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.
FILMS OF THE ERA:
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
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.
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
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.
(Next Monday, Sri Gudipoodi talks about NTR in Prati Nayaka
Roles, Comedians & Studios)
here to read the interview of Sri gudipoodi Srihari