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Bhale Thammudu (1969)
APK | October 03, 2007
Atluri Pundarikakshayya was a close associate of NTR. He turned producer with 'Mahamanthri Timmarasu' in 1962, which he co-produced with Narra Ramabrahmam. After that he made Sri Krishnavataram, and was encouraged after two successes. He wanted to remake Shakti Samanta's 'China Town' starring Shammi Kapoor, Shakeela and Helen. Tamil producer Balaji had already bought the Tamil rights for a small sum with Ashok Kumar's recommendation. He remade it as 'Kudiyiruntha Kovil' starring MGR. So Atluri bought the Telugu rights from Balaji.
|Atluri Pundarikakshayya was a close associate of NTR.|
The story had NTR playing a dual role. Gana and his gang are robbers. Inspector Prasad arrests one gang member so Gana kills Prasad and captures his elder son Ram Prasad. He changes Ram's name to Paul and trains him to be a robber. He grows up robbing people; finally getting arrested. Prasad's younger son Shyam Prasad is a singer in a bar, in love with Rao Saheb's daughter Geeta. Rao Saheb gets Shyam arrested and Inspector Shekar sees that he resembles Paul. He gives Shyam a job in the CID and makes him infiltrate the smugglers den as Paul. Gana gets suspicious and sets out to warn the real Paul who is in prison, but Shyam makes him recollect his past. When Ram/Paul realizes that Gana killed their father, the two brothers unite to teach Gana a lesson.
Maddipatla Suri wrote the dialogues. Lines like 'Ee rojullo karuvu biyyanike kani BA laki kadu' were liked when the movie was released. BA Subbarao was the one who gave NTR his first lead role in Palletoori Pilla. After that he made Raju Peda, Bheeshma with NTR and Chenchu Laxmi with ANR. He directed this movie.
KR Vijaya played Rukmini in Sri Krishnavataram and starred in Paramanandaya Sishyulu, and was chosen to play Geeta. After this movie, she worked with NTR again in Laxmi Kataksham, Prema Simhasanam and Ekaveera. A new face was required for the role of Leela, which was played by Kanchana's sister Girija. Actor Srividya asked the producer for this role, but Girija was already finalized for the role. Girija worked as a child artiste before. A Qawwali song was composed and picturized on Aruna Irani, who is in fact a Telugu girl from Nandyala. This is her first Telugu movie.
TV Raju, who composed the songs for Sri Krishnavataram, was chosen as the composer for Bhale Thammudu. Three songs had their tunes borrowed from the hugely successful China Town's songs. All the songs were sung by Mohammed Rafi, both in Hindi and Telugu. Rafi wrote down the Telugu lines in Urdu and practiced. There was freshness in his almost flawless pronouncement of Telugu and the songs were hits. Before this, he sang Kabir's sonnets for Chittoor V. Nagayya's 'Bhakta Ramadasu' in Telugu. 'Baar Baar Dekho, Hazar Baar Dekho' of the original was re-composed in Telugu as 'Yentha Vaaru Gaani' and was a hit. Rafi sang for quite a few Telugu movies after Bhale Thammudu.
|KR Vijaya later went on to play Goddess in several films.|
Around the same time as Bhale Thammudu's release, ANR's 'Buddhimantudu' was released which also had ANR in a dual role. Bhale Thammudu didn't run for 100 days, but it was a success nonetheless. After this, Atluri started Sri Bhaskara Chitra and made movies such as Manushullo Devudu, Aradhana, Melu Kolupu, Maa Vari Manchitanam among others.
After China Town, Amitabh Bachchan starrer Don was made inspired by the same concept (but the two are not brothers). Don was remade in Telugu as Yugandhar, and this movie had NTR in the lead again. Don has been remade in Hindi again with the same title in 2006 starring Shah Rukh Khan and now it's being remade in Telugu with Nagarjuna. It's one big circle, with one story and so many movies based on the same concept being repeated time and again.