Landmark Films

Year Film Director Major Cast  
1928 Vigathakumaran J. C. Daniel J. C. Daniel, Rosy First Malayalam film. The first Indian film, Raja Harishchandra was produced in 1912.
1933 Marthanda Varma P. V. Rao Jaidev, Devaki, Padmini Second and last silent film. First historical drama film and novel to film adaptation.
1938 Balan S. Nottani Kamalan, Laxmikutty First talkie.
1948 Nirmala P. J. Cherian Joseph Cherian , Baby Joseph First film produced by a Malayali. Also the first film with songs. Lyrics were by noted poet G. Shankara Kurup.
1951 Jeevithanauka K. Vembu Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair First superhit. Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair becomes the first superstar.
1954 Neelakkuyil Ramu Karyat, P. Bhaskaran Sathyan, Miss Kumari Considered as the first mature film in Malayalam. The film in excelled in direction, screenplay, acting and music.
1955 Newspaper Boy P. Ramadas Master Moni Considered as the first neorealistic film.
1961 Kandam Bacha Coat T. R. Sundaram Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair, Prem Nawaz, Ambika First colour film.
1964 Bhargavi Nilayam A. Vincent Madhu, Prem Nazir, Vijaya Nirmala, P.J. Antony First horror film. Story snd screenplay was by renowned writer Vaikom Muhammed Bashir.
1965 Chemmeen Ramu Karyat Madhu, Sathyan, Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair, Sheela First South Indian film to win the National Film Award for Best Film.
1965 Murappennu A. Vincent Prem Nazir, P.J. Antony, Adoor Bhasi, Sharada First film to shoot extensively outdoors. It was the first film venture of writer M.T. Vasudevan Nair.
1966 Iruttinte Atmavu P. Bhaskaran Prem Nazir, Santha Devi Noted for being the first serious attempt at sensitive story telling. Considered as the masterpiece work of P. Bhaskaran and Prem Nazir.
1972 Swayamvaram Adoor Gopalakrishnan Madhu, Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair, Sharada First film to participate in an International film festival. It was the debut film of the director and it is also the first Malayalam film to win National Film Award for Best Directing.
1975 Prayanam Bharathan Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair Considered as the starting point of middle-stream cinema, a mix of serious themes and mass appeal. It was the debut of director Bharathan and screenwriter Padmarajan.
1978 Avalude Ravukal I.V. Sasi Soman, Sukumaran, Seema This movie is the first “A” certificate movie in Malayalam. One of the bold movies of all time.. I.V Sasi the experimental and the most popular director at that time tried to highlight on a theme which most mainstream directors are scared to get into.
1978 Thacholi Ambu Appachan Prem Nazir, Jayan South India’s first CinemaScope film.
1982 Padayottam Jijo Punnoose Prem Nazir, Madhu, Mammootty, Mohanlal, Lakshmi India’s first indigenously produced 70 mm film.
1984 My Dear Kuttichathan Jijo Punnoose Arvind, Sonia India’s first 3D film.
1987 New Delhi Joshi Mammootty, Sumalatha, Urvashi This film creates most number of remakes to other languages by same director with same title. The film was remade to Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and Marathi although criticism were that the film was only a low class commercial movie.
1988 1921 I.V. Sasi Mammootty First Malayalam movie to make a war based movie “1921” written by T.Damodaran (also, 1921 was the first ever Malayalam movie to be nominated in the Italian Film Festival)
1988 Piravi Shaji N Karun Premji This film bags the most number of international awards in the history of Malayalam cinema.
1989 Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha Hariharan Mammootty, Suresh Gopi Wonderful classic film scripted by M.T.Vasudevan Nair
1989 Mathilukal Adoor Gopalakrishnan Mammootty This film was shown in (42) most number of international film festivals in the history of Malayalam cinema.
1991 God Father Siddique-Lal N. N. Pillai, Thilakan, Mukesh, Kanaka The film to that got the longest theatrical run.
1996 Mayoora Nritam Vijayakrishnan Vikram Kennedy, Mohini, Indrans The first Malayalam film’s trailer shown in television.
2000 Kinnarathumbikal R. J. Prasad Shakeela This superhit low-budget theatrical softporn film inspired a series of similar productions in the next few years, which adversely affected the core industry’s quality and reputation.
2006 Moonnamathoral V.K. Prakash Jayaram, Samvrutha Sunil, Jyothirmayi, Sherin, Vineeth The first Malayalam Film to be distributed in digital format.
2008 Twenty:20 Joshy Mammootty, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi First film to star almost all actors in the industry since serious film-making started. The film was produced for raising funds for the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes.
2009 Pazhassiraja T.Hariharan Mammootty, Padmapriya, Kanika Subramaniam, R. Sarathkumar, Manoj K. Jayan The most expensive Malayalam film with reported budget of Rs. 27 crores.