutual exchange of mails, I arrived at a list. Rather than saying best 100 tamil, I can call them 100 milestone movies in tamil filmdom.
@ To make it convenient for you, I have already selected the best 85, what I perceive as the best. (Your opinion still counts)
@ To select the balance 15, I am leaving you a choice of 30 movies, from where you can select and fill in the gap.
@ If you feel, some of your interesting movies are missing in these lists.. Don't worry. I have given you another list of 125 movies at the end of this post...as a LINK. If in your opinion, I missed some other good movies, pl. mention it. It might have been accidental omission.
(don't be scared about the length of this post.. you have one more week to comment. Pl. make use of it)
What you need to do, is this ---
Just review the 85. If you want to delete some, pl.suggest with a replacement.
Add in 15 more. With this you agree with your best 100.
Based on your view, we can consolidate -- once I am back from my hibernation(!!).
For convenience sake, I have classified the tamil movie era into three. (if there are few errors in the classification, pl. bear with it)
Before 1970s - Between 1970-1990 - After 1990
Here comes the first 85.....Before 1970s (25)
- The Old classic of MS.SubbulakshmiCHANDRALEKHA
- The Grand fantasy story in which MK.Radha and TR.Rajakumari acted. The so-called 'Anniyan' type big budget film of the yester years.SABAPATHY
- TR.Ramachandran's comedy moviePARASAKTHI
- Sivaji Ganesan's debut, which had all those sharp dialogues of Kalaingar KarunanidhiVAAZHKAI
- AVM's family movie in which VyjayanthiMala was launched. TR.Ramachandran was also there in that entertainer.ANDHA NAAL
- A songless anti-hero thriller of Sivaji Ganesan. Exceptional movie of those days, since it came out without songs. If I'm not wrong,Jaavar Seetharaman was the script writer.ADUTHA VEETHU PENN
- Again TR.Ramachandran with Anjali Devi and a host of comedians.ARIVAALI
- Hilarious piece from Sivaji-Banumathi pair, in addition to Thangavelu-Muthulakshmi pairPAASA MALAR
- The Grandpa movie of all these Brother-Sister sentiment movies of recent years. (Sivaji, Savithri, Gemini, MN.Rajam)PAGAP PRIVINAI
- Another 'Pa' hit from Bheemsingh-Sivaji combination.MISSIAMMA
- A Romantic Entertainer of Gemini & SaavithriETHIR NEECHAL
- Nobody can forget 'Maadhu' and 'Ambujam Maami' of this K.B. movie.BHAMA VIJAYAM
- K.Balachandar's hilarious family drama.IRU KODUGAL
- Another classical family entertainer from K.B. with Gemini, Sowkar Janaki, Jayanthi. I still apply that 'Two lines' logic (draw a bigger line near a normal one) whenever I encounter a crisis in my life.PADIKAATHA MEDHAI
- Can you forget that song of 'Engirundho Vandhan....' song with Rangarao & Sivaji? Another family drama of Bheem singh.KARNAN
- A Grand Epic brought out in a grand manner with a big star cast of NT.RamaRao, Sivaji and so on.VEERAPANDIYA KATTAPOMMAN
- 'Vayalukku vandhaya? Naattu Nattaaya....?' The repeated dialogues practised by tinsel town's dream entrants,, whenever they try for a cine chance. This movie has made such an impact on the later generation.KAI KODUTHA DEIVAM
- A national award winning movie of those years with Savithri & Sivaji in the lead. Savithri in a mentally disturbed Childish character.KAPPALOTIYA THAMIZHAN
- Another Pre-Independence story on V.O.Chidambaram pillai.KALYANA PARISU
- Entry of Director Sridhar in this movie, has brought out so many nice movies after that. Don't forget Thangavelu-M.Saroja's comedy scenes.NENJIL ORU AALAYAM
- This movie was the start of a different genre of movies on triangular love stories. Nicely performed by kalyankumar, Muthuraman & Devikar. Good delivery by Sridhar again.THILLANA MOHANAMBAL
- Romance, Hilarious moments, Sentiments. What not? You have everything here.KAATHALIKKA NERAMILLAI
