Donga Ramudu

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Donga Ramudu
దొంగ రాముడు
திருட்டு இராமன்
Donga Ramudu.jpg
Directed by Kadiri Venkata Reddy
Produced by D. Madhusudhana Rao
Written by D. V. Narasa Raju
D. Madhusudhana Rao
Starring Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Jamuna
Savitri
Relangi Venkata Ramaiah
Kongara Jaggayya
Allu Ramalingaiah
R. Nageswara Rao
Suryakantham
Music by Pendyala Nageshwara Rao
Cinematography Adi M. Irani
Production
company
Release date
  • 1 October 1955 (1955-10-01)
Running time
197 minutes
Country India
Language Telugu

Donga Ramudu (Telugu: దొంగ రాముడు) is a 1955 Telugu Drama film directed by Kadiri Venkata Reddy and produced by D. Madhusudhana Rao. Lyrics are penned by Samudrala Raghavacharya including the Bhale Tatha Mana Bapuji song on Mahatma Gandhi. The film was archived in the curriculum of the Film and Television Institute of India[1]

By the turn of the 1950s Akkineni Nageswara Rao was a sought-after star. His friend-philosopher-guide and mentor from his stage days, Dukkipati Madhusudana Rao felt it was the right time to launch an own production house. Thus was born Annapurna Pictures (P) Ltd, named after Madhusudana Rao’s stepmother. Besides Madhusudana Rao and ANR, Katragadda Srinivasa Rao, Koratala Prakasa Rao and T.V.A. Subbarao were its partners. ‘Bharani’ P.S. Ramakrishna Rao who gave memorable hits with ANR was approached to direct their debut venture. Though he accepted the offer, for some reasons he backed out. P.Pullaiah who introduced ANR in films, too was busy with the Tamil version of Ardhangi and other commitments. ANR had a wish to work with K.V. Reddi and when they met him K.V. obliged on condition that they have to wait till he completed Peddamanushulu. The wait was worth its moolah as Donga Ramudu established Annapurna Pictures as a top banner.

D.V. Narasaraju, the writer of Peddamanushulu was chosen to pen the story and dialogues. Since he was directing ANR for the first time, K.V. thought it should be different from the actor’s earlier movies. He suggested that he pen a story on a brother-sister sentiment with the brother going to any extent, even committing a murder for the sake of his sister. Madhusudana Rao recollected a short story, ‘Loving Brothers’ that he had read in an anthology of American short stories. In the story, the elder brother commits robberies to educate his younger brother. Taking that point replacing the younger brother with a sister, Narasaraju, Madhusudana Rao and K.V. Reddi wrote the story of Donga Ramudu.[2]

The film was remade at the same time into Tamil and was released as Thiruttu Raman (Tamil: திருட்டு இராமன்).

The plot[edit]

Ramudu (Akkineni Nageshwara Rao) after serving a jail sentence for a theft he had committed during childhood to buy medicines for his mother (Hemalatha) lands in a job as a servant at moneylender Veerabhadraiah’s (Relangi Venkata Ramaiah) house. He finds his sister Lakshmi (Jamuna) in an orphanage and promises to pay her college fee. To raise the money, he steals at Bhadraiah’s house but is caught and jailed. Lakshmi escapes an attack by Babulu (Rajanala Nageswara Rao) a local thug, with the help of Seetha (Savitri) the vegetable vendor with whom Ramudu is in love. Seetha gets shelter for her at Dr. Mohan’s (Jaggaiah) house. Impressed by her virtues, the doctor decides to marry Lakshmi. Ramudu joins as a driver with Mohan. He warns his sister not to reveal that they are siblings. But Veerabhadraiah who is angry that the doctor has not married his daughter (Swarajyalakshmi), reveals their identity and that Ramudu is a thief. Veerabhadraiah is murdered by Babulu but the blame falls on Ramudu. Seetha helps prove Ramudu’s innocence by bringing Babulu to book. The story ends on a happy note.

Cast & Crew[edit]

A simple story well told. The movie gives a feeling of many climaxes but K.V.’s acumen never made the audience feel bored or tired. Besides subtle humour in dialogue, Narasaraju created such catch words as ‘gas’ for telling a lie which is popular even today. R. Nageswara Rao’s famous dialogue, Babulu gaadi debba ante Golconda abba anali, became popular too. The school master Vangara’s usage of ‘Jambukarandhrapura Agraharam’ for his village name, ‘Nakkabokkalapadu’ is one such. Adi M. Irani cranked the camera.

The acting honours were equally shared by ANR, Jamuna, Savitri, Relangi and R. Nageswara Rao. Jaggaiah came up with a dignified portrayal as did Suryakantham as Relangi’s wife. K.V. Reddi relied on experienced actors for other characters - Vinnakota Ramannapanthulu (as the elder brother of Jaggaiah), Allu Ramalingaiah, (the orphanage manager), Maddali Krishnamurthy (Police Inspector), Commuri Padmavathi Devi, (Jaggaiah’s mother) and Bezawada Kanthamma (Relangi’s mother).

