When Ramudu Bheemudu hit the screens on May 21, 1964, it attracted attention for more than one reason. For one, it was among the earliest to feature the legendary N.T. Rama Rao in a dual role, with Jamuna and L. Vijayalakshmi as his leading ladies.
Directed by Tapi Chanakya, Ramudu Bheemudu became a benchmark for other Indian languages on how movies could be made with the lead actor in a dual role. It was remade per se in at least half-a-dozen languages.First-time lucky
It was also the first for producer D. Rama Naidu’s Suresh Productions after he burnt his fingers co-producing Anuragam with a relative, which was literally washed away in torrential rains.
Fifty years hence the movie moghul has a whopping 140 productions to his credit in virtually every Indian language.Remakes elsewhere
Even as Ramudu Bheemudu enters its 51 year, film-lovers and critics still recall the impact it had, on audiences across all ages.
The Tamil version Enga Veettu Pillai (1964) with MGR in the lead, and the Hindi remake Ram Aur Shyam (1967) with Dilip Kumar, went on to become blockbusters and are remembered to this day.
Interestingly, NTR features as a worker involved in the building of the Nagarjunasagar, together with over 10,000 real construction workers, participating in the shooting as the song Desammu maarindile, Kaalammu maarindile , written by Kosaraju Raghavaiah Choudary, was canned.Memorable melodies
Ramudu Bheemudu also came across as a musical treat with songs like Undile manchi kaalam mundu mundunaa… (penned by Sri Sri), Thelisindile, thelisindile ... and Ade ade ... (Dr. C. Narayana Reddy), Saradaa saradaa cigarette … and Thaguna idi mama … (both by Kosaraju), set to melodious music scored by Pendyala Nageswara Rao. Singers included Ghantasala, P. Suseela, Madhavapeddi Satyam and Jamuna Rani.