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Karnan (1964)

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Brave and loyal warrior-archer Karna joins the Kauravas to battle the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra.


(as B.R. Panthulu)


(lyrics), (dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Title: Karnan (1964)

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Cast overview:
Shivaji Ganesan ...
Taraka Rama Rao Nandamuri ...
Bhagwan Shri Krishnan (as N.T. Rama Rao)
Ashokan ...
Muthuraman ...
Arjuna (as R. Muthuraman)
Savitri ...
Devika ...
M.V. Rajamma ...


Embarrassed by the birth of a son, an unwed Kunthi (M.V. Rajamma) instructs her maid to abandon him in the river Ganga. The child is set afloat and is rescued, adopted, and named Karna (Shivaji Ganesan) by Charioteer Adhiratha and his wife, Radha. After maturing he does not want to follow in his foster father's footsteps and wants to be a warrior. Unable to secure the patronage of any Guru due to his parentage, he is assisted by Suryadev and then by Sage Parshuram, and excels in all forms of warfare especially archery. He then befriends Rajkumar Dhuryodhana (Ashokan), will participate in the humiliation of Draupadi - setting the initial grounds of the battle of Kurukshetra - where he will join Dhuryodhana to battle the Pandavas - none other than Kunthi's sons. Written by rAjOo (

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Action | Drama | History | War


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Release Date:

14 January 1964 (India)  »

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Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


The film was dubbed in Telugu as Karna, and also in Hindi as Dhaan Veer Karna. See more »


Alternate-language version of Karna (1963) See more »


Manjal Mugam Niram Maari
Performed by P. Susheela
Lyrics by Kannadasan
Music by T.K. Ramamoorthy, M.S. Viswanathan
See more »

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Tamil Classic
28 April 2006 | by (India) – See all my reviews

One of the all time great Tamil Classics with a fantastic star cast, great acting and superb songs.

The movie is about one of the most controversial and much debated character Karnan, of the Great Indian Epic, the Mahabaratha.

Thespian actor Sivaji Ganesan as Karnan sparkles in this role. Sivaji perfectly portrays the despair of Karnan who does not know the secret of his birth, revels in the friendship of Duryodhana, and stands firmly alongside his friend even when he knows Duryodhana is wrong. A classical story of loyalty towards his friend and duty even after he knows who his family is.

N.T. Rama Rao's trademark role as Lord Krishna. Its a role he has made his own in so many mythological movies. He carries out the role with great aplomb and panache. I felt that he hijacked the later part of the movie.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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