Welcome aboard


straight form the editor's desk
a comprehensive section about films that are released and under production
check out the trade facts and figures to find out best films at the box office
plug yourself in to the jukes box and read the audio news and reviews
Paparazzi, interviews, bio-d's, gossip and what not?

innerviews, untold stories, scoop, analysis. the search never ends
date back to the good old days and date with black and white films
USA Special
we are lucky enough. you can find what's up with telugu cinema in US of A
Hyd Scene

what's up with the city of charminar? movie schedules galore
Amchi Mumbai
an exclusive hindi film section handled by sapna
About Us
the people behind the inception this wonderful idea
useful and related links along with the site reviews
Site Map

it's jungle out there. just in case

Analysis Scoop Untold Stories Innerviews Research
Telugu Cinema - Past and Present
- Gudipoodi Srihari
(Exclusive for Idlebrain.com)
Gudipoodi Srihari

Continued from the part 5:


NTR's NAT banner was also launched in this year. PICHI PULLAYYA was made under the direction of Tatineni Prakasa Rao. It was a good movie and NTR gave moving performance. Yet the film did not do well commercially. PAKKINTI AMMAYI, DEVADASU, KANNA TALLI (all released in1953), PEDDAMANUSHULU, PARIVARTANA, RAJU-PEDA, SAKKUBAI AND VIPRANARAYANA (1954). ANARKALI, BANGARUPAPA, ARDHANGI, DONGA RAMUDU, ROJULU MAARAYI, MISSAMMA (1955), TENALI RAMAKRISHNA (1956), KUTUMBA GOWRAVAM, MAYA BAZAR, MLA, PANDURANGA MAHATMYAM, THODU KODALLU (1957), BADIPANTHULU, MANGALYA BALAM, PELLINATI PRAMANALU PRAMANALU, INTIGUTTU, SRI VENKATESWARA MAHATMYAM, SAMPOORNA RAMAYANAM all in1958, ILLARIKAM, JAYABHERI, MAA INTI MAHALAKSHMI (1959), BHAKTA SABARI, MAHAKAVI KALIDASU (1960) are some of the films that marked the first decade of Golden Era of Telugu cinema.

AMARASANDESAM introduced Adurti Subba Rao as gifted director. The film also introduced Amaranath to the screen. This was more or less the Telugu version of Hindi 'Baiju Bawra', a great musical. So was SAKKUBAI that gave us pleasing music through the voices of S.Varalakshmi who played title role and Raghuramayya appeared as Srikrishna? MISSAMMA was another film that put NTR and ANR in main roles. ANR's role is in humour vain. He suited well. Ranga Rao, Savitri, Jamuna and Ramana Reddi get impressive characters that contributed to the overall success. For reasons best known to the producers of Vijaya Productions, A.M.Raja was brought in to sing for
N.T.Rama Rao, though the voices did not match. A.M.Raja also rendered for ANR in the film VIPRANARAYANA also released in the same year. His mellifluous voice went well for 'Premalekhalu', a dubbing of Hindi `Aah'. The songs he and Jikki rendered are still remembered. A.V.M's KALAHASTI MAHTMYAM with Kannada Rajakumar and Malati in lead roles was a pleasing musical, particularly known for its devotional output. Songs rendered by Ghantasala in this film still enrich devotional congregations. RAJU-PEDA, directed by B.A.Subba Rao, is a remake of 'The Prince and The Pauper', great English hit. NTR's performance and also that of Sudhakar in the title role is most memorable. Relangi's song `Jebulo Bomma Jejela Bomma' was a rage in those days for its comical appeal. PEDDAMANUSHULU directed by K.V.Reddi and scripted by D.V.Narasaraju literally shook the youth those days out of slumber, for the way it exposed the misdeeds of members of Panchayat. Relangi plays a simpleton and his satirical song `Gananatha' became immensely popular and some of its lines are even being quoted at times in its context.

ARDHANGI released in 1955 is considered to be a challenging film for Nageswara Rao who plays an offbeat role of a mentally retarded young man with Jaggaiah as his exploiting brother and Savitri as his wife, shaping this handicapped man into a responsible prince of the Zamindari headed by Gummadi. Above all Gummadi plays the Zamindar and father of ANR. In fact Gummadi is two years younger than ANR, but continued to play his father in many films. It is appropriate to mention here that the producers began using ANR and Gummadi as one combination and NTR and S.V.Ranga Rao as another. Gummadi said on an occasion that it was mostly due to the matching personalities. There were also films like Devadas, in which S.V.Ranga Rao played ANR's father.