Pendyala Nageswara Rao largely contributed to the film’s success with his melodious score. The evergreen hits include, ‘Chigurakulalo Chilakamma…’ (Ghantasala & Jikki), ‘Ravoyi Maa intiki…’ (Jikki), ‘Telisinda babu…Ipudu thelisinda…’ and ‘Bhale thatha mana Bapuji…’ (both rendered by P. Susheela)

Actor Character
Akkineni Nageshwara Rao Ramudu
Savitri Seeta
Jamuna Laxmi
Kongara Jaggaiah Dr. Mohan
R. Nageswara Rao Babul
Relangi Venkataramaiah Bhadraiah
Suryakantham
Maddali Krishnamurthy
Allu Ramalingaiah
Kanchi Narasimha Rao Medical shop owner
Vangara Venkata Subbaiah School teacher

Crew[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

The music was composed by Pendyala Nageshwara Rao. Playback singers are Ghantasala, Jikki & P. Suseela. All the tunes for all the songs and singers for both languages are the same.

Telugu Songs[edit]

Lyrics were by Samudrala Raghavacharya

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 Chigurakulalo Chilakamma Chinnamata Vinaravayya Ghantasala & Jikki Samudrala Raghavacharya 03:04
2 Bhale Tatha Mana Bapuji Balala Tatha Bapuji P. Suseela 02:50
3 Raroyi Maa Intiki Maatunnadi Manchi Maatunnadi Jikki 02:43
4 Cherasala Palainava Ghantasala 03:22
5 Levoyi Chinnavada Jikki 03:37
6 Telisindaa Baabu Ippudu Telisindaa Baabu P. Suseela 02:58
7 Anda Chandala Sogasari Vaadu Jikki 03:14
8 Anuragamu Virisena P. Suseela 02:54
9 Balagopala P. Suseela

Tamil Songs[edit]

Lyrics were by Kanaga Surabhi & Kannadasan.

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 Oo Siruchaalaiyil Or Kuyilamma Ghantasala & Jikki Kannadasan 03:04
2 Bale Saadhu Engal Baabuji P. Suseela Kanaga Surabhi 02:50
3 Vaarungal Vaarungalen Maamo Jikki Kannadasan 02:43
4 Oor Sirikka Per Edutthaayaa Ghantasala Kanaga Surabhi 03:22
5 Engaadhe Chinna Maamaa Nee Jikki Kanaga Surabhi 03:37
6 Thrinjukko Baabu Ippove Thrinjukko Baabu P. Suseela Kannadasan 02:58
7 Kannil Kandaalum Sugam Tharum Veeran Jikki Kannadasan 03:14
8 Endhan Kaadhalum Malaraadhaa Solvaai Raajaa P. Suseela Kannadasan 02:54
9 P. Suseela

Trivia[edit]

ANR and R. Nageswara Rao took special coaching from stunt director Raghavulu for the wrestling scene, a major attraction in the movie.

An upcoming actress, Sarada made a brief appearance as the friend of Jamuna in the orphanage. Master Varma who stole the show with natural ease as the young Ramudu later took up the job of a city bus ticket checking inspector in Hyderabad, recommended by ANR. Maddali Krishnamurthy lent voice to R. Nageswara Rao in the song, ‘Ravoyi Maa Intiki…’ delivering the dialogues including the popular, ‘Avval right.’ (for all right).

Released on 2 October 1955, Donga Ramudu became a super hit. It also received the rare honour of being archived in the curriculum of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune for its excellence in filmmaking.

Bhale Tatha Mana Bapuji[edit]

The Lyrics are penned by Samudrala Raghavacharya, voiced by P. Susheela and music score provided by Pendyala Nageswara Rao.[3]

భలే తాత మన బాపూజీ - బాలల తాతా బాపూజీ
బోసినవ్వుల బాపూజీ - చిన్నీ పిలక బాపూజీ

కుల మత బేధం వలదన్నాడు - కలిసి బతికితే బలమన్నాడు
మానవులంతా ఒకటన్నాడు - మనలో జీవం పోసాడు || భలే తాత ||

నడుం బిగించి లేచాడు - అడుగూ ముందుకు వేశాడు
కదం తొక్కుతూ పదం పాడుతూ - దేశం దేశం కదిలింది
గజగజలాడెను సామ్రాజ్యం - మనకు లభించెను స్వరాజ్యం || భలే తాత ||

సత్యాహింసలే శాంతి మార్గమని - జగతికి జ్యోతిని చూపించాడు
మానవ ధర్మం బోధించాడు - మహాత్ముడై ఇల వెలిశాడు || భలే తాత ||

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sashidhar AS, TNN 13 Aug 2012, 04.15PM IST (2012-08-13). "Donga Ramudu was included in FTII - Times Of India" (Press release). Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  2. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-columns/donga-ramudu-1955/article6169986.ece
  3. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]