The re-release of popular films from the past that ran to packed houses for a record number of days has been on the rise ever since the trend of digital upgradation of such films became a phenomenon in the recent past.
Several such movies have seen multiple re-releases.
However, the iconic Kannada film Om, directed by Upendra and starring Dr Shiva Rajkumar, has to this date re-released a record 550-plus times since its release in the year 1995.
Another super hit film Antha (1981), starring the late Dr Ambareesh, is set for yet another re-release on 26 May, the occasion of Ambareesh’s birthday (29 May).
Antha became an inspiration to many filmmakers:
Based on writer HK Ananth Rao’s serialised story of the same name published in a Kannada weekly magazine, Antha was written for the screen and directed by SV Rajendra Singh Babu.
Released in 1981, the film starred Ambareesh, Lakshmi, Latha, Jayamala, Pandari Bai, Vajramuni, and Tiger Prabhakar, among others.
“Ambareesh had acted in just one movie as a hero before Antha. It was completely a new subject and thus was a huge risk back then. We as a team worked really hard during the making, which resulted in its iconic status post its humongous success,” director Rajendra Singh Babu told reporters about the re-release of the film.
He added that the movie eventually became an inspiration to many filmmakers to choose such daring subjects.
“It inspired no less than 2,000 films. It even got featured in Variety magazine. Not only did it create a milestone in Sandalwood, but Antha made a mark for itself in the Indian film industry”, he said.
It was remade in Telugu as Antham Kadidi Aarambam (1981), in Tamil as Thyagi (1982) and in Hindi as Meri Aawaz Suno (1981).
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Kannada film Om has a distinctive record of being the only film to be re-released more than 550 times since its first release in the year 1995.
Produced under the Poornima Enterprises banner by the late Parvathamma Rajkumar, Om, directed by Upendra, is arguably the first ever Kannada film that is based on the “underworld mafia” and ran to packed houses for months.
It even featured real-life gangsters, including Bekkina Kannu Rajendra, Tanveer, Korangu Krishna, and Jedaralli Krishnappa.
Dr Shiva Rajkumar played the iconic lead character Satyamurthy Shashtri alias Satya. It is one of the top performances in the actor’s decades-long career.
Upendra directed the Telugu remake titled Omkaram, starring Rajshekar and Prema. It was also the inspiration for the Hindi movie Arjun Pandit, starring Sunny Deol and Juhi Chawla.
Originally made in black and white, this epic film based on the mythological character Raja Satya Harishchandra is one of the most re-released Kannada films.
Starring the legendary Kannada actor Dr Rajkumar, the film, directed by Hunsur Krishnamurthy, was released in 1965.
It revolves around the central character Raja Harishchandra. He believes in truth and truth alone as his motto in his life.
It is the first South Indian film to be completely coloured using digitalisation.
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This classic film starring Dr Rajkumar initially ran for over 104 weeks after its release in 1972.
Bangarada Manushya (Golden Man), directed by S Siddalingaiah, is considered one of the best films of Sandalwood.
The lead character is Rajeeva, an educated person played by Rajkumar, who returns to his village. He accidentally takes up irrigation and revolutionises it.
The film with an emotional drama attached to it is still loved by the Kananda audience for its moral and social values.
While this too has been re-released multiple times, it ran for more than 25 weeks when it was re-released in 1988.
Amongst the other most popular films that saw a re-release on multiple occasions is A, directed by Upendra. He played the lead role in it too.
Others are Jogi and Janumada Jodi, both starring Dr Shiva Rajkumar.
SP Sangliana, starring the late Shankar Nag, Kasturi Nivasa, and a couple of movies from the James Bond series starring Dr Rajkumar are among the favourites that keep re-releasing often.