Direction: Shyam Benegal
Banner: Raviraj International
Story: CT Khanolkar's novel Kondura (1966)
Screenplay: Shyam benegal, Arudra & Girish Karnad
Camera: Govind Nihlani
Music: Vanraj Patil
Rao Gopal Rao,
Benegal's only film in Telugu was made in Andhra region in which his earlier political Hindi dramas (Ankur, 1973; Nishant, 1975) are located. Continuing his interest in the politics of rural exploitation, this is a morality tale linking religious illusions with personal frustrations.
Adapting a mystical Marathi novel, it tells of the Brahmin Parashuram (Nag) who meets the sage Konduraswamy (Rao Gopal Rao) and receives a boon: in exchange for a vow of celibacy he receives a root able to terminate pregnancies. Parashuram's wife (Vanisree) reluctantly goes along with her husband's new convictions and soon he becomes known as a holy man.
In his dreams, the 'holy man' covets the daughter-in-law of rich scoundrel and, mistakenly assuming that the scoundrel impregnated her, Parashuram administers the abortive root to the woman with disastrous results. Disillusioned, Parasuram realizes his asceticism was an act of naivety and he proceeds to rape his own wife who then commits suicide. The film ends with a voice-over instructing the audience to consider the implications of the story.
The original novel, set in the culturally primitive Konkan, uses its central mythic narrative to create different states of perception so that the viewer is consistently asked to interrogate the protagonist's experiences, leaving open the question of whether the frustrated and exploited Parashuram every really saw what he says he saw. This film sidesteps this level of complexity and settles for a more standard political critique of feudalism.
Kotha Bangaru Lokam Copied Scenes
Direction: Shyam Benegal
Banner: Sridevi Arts
Screenplay & Direction: Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
Story & Dialogues: Jandhyala
Music: Ilaya Raja
Cinematography: PC Sreeram, VSR Swamy & Kabir Lal
Presentation: SP Bala Subramanyam
Producer: Anita Krishna
Aditya 369 is the name of the time machine invented by an absent-minded professor Ram Das (Tinu Anand). It is a Telugu version of Hollywood's 'Back to the future' series. But Telugu rendition by director Singeetam Srinivasa Rao and writer Jandhyala is meticulous. This film is also made by technically strong with stereophonic sound system that could be enjoyed in theaters where there is provision for stereo effects. This is also a cinema scope and the total result is awesome experience for the way the machine moves into past or future. Most of the film is made in the laboratory, it seems, as there are quite a few visual delights, explaining scientific knowledge.
The film opens showing Professor Ramdas's antics and his time machine, kept in an isolated laboratory. Krishna Kumar (Bala Krishna) is a young post-graduate and professor's cute daughter Hema (Mohini) take interest in the machine. A weird looking smuggler Raja Varma also wants to appropriate it. Rajavarma by then has already knocked off a huge diamond belonging to Krishna Devaraya period, from a museum and kept a fake one there. A lad Kishore (Master Tarun) is the witness of the theft. Having created all the important characters, director Singeetham flags off the journey of time machine with Krishna Kumar and Hema, with a policeman (Velu) accidentally entering into it. They go into past to Sri Krishna Devaraya period. So we begin seeing a historical for sometime featuring all the important episodes that the empires regime is linked with. And Jandhyala, the writer, also adds his own bit of imagination, inter-weaving the modern characters of Krishna Kumar, Hema and also the policeman. This is used purely for the farce. But the common factor is Diamond, about which we again see when the three travel, this time, into future a post third world war land, ravaged by nuclear wars, suffering from radiation. The sets for these scenes are well designed. So the three also experience what is there in store for this earth a hundred years hence, along with the prediction that Krishna Kumar died in the hands of Raja Varma in a fight to retrieve the diamond. Now once they are back to present to their home, Raja Varma is awaiting to knock off the Time Machine to disprove the news that he was killed by Raja Varma.A very interesting film, a bit highbrow too. Yet a lot of entertaining scenes are incorporated. Bala Krishna had enough scenes to show his talent, not only as Krishna Kumar, but also the second character he is given as 'Sri Krishna Devaraya'. For Hema's role new talent Mohini is adequate. Velu gives relief in lighter vein. There are dance and songs sequences that are appropriately located. Ilaya Raja takes credit for melodious music. Tinu Anand, as a professor, impresses. Tarun in few scenes leaves his mark. Photograthy by PC Sreeram is another highlight of the film.
Banner: Chaitanya Chitra
Story: Krishan Chandra's novel Jab Khet Jaage (1948)
Direction: Gautam Ghose
Dialogues: B Narsing Rao & Pran Rao
Music: Gautam Ghose, Vinjanuri Seeta & Naga Bhushanam
Lyrics: Suddala Hanumanthu & Yadagiri
Camera: Kamal Naik
Screenplay: Gautam Ghose, B Narsing Rao & Partha Benarjee
Producer: B Narsing Rao & G Ravindranath
Set during one of India's main peasant raisings, the Telangana insurrection between 1945 and 1951 in the pre-Independent state of Hyderabad, the Bengali director's first feature film tells the story of Chander's best-known novel from the peasant's point of view.
