V. N. Reddy

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V. N. Reddy
Born Cuddapah, Andhra Pradesh, India
Occupation Cinematographer
Years active 1943-1977
Title WICA

V. N. Reddy[1] (Telugu: వి.ఎన్.రెడ్డి; 20 November 1914 – December 1991) was an Indian cinematographer and director who worked predominantly in Telugu films, Bollywood, and few Tamil films for over thirty years starting from 1943. One of the Pioneers of Indian cinematography, Reddy was born at Cuddapah, Andhra Pradesh and was brought up in Anantapur.[2]


He developed a passion for cinematography at a very young age. Badalti Duniya, his debut movie, was released in the year 1943. He first excelled in black-and-white photography and film making and then shifted to colour film making. His noted films are Aag (1948), Hulchul (1951), Baiju Bawra (1952), Meenar (1954), Chori Chori (1956), Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), Do Badan (1966), Upkar (1967), Purab Aur Paschim (1970) and Do Chor (1972).

Aag (1948) was made by a group of people in their twenties, Reddy being the oldest.[3][4] It is considered one of the most significant films of all time.[5] Writing about Reddy's work for the song Dulhan Chali Pehan Chali from the movie Purab Aur Paschim, the Indian movie review website, Passion for Cinema states

VN Reddy's camera under the direction and instructions of Manoj Kumar presents this song and dance event in [a] very interesting and beautiful manner. Camera peeps through the space left by the four daflis and it is such a nice way to show something to audiences.[6]

Lakh Tandon and V. Gopi Krishna were Reddy's assistants. Reddy also tried his hand at directing movies like Ganga Gauri Samvadam (Telegu - 1958),[7] Sengottai Singam (Tamil - 1958)[8] Intika Deepam Illalu (Telegu - 1961), Ananda Jyoti (Tamil - 1963),[9] and Zahreeli (1977) among others.[10]

Ravikant Reddy,[11] one of Reddy's six children, who at an early age of 13 to 14 years was trained and apprenticed under his father, is a noted cinematographer himself.

V. N. Reddy as an enthusiast studied various Hollywood movies of the early 40s and 50s era, which was known as the golden era of Hollywood films. He researched into its cinematography and made his brain work and learn the various facets involved in its anatomy. At such an age, he studied expansively the cinematography of James Wong Howe,one of history’s ten most influential cinematographers in Hollywood. Post the release of AAG, 1948, James Wong Howe noticed and was amazed that rose to his curiosity as to who was this person who did his kind of cinematography without being assisted. Unfortunately in that year there was nothing for the photography / cinematography category, and hence no prizes given out. Else AAG 1948 was a movie, praised for its neo-realistic lighting that definitely would own a place as the Best cinematography of the year.

Partial filmography[edit]

Sr. No. Movie Name Year
1 Badalti Duniya 1943
2 Krishnarujun Yudh 1945
3 Omar Khayyam 1946
4 1857 1946
5 Dil 1946
6 Dil-ki-rani 1947
7 Chittor Vijay 1947
8 Aag 1948
9 Sawan Aya Re 1949
10 Kali Ghata 1951
11 Hulchul 1951
12 Baiju Bawra 1952
13 Puttillu (Telugu) 1953
14 Meenar 1954
15 Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 1954
16 Chori Chori 1956
17 Chiranjeevulu (Telugu) 1956
24 Ananda Jyoti 1963
19 Kashmir Ki Kali 1964
20 Lootera 1965
21 Do Badan 1966
22 Upkar 1967
23 Latt Saheb 1967
24 Pushpanjali 1970
25 Yaadgar 1970
26 Purab Aur Paschim 1970
27 Zameen Asman 1972
28 Do Chor 1972
29 Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye 1974
30 Jaggu 1975
31 Zahereeli 1977
32 College Girl 1978
33 Khoon Aur Sazaa 1986
Sr. No. Directorial Movies Year
1 Ganga Gauri Samvadam (Telugu) 1958
2 Sengottai Singam (Tamil) 1958
3 Intika Deepam Illale (Telugu) 1961
4 Manapandal (Tamil version of Intika Deepam Illale) 1961
5 Anandha Jodhi 1963
6 Zahereeli 1977


  1. ^ Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema. India: Encyclopædia Britannica. 2003. p. 659. ISBN 81-7991-066-0. 
  2. ^ V.N.Reddy gariki Madras film journalistulu, editorlu samarpinchina swagahatha pathram (Journalists and Editors in Madras extend invitation to V.N.Reddy), May 1952, Radio News from Rupavahini
  3. ^ Bamzai, Kaveree (18 July 1999). "Back To The Future". Indian Express. 
  4. ^ "Aag (Fire)(1948) Directed by Raj Kapoor. Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Premnath". Moviediva. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Cinema - The Era Of Talking Movies - 1940 - 1950". Windows on Asia. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Purab Aur Paschim : Dulhan Chali Pehan Chali teen rang ki Choli". Passion For Cinema. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Ganga Gauri Samvadam". IMDB. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "மன்னனான எம்.ஜி.ஆர்". Dinakaran (in Tamil). 
  9. ^ "Ananda Jyoti". IMDB. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "V. N. Reddy". IMDB. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "Ravikant Reddy". IMDB. Retrieved 9 March 2011.