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Chaduvukunna Ammayilu (1963)

Director: Adurthi Subba Rao

Writers: Madhusudhana Rao D. (screen adaptation),
Tripuraneni Gopichand (dialogue)
Music: S.Rajeswara Rao lyrics: Dasarathi
Nageshwara Rao Akkineni ... Sekhar
Savitri ... Sujatha
Krishna Kumari ... Vasanthi
Relangi Venkatramaiah
Saroja E.V. ... Latha
Allu Ramalingaiah
Ramanna Panthulu Vinnakota
Murthy D.V.S.
Sarojini Kopparapu

Dukkipati Madhusudhana Rao was an admirer of the author, Dr. Sridevi's works and wanted her to write the script for his next venture. The theme he suggested was that of educated working women and the adversaries they face. Unfortunately, Dr. Sridevi passed away quite suddenly during the course of the script-writing, and they had to find a replacement. Tripuraneni Gopichand said he will do the dialogue and suggested Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani for completing the story. Just as the script was nearing completion, Gopichand passed away. Athreya, who was asked to finish the script, hesitated fearful of the misfortune that seemed to trail the script. Adurthi and Dukkipati had to finish the script with Dukkipati not feeling fully satisfied with the result.

A brief synopsis: Sujatha (Savithri) belongs to a well-to-do family and her best friend Vasantha (Krishna Kumari) is a middle-class girl. Sujatha is giving car-driving lessons to Vasantha when they accidentally hit Shekar, a bank employee. He gets enraged at first, but he saves them from a police case and they become friends. Both Sujatha and Vasantha fall for Shekar. Latha (EV Saroja), another friend runs away from home to escape
marriage and Shekar's friend Anand falls in love with her. Sujatha gets to know that Shekar loves Vasantha and marries Prabhakar (Sobhan Babu), whom her father chooses.

Meanwhile, Vasantha's grandfather gets ill. Shekar decides to help her and sends money through Anand to her, who takes Latha and runs away to Vijayawada with that money. Shekar is accused of stealing money from the bank, and complications arise in their lives. Prabhakar and Sujatha deal with the situation, with Vasantha and Shekar getting together in the end.

Vauhini Studios being unavailable, they decided to shoot in Sarathi Studios that had been closed down since 1962. This was at a time when the Telugu film industry was still based in Madras. Akkineni, who was to play the lead, was informed that the entire shooting would be in Hyderabad. Painters, sound engineers, carpenters and other technicians who worked at Vauhini were recruited to renovate Sarathi Studios. A governamental subsidy was promised to the producers for bearing the extra cost. This was the first movie that Annapurna Pictures shot at Hyderabad. The post-production including mixing and re-recording were done in Hyderabad; this too was a first. To cut production costs, the actors stayed at the rooms at Sarathi instead of in a hotel.

As the writers were many, so were the lyricists i.e., Arudra, CiNaRe, Kosaraju and Dasarathi. The music was given by Saluri Rajeswara Rao. Ashalatha Kulkarni, a promising singer who entertained the guests at the 100 days function of Iddaru Mithrulu, gave the playback for two songs. Dasarathi appears in a scene at the men's hostel in a comical sequence. Sobhan Babu worked for the first time with Annapurna Pictures, in the role of Savithri's husband. This combination was not really appreciated, with noted producer Chakrapani criticizing the pairing openly. Dukkipati responded saying casting was done according to the characters and not the actors' image.

Lava Kusa, an unprecedented blockbuster, released around the same time as Chaduvukunna Ammayilu. Still, the latter completed a 100-day run in spite of the former movie's color-flick euphoria. Some medical representatives sued the producers but lost. They had taken offence for a scene which involves EV Saroja throwing her sandal at Padmanabham (playing a medical rep) who pockets the sandal and leaves. But for Dukkipati, the hurdles were minute. He made 12 movies at Sarathi after this. It would not be too much to say that the Telugu industry started setting up its base in Hyderabad with Annapurna's Chaduvukunna Ammayilu.

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