A young peasant, Ramaiah, rebels against the corrupt rule of the Nizam, and when his girl friend has to submit to the potentate's sexual coercion, Ramaiah leaves. He befriends a Marxist activist (the raising was CPI inspired) and participates in the independence struggle. When the peasants take over the village after the Independence, their anger boils over and they perpetrate a massacre.
In 1948 the Indian army marched into Hyderabad and suppressed the rising. Many of the ousted landlords returned to the power by becoming Congress officials, so that the peasants had to face the same struggle all over again.
This film is made in a documentary style inspired by Latin American political cinema but also uses Indian folk idioms such as Burra Katha style (the political education sequence with the union leader Maqbool). The film's view of rising is mostly an uncritical one, esp. in comparison with recent analysis by historians sympathetic to political groups currently working in Telangana.
Banner: People's Art Productions
Direction: T Prakash Rao
Producer: P Sivaramaiah
Screenplay: T Prakash Rao & MS Chowdary
Story: Vasireddy & Sunkara
Lyrics: Vasireddy, Sunkara, V Srikrishna & Srisri
Camera: Ajoy Kar
Music: Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao
NT Rama Rao,
SV Ranga Rao,
TG Kamala Devi,
Padmavathi and Baby Krishna Veni
Palletooru is a commercial hit. It served as a debut venture for the director T Prakash Rao and also has the Bengali cameraman-director shot this film. This film introduced a new ruralist melodrama. Contrasting scientific enlightenment with the backward superstition, the film also pits progressive hero Chandram (NTR) against the villainous moneylender Ganapathy (SV Ranga Rao)
A second plot strand features Kondaiah (Nagabhushanam) who wants to marry Suguna (Savitri). The moneylender tries to close down Chandram's Vishal Andhra (Greater Andhra) library in order to construct a temple in that place.When the village is hit by famine, he starts hoarding food. The hero opposes him for which, he is arrested and tied in the court. The long court scene confronts the peasantry that supports Chandram with the rich landlords who persecute him.
The film used verity footage of Sankranthi festival shot in the Krishna district and included progressive poet Sri Sri's noted lyric Polalananni Balaladunni. Other ruralist films like Peda Raithu (1952) followed in it's wake.
Chittor V. Nagaiah
Devulapalli Venkata Krishna Sastri
Chittor V. Nagaiah
Original Music by
Chittor V. Nagaiah
Rama Rao Adepalli .... assistant composer
Meena Kapoor .... playback singer
Vasantha Kumari M.L. .... playback singer
Rama Rao M.S. .... playback singer
Chittor V. Nagaiah .... playback singer
Chittor V. Nagaiah ... Sivaram
Raja Kumari T.N.
Mudigonda Lingamurthy ... Dhanraj
Vedavathi ... Leela
In the early 1950, raising stars like NTR and ANR are making the hey. At that time people thought that it was Nagaiah turn to bid adieu. During that period Nagaiah made a film on 'Our India Films' banner. He directed and acted in this film, 'Naa Illu'. His favorite cameraman MA Rehman was roped in. This film was based on a story by Devulapalli Krishna Sastri. TR Raja Kumari, Girija, Vedavathi, Chaya Kumari , Rama Sarma, Lingamurthy, Darai Swamy were the other actors in that film. 'Naa Illu' is a bilingual film. It was also produced in Tamil as 'En Veedu' simultaneously. That's the reason why TN Rajakumari was chosen for the role of heroine.
Just like the Nagaiah's films, 'Naa Illu' too is a musical film. 'Adigadigo' is the highlight song of the film. It was based on Saranga Raagam. 'Naa Illu' best describes the Nagaiah taste of good music. Without upsetting the tradition, he used to make a fusion of Hindustani and Karnatic music. Nagaiah is the first south Indian music director to induce non-regional music. There are two Hindi songs in 'Naa Illu'. These two songs are story based ones. Hero Nagaiah goes to Bombay in this film. He made Meena Kapoor sing to songs, 'Pushponka Rani' and 'Main Haste Gaate Chali' to have the nativity. Vidya in this film is a Bombay dancer. So Nagaiah included a couple of Hindi songs to justify it.
The story of 'Naa Illu is based on how rich people cheat naive people. Nagaiah narrated it in an investigative approach. This film revolve around the kids of Sivaram, who want to become musicians and singers. Nagaiah donned the role of an ideal man. He gave up his romantic image in this film.
In 1953, Kutumba Rao wrote in the magazine 'Kinema', "In this film Nagaiah introduced two characters 'Radio Akkayya' and 'Radio Annayya'. He named few other characters as Pardha Saradhi, Dwaram Venkata Swamy Naidu. This shows his unending love towards the field of music". When Nagaiah' character goes to Jail on the charges of assassination, his wife refuses to accept him. Even in the real life Nagaiah was cheated as a producer by his managers.