If we start talking of those days and films, great films parade before our eyes. They brought glory not only to the industry but also to the artistes and technicians. Because of limitations of space, I am trying to name some memorable films.

The character actors and actresses and other stalwarts who contributed to the Golden era were S.V.Ranga Rao, Gummadi, Jaggaiah, Suryakantham, Nirmalamma, Rushyendramani, Hemalatha and in earlier days Kannamba.

BANGARUPAPA released in 1955 is considered as a mature film and was internationally acclaimed. S.V.Ranga Rao played the crucial role of Kotayya, a bad man who changes his ways while looking after a kid he got into his possession. Jaggaiah and Hemalatha also find memorable roles. ANARKALI was again a great musical and director Vedantam Raghavayya made it highly absorbing. Anjali Devi made the film under her own banner with ANR as hero and S.V.Ranga Rao as Akbar. Ghatasala's songs are still cherished. `JAYASIMHA' of NAT with NTR and Anjali in the lead, was another memorable folklore. ROJULU MAARAYI of Sarathi Films and directed by Tapi Chanakya created box office history even in Telangana region where Telugu films were not that popular in those days. In fact, after the success of this film, the newly formed state Government under the leadership of Sanjeevareddi proposed to make Hyderabad as film production center. `Yeruvaaka Sagaloranno' a song written in folk style for this film continues to enjoy popularity. Hindi field picked up Waheeda Rehman who danced for this song and played a role later in Jayasimha. Soon she became a hot choice for heroine roles. It is the success of this film that really made the State Government to sit up and think of shifting Telugu film industry from Madras to A.P. A.N.R. and Janaki played the lead. And Janaki's role was different, and was a bit action oriented, a trace like Vijayasanti these days.

The year 1955 is particularly notable for the birth of Annapoorna Pictures with Dukkipati Madhusudana Rao as its backbone. Their first film `DONGA RAMUDU' directed by K.V.Reddi with ANR and Savitri in the lead and hefty R.Nageswara Rao playing villain was sensational hit. Jamuna plays the sister of the title character Ramudu. The fight scenes between the two, looked like a battle between David and Goliath. A funny method, like the puny hero kicking the giant with both legs while flying into air was adopted and it was received well. R.Nageswara Rao had good innings since then but his career was brief as he died at young age. Or else he would have become a tough competition to Rajanala, another great name for portraying villainy. Rajanala has by and large been associated with films in which Kanta Rao played hero. Rajanala was an
Inevitable choice to play his counter point. B.Vithalacharya, known as 'Janapada Brahma' made films with this pair. KANYADANAM made this year was his first film. Gurazada's KANYASULKAM was made by P.Pullaiah under Vinoda banner. NTR in the most popular character of Gireesam and Savitri as Madhuravani, C.S.R. as Ramappantulu, Govindarajula as Lubdhavadhanlu proved an interesting combination.

TENALI RAMAKRISHNA, with ANR in title role and NTR as Krishna Devaraya, was a notable film of 1956. This was produced by Vikram films and was directed by B.S.Ranga. L.V.Prasad launched his own banner Lakshmi Productions and produced ILAVELPU, a hit. Yoganand directed this film. ANR and Anjali played the lead. Tilak made MUDDU BIDDA with progressive thoughts. CHARANADASI was another hit directed by Tatineni Prakasa Rao featuring Akkineni and Nandamuri in contrasting roles. This film was released at a time when both these artistes were vying for honours. There are clash scenes between the characters played by them that were well balanced and enjoyable.

Andhra Pradesh state was formed this year with Sanjeevareddi as it first Chief Minister. As I had already mentioned, the success of `Rojulu Maarayi' of Sarathi films, in Telanagana region, especially in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, encouraged the launching of Telugu film industry in Hyderabad. And how it came up and who worked for it is another topic. But the activty of filmmaking began at Sarathi studios.

