There’s no denying the fact that Sr NTR was an actor par excellence who redefined the tenets of Telugu cinema with his impressive body of work. Fondly referred to as ‘Annagaru’, he enjoyed a strong fan following due to his grand screen presence and flawing acting style. On Thursday, as movie buffs pay tribute to the matinee idol, here is a look at five timeless classics that bear testimony to his abilities.
Mayabazar (Telugu/Tamil, 1957)
A game changer for the Telugu film industry, Mayabazar featured Sr NTR as Lord Krishna and opened new avenues for the ‘Asal Nayakudu’ of Indian cinema. The film, directed by KV Reddy, had a stellar cast that included ANR, Savitri and SV Ranga Rao.
A gem of a film, Bhookailas revolved around what happens when the demon king Raavan tries of obtain Lord Shiva’s ‘Aatma Linga’ to please his mother. The mythological drama, featuring Sr NTR in a powerful new avatar, received rave reviews from all corners and helped the ‘Man God’ consolidate his standing in the industry.
Lava Kusa (Telugu/Tamil, 1963)
An adaptation of the Uttara Kanda from the Mahabharata, Lava Kusa featured Sr NTR in the role of Lord Rama and set the box office on fire. The film, directed by C Pullaiah, played in most theatres for 75 consecutive weeks and redefined the meaning of commercial success. It was later remade in Telugu as Sri Rama Rajyam.
Karnan (Tamil, 1964)
One of the greatest Tamil films of all time, Karnan was a multi-starrer that revolved around the virtues of the famed warrior Karna. The film, starring Sivaji Ganesan in the titular role, featured a stellar performance from Sr NTR and served as strong proof of his abilities. Playing the role of the ‘Venne Donga’, the mass hero emerged as the proverbial scene-stealer and left fans asking for more.
Daana Veera Soora Karna (Telugu, 1977)
The film that marked Sr NTR’s return to the mythology genre, Daana Veera Soora Karna featured the ‘first superstar of Telugu cinema’ in a triple role and emerged as a smash hit. The evergreen classic, helmed by the star himself, released alongside the similarly-themed Kurukshetram and outperformed the Krishna starrer big time. The dialogues of DVS remain popular to this date, which bears testimony to its rich legacy.