'Naa Illu' bombed at box-office. Since Nagaiah was financially sound at that time, he opted for another film called RamaDasu'. Even that film went for a toss.
'Naa Illu' is one of the most memorable films from the past.
Story: Ravi Kondala Rao
Dialogues, Screenplay & Production: Mullapudi Venkata Ramana
Music: KV Mahadevan
Photography: RK Raju
Editing: Anil Malnad
Ravi Kondala Rao,
Saakshi Ranga Rao,
Director Bapu has carved out a niche for himself even in his film making like in his painting works as an ingenious creative mind who is capable of packing up native stories and presenting them with native touch. While doing so he goes into greater details and tries to express what he wanted to a thorough close-up shots that film the screen. You sometimes see just two beautiful eyes on the screen, just bangles, and other occasions an eye peeping through two fingers. Mullapudi Venkata Ramana, a humor writer of excellence, always makes a combination with Bapu and is known as Ramana's word and Bapu's line are made for each other. The two after a considerable gap almost make a comeback with the film "Pelli Pustakam" made for Sri Seetarama films for which Mullapudi Venkata Ramana himself is the director. The technical like is also strong with KV Mahadevan scoring music, RK Raju's camera work and Anil Malnad's editing. Besides Arudra pens lyrics for this film and all the songs are well written and are equally well scored by Mahadevan, which turn out to be one of the basic assets of the film well picturised by Bapu. This film also introduces two girls with incisive looks and talent using them for appropriate roles. Thus the film is an experiment by itself of testing Bapu's hand again giving the best of native touch.
The story in short is almost a rehash of good old film Missamma. For that matter, there is a reference to that film in one of the scenes when a newly married couple Krishna Murthy (Rajendra Prasad) and Satyabhama (Divyavani) agree to pretend unmarried as they go seeking a job in an office whose boss wants only to give just a job to one member in the family. In Missamma, the spinsters pretend married couple while in this film the married couple pretends spinsters. There are also character to character in parallel like Gummadi replacing SV Ranga Rao, Sindhuja replacing Jamuna, Subhalekha Sudhakar replacing a similar role that of A Nageswara Rao. The entire story here is a kind of battle of wits the couple trying to hide their relationship for situation getting created with the danger of exposing them. There are also scenes between husband and wife quarrelling over petty issues particularly when Satyabhama doubts the relationship between her husband and the boss's daughter. The narration moves mainly on humorous course and it is the way the couple fight like two children on silly issues but these are the scenes that are down to earth that takes audiences with them. The company's proprietor (Gummadi) finally comes round and realizes his mistake in the end when the drama taken to heights when Satyabhama was to breakdown. The two expose themselves tell their proprietor their relationship and that is when the proprietor relaxes the rule and even grants more money in appreciation of their truthfulness towards each other. There is a cinematic adjustment as to why they had to compromise with the boss principles is when they narrate the vows of their families at either side needing some money for some urgent medical treatment.
Rajendra Prasad offers a commendable portrayal well supported by new find Divyavani and also Sindhuja playing boss daughter. The artistic creativity of Bapu is also found in one scene when the company comes out with a saree with new designs and the border and design on the saree is nothing but 'Muggu' that women folk draw in front of their houses decorating their front yards. Gummadi gets a fine character after a long time and presents it with ease giving it a characteristic relief. The other artists like Subhalekha Sudhakar also offer good performances.
Banner: Saradhi Pictures
Direction: Tapi Chanakya
Story: Tapi Chanakya, KL Narayana & CVR Prasad
Dialogues: Tapi Dharma Rao
Lyrics: Tapi Dharma Rao & Kosaraju
Music: Master Venu
A Nageswara Rao,
CSR Anjaneyulu & Waheeda Rehman
This major musical hit and reformist rural melodrama often cited as the film, which redefined the formula for commercial success in 50's Telugu cinema.
The peasant hero Venu (Nageswara Rao) takes on the oppressive might Zamindar (CSR Anjaneyulu) and succeeds, helped by a sympathetic police force, in redistributing the land to the peasants.
The hero also married a low-caste woman (Janaki) rejected by his parents. The film was apparently inspired by Congress (1955) where Nehru called for a 'socialist pattern of society in which the principle means for production are under social ownership', a view replicated in the film's dialogues and lyrics.
The song Eruvaka Saagaloi, pictured on on Waheeda Rehman who thus became a star, was a mega hit in Telugu and is regarded as signaling the advent of a new generation. According to VAK Ranga Rao, the song's tune is used by CR Subbaraman in Sri Lakshmamma Katha (1950), where the folk-singers Seeta and Anasuya claimed authorship, although it was probably adapted from a 20's HMV recording by their teacher Valluri Jagannadha Rao. When the MG Ramachandran's hit Madhurai Veeran (1956) used a similar tune, the producer was sued for plagiarism. The tune was later used for other south Indian films and by SD Burman in Bambai Ka Babu (1960) for Asha Bhonsle's rendition of Dekh Main Bhola Hain, Dil Ka Salona.