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1950 177’ b&w Telugu d/sc L.V. Prasad pc Vijaya co-p B. Nagi Reddy co-p/st/dial Chakrapani lyr Samudrala Raghavacharya c Marcus Bartley m Ghantasala Venkateshwara Rao lp Sowcar Janaki, N.T. Rama Rao, Govindrajulu Subba Rao, S.V. Ranga Rao, Srivastava, Shantakumari, T. Kanakam, Seeta, Baby Bhanu, V. Sivaram, Vangara, Joga Rao, Relangi Venkatramaiah

Successful ruralist melodrama and a drawn out version of the Bombay Talkies dramas of Ashok Kumar and Leela Chitnis. Satyam (NTR), the son of the moneylender Chengaiah (Subba Rao), is supposed to marry the daughter, Subbulu (Janaki), of his neighbour, the farmer and village elder Ramaiah (Srivastsava). Problems arise and villainies are perpetrated until both men’s sons find themselves together in jail. Chengaiah then has a change of heart, the main villain, his helper Rangadu (Ranga Rao), is caught and the village is united again. The film, later remade as Enga Veetu Penn (1965), begins with a folk Harikatha performance, making a lyrical comment on the theme of miserliness as a social evil. NTR’s debut as leading man is often seen as launching a second generation of Telugu melodrama in which e.g. Ghantasala’s ‘rooted’ music (the song Palukaradate chiluka) and Chakrapani’s script marked a ‘realist’ departure from the pre-WW2 reform sagas. More importantly, this is the debut production of Vijaya Studios, demarcating itself from the earlier Vauhini style. Chakrapani’s script was later serialised in the journal Vijayachitra owned by the studio. Actress ‘Sowcar’ Janaki makes her film debut here. She appended the film’s title to her name from then on.