- Hilarious Romance movie from Sridhar, with Ravichandran, Muthuraman, Nagesh,Baalayaa, Kanchana....ATHE KANGKAL
- A Racy Thriller of those days, with Ravichandran in the lead roleTHULAABARAM
- Eventhough it had more sad moments rather than happier ones, we got an impressive performance from Saradha. If tissue papers were available those days in India, what could have been the sales at the time of its release?Between 1970-1990 (33)
- Entry for Rajinikanth.. and a strange story for the audience from K.Balachandar.ARANGETRAM
- Once again, a bold subject from K.Balachandar. Whenever I see 'Dalda' vanaspathi can, I remember this movie.AVAL ORU THODARKATHAI
- Again K.Balachandar with a big starcast. Jesudoss's 'Deivam Thandha veedu...' another classical song.AVARGAL
- Single parent subject handled nicely by K.B. in this movie.SILA NEERANGAKALIL SILA MANITHARGAL
- Lakshmi brought out the character of Jayakanthan's novel very lively here. (once again a difficult story line handled well in the screen)16 VAYADHINILE
- Here, he comes. To spread the Tamil manam. Bharathi Rajaa with his Chappani (Kamal) & Parattai (Rajini).UTHIRIPOOKAL
- A classical movie of Mahendran, having Ashwini as the lead character. (If I am not wrong, 'baby' Anju was introduced in this movie)MULLUM MALARUM
- Memorable movie of Rajinikanth & Shobha, from the hands of Mahendran.AARIL IRUNDHU ARUPADHU VARAI
- Another one from Rajinikanth, to remember, with 'Padabat' Jayalakshmi.PASI
- A film from Durai, in which Shobha excelled with her natural acting.THILLU MULLU
- Hilarious comedy riot in those days with Rajini & 'Thengai' Srinivasan.VARUMAYIN NIRAM SIGAPPU
- An issue of Unemployment and a soultion for it, beautifully brought by K.Balachandar with Kamal,Sridevi, SV.Sekhar.
- Issue of adolescence & infatuation, brought out by Balu Mahendra in a sensible manner.MOONDRAM PIRAI
- A classical combination of Balu Mahendra-Kamal-Sridevi-Ilayaraja. Another memorable one, being Great Kannadasan's last movie.ENGEYO KETTA KURAL
- Different Rajini again in the second half.VAAZHVEE MAAYAM
- Kamal with Sridevi/Sripriya/Ambika. After this movie, the meaning for 'beard' has changed completely.THANEER THANEER
- Realistic portrayal of the water scarcity at that time. K.B. again with Saritha & Radha ravi.SIRAI
- RC.Sakthi's handling of subject was unacceptable for few quarters at that time. But Lakshmi excelled here.ACCHAMILLAI ACCHAMILLAI
- You can call it a beginning of Political bashing. K.B. brought out the realism of political dramas thru Rajesh & Saritha.PUTHUMAI PENN
- Newly found Revathi excelled in this movie (immediately after her debut) of Bharathi Raja.MUTHAL MARIYAATHAI
- BharathiRaja made a casting coup here. Sivaji, Radha, Satyaraj, Vadivukkarasi - All in different roles. Excellent work from Ilayaraja too.PUNNAGAI MANNAN
- Another hit from K.B - Kamal combo.UNNAL MUDIYUM THAMBI
- Again K.B & Kamal, with the magic name 'Udhayamoorthy'. Eventhough, it was the remake of the award winning telugu movie 'Rudhra Veena' (Siranjeevi-Shobana by K.B), K.B - Kamal made it fresh.MOUNA RAAGAM
- No more words to describe this Maniratnam classic. Here enters a new creator.SINDHU BHAIRAVI
- Suhasini at her best with Sivakumar as 'JKB'. Another K.B-Ilayaraja classical combo.POOVE POO CHOODA VAA
- Padmini's return to the tamil cineworld was thru this neat movie. You got another decent actress Nadhiya here.EN BOMMUKKUTTI AMMAVUKKU
- Eventhough it was a malayalam remake of Fazil, he made it very neat for the tamil viewers.VEDHAM PUDHITHU
- Bharathirajaa handled Caste in a different way here. Satyaraj-Amala-Saritha were excellent.VEEDU
- Balu Mahendra - Archana combination rocked here with the realism. The thirst of owning a property.. no match to describe it, than this movie.NAAYAGAN
