Beginning of Malayalam Cinema:
The Malayalam films had a very humble beginning in 1928 with the silent film Vigatha Kumaran written, produced, directed and acted by J.C.Daniel. The movie was a flop. The second film was also a silent one named Marthanda Varma which was an adaptation of the famous novel with the same title by C.V.Raman Pillai. The film was completed in 1931.
The first talkie in Malayalam was Balan which was made in 1938. Its screenplay and songs were written by Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai and directed by S Nottani. Early Malayalam movies were produced solely by outsiders. Prahladan also directed by Nottani was released in 1940. Artist P.J.Cherian was the first Malayali producer in this field. First film studio of Kerala, Udaya was established in 1948 at Alappuzha (Alleppey) by M. Kunckacko and K.V.Koshy. Vellinakshatram was the first movie to be made at Udaya and it is th first film made in Kerala.
Early Ages of the Malayalam Film Industry:
Jeevithanauka made in 1951 was the first Superhit of Malayalam cinema. The film was a musical drama which was based on the theme of the joint family prevailed in Kerala during those days. The film was produced by Udaya. Merryland Studios came into being in 1951 at Trivandrum. It was set up by P.Subrahmaniam. Both Udaya and Merryland Studios produced their own films in the early ages of its inception. Neelakkuyil captured national interest by winning the President's silver medal in 1954. This film is considered to be the first authentic Malayalam film because of its well written Malayalam script by the notable novelist Uroob and directed by Ramu Kariat and P.Bhaskaran. Another popular film of the fifties was Newspaper Boy released in 1955 which tells the story of a Priniting press employee and his miserable life. The first colour film of Malayalam was Kandam Becha Coat.
Prominent Actors of the Early Decades:
Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Sathyan, Prem Nazir, S.P.Pillai, Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair, Miss.Kumari, B.S.Saroja, Kumari Thankam, Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai, T.S.Muthiah, Padmini, Prema, and Sheela were the prominent artists of the decade.