Karnan (1964)

 ●  Tamil ● 2 hrs 57 mins

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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.
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Did you know? The film was dubbed in Telugu as 'Karna', and also in Hindi as 'Dhaan Veer Karna'. Read More
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as Subhangi
as Bhanumati
as Karna
as Bhagwan Shri Krishnan
as Bheeshma
as Athirathan
as Young Kunti
as Munivar
as Sun god
as Kunti
as Meghanathan
as Vrishasena
as Dharmar
as Parasurama
as Arjuna
as Duryodhana
as Indra
as Moon god
as Ghatotkatch
as Sakuni
as Vidhuran



Production Company


Screenplay Writer
Story Writer
Dialogue Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Film Type:
Spoken Languages:
Hindi, Telugu
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Datasat Digital Sound, Mono
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
Filming Locations:
The battle scenes for the film were shot with troupes of the 61 Cavalry Regiment, using 80 elephants, 400 horses and three cameras.

'Karnan', is said to be based on the life of the character Karna from the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

The film had won the 'Certificate of Merit' for the Third Best Feature Film at the 11th National Film Awards.

After the filming of Karnan was complete, all the chariots specially made for the film's war sequences in Kurukshetra, were donated to the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur.

A few shots involving Sivaji Ganesan and NT Rama Rao took as many as four days to shoot, because of the large number of personnels involved.

The film was dubbed in Telugu as 'Karna', and also in Hindi as 'Dhaan Veer Karna'.

Karnan was the most expected film during the festival occasion of Pongal on 14 January 1964, and Shanthi theatre in Chennai, which released the film, had a 60 feet tall banner of a chariot to attract the audience.

The entire soundtrack of the film was completed in a span of three days.

It is the first Tamil classic film to be digitized for a re-release.