- Already classified as one of the best in world's top 100. What else to describe??VAANAME ELLAI
- Disappointment is not the end of the life. Well brought out by K.Balachandar in this youthful movie.ANJALI
- Maniratnam proved here that he can make not only versatile actors like Kamal to act, but also a 2-3 year old to emote very well.POO VIZHI VASALILAE
- You need to feel those frightened eyes of 'Baby' Sujitha of this movie. A nice thriller from Fazil.After 1990 (27)
MICHAEL MADANA KAMA RAJAN
- No more words to add to this comedy riot from Kamal-Singeetham combination.KELADI KANMANI
- We found a new versatile actor SP.Balasubramaniam in this great movie, directed by Vasanth. One & Only best movie from Vasanth.ROJA
- Remarkable introduction of a genius (ARR) to this world in a fantastic movie. Such a realistic one from Maniratnam.GENTLEMAN
- Shankar's new approach to present stories against the social evils, was received well. Indeed, a good Presentation.THEVAR MAGAN
- A great Bharathan movie with the Thespian and Kamal. Matched with the national award winner S.Janaki.BOMBAY
- Another Turmoil, beautifully told by Mani. Duly supported by AR.Rahman.KIZAKKU CHEEMAIYILE
- 'Paasamalar' again but with the village smell through out. Bharathirajaa got what he wanted from AR.Rahman.MAHANADHI
- Once again a movie which required lots of Tissue papers, which brought out the prison life realistically.KURUTHI PUNAL
- A remake of Govind Nihalni's 'dhrokkal' directed by PC.Sriram. a racy thriller.INDIAN
- Kamal with Shankar & AR.Rahman, aptly supported by Balakumaran's dialogues. Kalakitaanga..BHARATHI KANNAMMA
- Cheran's introduction to this tinsel town as a director on a strong social subject 'Caste'HOUSEFULL
- Parthipan's strong message against terroism, well brought out in this 2 hour fiction. (all happening in a theatre). Does anyone remember Vikram's role in this movie?ANDHI MANDHAARAI
- National award winner by Bharathiraja, duly supported by Vijaykumar.KUTTI
- Directed by Janaki Viswanathan, on the ill-treatment of innocent servant maids. That girl's fate in the climax was a sober one.AVVAI SHANMUGI
- Hilarious tamil version of 'Mrs.Doubtfire' which was presented perfectly by Ks.Ravikumar and Kamalhaasan. Nobody else other KS.R could have presented it better.SATHI LEELAVATHI
- Eventhough it was inspired by an English movie, Balu Mahendra's hilarious presentation was too good. Aptly suppoted by Kamal, Kovai Sarala & Kalpana.HEY RAM
- A bold attempt by Kamal, which needs an appreciation.PADAYAPPA
- The Great Rajini factor with Ramya Krishnan, once again by KS.Ravikumar.SETHU
- You got 'Cheeyan' Vikram in this movie. Everybody knows about this baby of Bala. So, I'm stopping here.BHARATHI
- A period movie amongst commercial movies, became a hit surprisingly. Kudos to its director-Cum-IAS officer Gnana Rajasekaran.THE TERRORIST
- Santosh Sivan's movie on terrorism.AZHAGI
- Different touch by Thankar Bacchan, with a perfect delivery by Nadita Das.JAMEELA
- The movie which didn't click in the box office, eventhough Ponn vannan attempted perfectly to show the lights on the Islamic rules.(particularly 'thalak')PITHAMAGAN
- The national award winner Vikram with Surya & Bala. Surprisingly, Laila acted (!!) in this movie.ANBE SIVAM
- A Surprise package from Sundar.C, since he joined Kamalhaasan & Madhavan to deliver this.KANNATHIL MUTHAMITTAL
- Once again Mani, this time on a different issue. Aptly supported by national award winner 'Baby'Keerthana (Parthipan's daughter) and Madhavan with Simran. (Off course, Nandita Das too!!!)AUTOGRAPH
- Cheran proved in this movie once again with a subdued portrayal. Glad that it was duly recognised by the National Awards Committee.
hmmmm.................let me breathe!!!! You can take some rest......