The year 1957 takes credit for being the year it gave birth to the great classic
Of all times - MAYA BAZAR, which is still considered as textbook on cinematography art. "Who is the hero in this film" ANR asked me once when there was a discussion on this film. And quickly he added that the choice is wide. " It can be Abhimanyu, it can be Srikrishna or Ghatotkacha as he created this Mayabazar and chaos." he analysed. The musical content too is varied. Most prominent in the character roles was C.S.R. playing Sakuni. NTR got inspired for the first time by the get up and performance he got in this film under the direction of K.V.Reddi. He always said that K.V.Reddi was his guru. In fact after playing Krishna in this he paved way for him to play this role. He rediscovered himself s mostly suitable artiste to don this character of Krishna.

Of the 33 films released this year, TODIKODALLU of Annapurna films was a hit. But then Anjali Pictures' SUVARNASUNDARI, a great musical, made waves at box office. Adinarayana Rao gave excellent music score. This film is dubbed into Hindi and the tunes remained the same. Md.Rafi and Lata paired as playback singers. The ragamalika duet `Kuhu Kuhu' in Telugu as well as in Hindi was well received.

N.A.T.'s PANDURANGA MAHATMYAM, was another impressive film that earned name for NTR as a brilliant actor and it was also a musical. Kamalakara Kameswara Rao directed it. Songs like ` Jaya Krishna, Mukunda, Murare' continue to sway the music lovers. VINAYAKACHAVATI, Tilak's M.L.A. introducing J.V.Ramanamurthy were notable films.

M.Balayya made a debut as an actor in YETTUKU PAI YETTU, a social directed by Chanakya and made by Sarathi. Balayya later turned into producer, too, while continuing acting. This opened the year1958. Among around 30 films released, BHOO KAILAS is regarded as remarkable film, in which NTR played Ravana and made a good name. ANR was Narada in the film. This was yet another film they played together, after good gap. CHENCHU LAKSHMI with ANR and Anjali in lead roles and directed by B.A.Subba Rao for his own banner, PARVATI KALYANAM with Balayya and Krishnakumari were interesting mythological films. To me Balayya looks pretty good as Siva. None matched him in that gets up. MANCHI MANASUKU MANCHI ROJULU of Sunderlal Nahata and directed by C.S.Rao, ATHA OKINTI KODALE directed by Tilak for Anupama films were other hits of the year.

SIPAYI KOOTURU, made by Vinoda films in 1959, introduced Kaikala Satyanarayana, a well-known character actor today, having long innings since then. His resemblance to NTR is said to be another reason to make quick mark. But it was MAA INTI MAHALAKSHMI; directed by G.Ramineedu that marked the year as a fine film. It earned good name for the director. Nava Sakti Films formed by a few enthusiastic youth of the day produced this film. 25 films were released this year, which include MANGALYA BALAM directed by Adurti Subba Rao for Annapoorna, with ANR and Savitri in the lead; Vijaya's APPUCHESI PAPPU KOODU, Sarada's JAYABHERI, a great musical with ANR and Anjali in the lead and directed by P.Pullaiah and ILLARIKAM of P.A.P. directed by T.Prakasa Rao were notable films.

The year 1960 recorded the release of almost 37 films and quite a few of them are memorable. SANTHI NIVASAM, NAMMINA BANTU, VENKATESWARA MAHATMYAM, opened the year successfully, each recording hundred days run. Kamalakara Kameswara Rao's yet another directorial venture MAHAKAVI KALIDASU enjoys popularity even today. ANR's performance in the title role and the way each scene is chiseled out by the director with care made it earn rewards and awards. It won President's Silver medal.

With Kanta Rao and Krishnakumari in the lead, B.Vithalacharya made KANAKADURGA POOAJAMAHIMA, which established him as 'Jaanapada Brahma'. Ponnaluru Vasanthakumara Reddi launched a studio, Ponnaluru Studio and produced KADEDDULU-EKARAM NELA under the direction of Jampana, a known name for puposeful socials, in those days. DEEPAVALI with NTR and Savitri in the lead was another notable film of the year.

To be continued.........
(Next Monday, Sri Gudipoodi talks about NTR in Prati Nayaka Roles, Comedians & Studios)

Click here to read the interview of Sri gudipoodi Srihari

Tell Gudipoodi how you liked this article. Click here
More to come!
go to Top Do you have a suggestion for us? Please send us the feed back

[home] [editorial] [movies] [trade] [audio] [research] [celebs] [nostalgia] [usa special] [hyd scene] [amchi mumbai] [about us] [site map] [links]
copyright ©1999 idlebrain.com. All rights reserved. privacy policy