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Retro movies of Rajini (until the late 1980s) are rightful treasures of Kollywood. Watch our recommendation of the superstar’s yesteryear hits and be baffled!

Note: Movies such as Thillu Mullu, Billa etc weren’t included in order to introduce certain lesser known movies through this list.


Thappu Thalangal

Director - K.Balachander
Cast - Saritha, Premila Joshi and Kamal Haasan (cameo)
Release Date - 30 Oct 1978
Plot: A local thug falls in love with a prostitute and the duo decide to renew their life, but quickly find out that their past continues to haunt them.
Watch for: Rajini's antics, Saritha's brilliant portrayal of her character, Balachader's brilliance and Kamal Haasan's cameo.


Engeyo Ketta Kural

Director - S.P.Muthuraman
Cast - Ambika, Radha
Release Date - 14 Aug 1982
Plot: The plot follows the story of a man who falls in love with his cousin who doesn't like him. When the two get married, she decides to elope with another man, earning the wrath of the society. What happens when she realizes her folly?
Watch for: The engaging and grounded melodrama.



Aval Appadithan

Director - C.Rudhraiya
Cast - Kamal Haasan, Sripriya
Release Date - 30 Oct 1978
Plot: The plot traces the dysfunctional personality of a woman who leads a care free life riddled with relationships. When two men, her boss, and a documentary filmmaker, enter her life, she learns an important truth about women's liberation in society.
Watch for: By far one of the earliest scripts to discuss feminism with modern day's depth. Watch out for Rajini - Kamal's contrasting roles.


Bhuvana Oru Kelvikuri

Director - S.P.Muthuraman
Cast - Sivakumar, Sumithra, Y Gee Mahendra, Venniradai Moorthy
Release Date - 2 Sept 1977
Plot: The film explains the conflict between the values and life principles of two friends.
Watch for: Rajini's first transition to hero-oriented roles. Sivakumar's first as the antagonist.


Ninaithale Inikkum

Director - K.Balachander
Cast - Kamal Haasan, Jayaprada
Release Date - 14 April 1979
Plot: The plot follows the life and times of a band travelling to Singapore on a musical journey. The story is said to have  been inspired by the band The Beatles.
Watch for: K.B's light comedy and the sensation of M.S.V's music. Oh, and also, The scene where Rajinikanth is challenged to flip his cigarette 10 times or lose a finger.



Director - J.Mahendran
Cast - Sridevi, Deepa Unnimary, Prabhakar Reddy, Kanchana
Release Date - 15 Aug 1980
Plot: A con-man gets framed for a murder done by a living look alike of his. How does he come out of all the confusion caused because of this?
Watch for : Rajini's finesse in carrying out two contrasting roles and for the ease with which Sridevi carries her role.


Un Kannil Neer Vazhindal

Director - Balu Mahendra
Cast - Madhavi, Y Gee Mahendran, V.K.Ramasamy
Release Date - 20 June 1985
Plot: The plot follows a cop who gets framed on false charges despite having his friend killed for trying to stop prostitution in the town by the other corrupt officers in the station. How does he retaliate?
Watch for: Balu Mahendra's serene scripting



Director - S.P.Muthuraman
Cast - Lakshmi, Saritha, Vijayashanti, Sarath Babu
Release Date - 15 Aug 1981
Director : A womanizing father is taught a lesson by his son, who believes in values.
Watch for: Rajini's antics as a womanizer.


Mullum Malarum

Director - J.Mahendran
Other Cast - Sarath Babu, Fatafat Jayalaxmi, Shoba
Release date- 15 Aug 1978
Plot- A factory worker gets fired for a chance neglection of his work. Depressed and enraged at his boss for firing him, he directs his frustration towards him. Will he give up his ego and agree to his sister's love for his boss?
Watch for: Mahendran's characterisation of Rajini, Balu Mahendra's cinematography and Illayaraja's music.


Moondru Mudichu

Director: K.Balachander
Other Cast: Kamal Haasan, Sridevi
Release Date:22 Oct 1976
Plot: The lives of two friends takes a turn after one falls in love with a woman who is also the fancy of the other. 
Watch for: Rajini - Kamal duo, magical screenplay, and Rajini's antagonistic role.