Now fill this gap of 15
UTHAMA PUTHIRAN - Inspired by the English movie 'The man in the Iron Mask'. Sivaji directed by Sridhar (pl.correct me, if I am wrong about the director!!)
SERVER SUNDARAM - A nice movie penned by K.B.
MAJOR CHANDRAKANTH - Another Drama, which brought a versatile actor 'Major' Sundarrajan. (who took the surname from the movie)
SAADHU MIRANDAAL - Another one from Nagesh
NEER KUMIZHI - Nagesh again as a patient. Less comedy, still a touching one
THEIVA MAGAN - Sivaji in 3 roles.
THIRUVIZHAYADAL - Great mythical movie. We have learnt a lots of religious things from this movie. Not to forget 'Tharumi' Nagesh.
ULAGAM SUTRUM VAALIBAN - MGR brought Japan's world Expo at that time in a colorful manner. (including Singapore, Malaysia,Thailand etc.,)
UYAIRNTHA MANITHAN - Sivaji & 'Major' excelled here in their acting.
NOOLVELI - Does anyone remember this movie in which SarathBabu, Sujatha & Saritha acted?
RAAJA PAARVAI - Made in attempt by Kamal in production. Singeetham with the megaphone in his hands.
PALAIVANACHOLAI - A movie on the friendship and not love.
ALAIGAL OYIVATHILLAI - New generation of love stories started hitting the shore after this.
MANN VAASANAI - The name itself makes you to smell the content of the movie, isn't it? Fantastic introduction of Asha Keelluni, sorry Revathi.
VITHI - Surprise hit from K.Balaji's production camp. Good performance by Poornima and Sujatha.
MANA KANAKKU - A realistic movie on the behind-the-scenes activities of 'kollywood' at that time. RC.Sakthi brought out the real talent of Radha & Ambika in this movie.
SANTHIYA RAAGAM - BaluMahendra again with Archana, Chokkalinga Bagahavadar & Banuchandar.
PRIYANKA - A remake of Meenakshi Seshadri's 'Damini'. Good delivery by Revathy and Prabu.
KARUTHAMMA - Different movie once again from BharathiRaaja on the killings of infant girl babies in the southern part of our state. Duly supported by AR.Rahman, eventhough Ananda Vikatan reviewed the music as a 'Pomeranian Dog in a village'.
MOHA MUL - A movie which introduced an IAS officer (Gnana Rajasekaran) into the movie world. Archana Joglekar and Abhishek (of 'Kolangkal') in the lead.
KAADHALUKU MARIYADHAI - Fazil brought out the talents of Vijay and Shalini in a fantastic way. His favourite Ilayaraja duly supported by him.
PORKAALAM- Cheran's movie on giving life to a handicapped.
VETRI KODI KATTU - A positive movie from Cheran directing those guys with overseas dreams.
OORUKKU NOORU PER - The movie which fetched the best director national award for the editor B.Lenin.
NANBA NANBA - A movie which brought the best supporting actor national award to Chandrashekar.
KATHAL KONDEN - Dhanush in a different role and shed the lights on a new director Selvaraghavan.
KAAKKA KAAKKA - Fantastic screenplay brought another director Gautam Menon under the lights. Surya at his best.
VIRUMAANDI - Needn't describe much about Kamal & Pasupathy.
KAMARAJ - Unfortunately, this movie on this great leader didn't succeed in the box office. Richard Madhuram as Kamaraj wasexcellent.
KAADHAL - Another realistic movie which spelt out the emotions beautifully and practically. Good music by Joshua Sridhar.
hey.. Tamil movie industry has churned out so many memorable movies, isn't it? So, if you need some more options, pl.go to this link to get another 125!!!
Specifically excluded Dubbed movies - which were also good.
If you had the energy to come upto this level, pl. finish this post (dated 01-Aug) as well, which has the final 15 selected by many of the bloggers.