5 iconic films of Superstar Krishna that are trendsetters

'Sakshi', 'Mosagallaku Mosagadu', 'Alluri Sitarama Raju', 'Gudachari 116', and 'Simhasanam' created a trend in Telugu cinema.

ByY Krishna Jyothi | Bhawana Tanmayi

Published Nov 15, 2022 | 9:42 PM Updated Nov 15, 2022 | 9:54 PM

Trendsetting films of krishna

Superstar Krishna was known for bringing a technological revolution in filmmaking. A trendsetter, he introduced many technical aspects and revolutionary changes to the Telugu film industry and helped in its evolution over the years.

The list includes social colour (Thene Manasulu), spy (Gudachari 116), cowboy (Mosagallaki Mosagadu), Eastman colour (Eenadu), 70MM (Simhasanam), DTS (Telugu Veera Levara) and Cinemascope (Alluri Sitarama Raju), to mention a few.

This isn’t it. Ghattamaneni Krishna played a dual role in as many as 24 movies and triple roles in seven movies.

He was paired with Vijaya Nirmala in 48 flicks and Jayaprada in 47 films.

He also featured in over 50 multi-starrer movies alongside NT Rama Rao, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Sobhan Babu, Nagarjuna, Balakrishna, and Ravi Teja, among others.

Even as the Telugu film fraternity is mourning the demise of the veteran actor, let’s take a quick look at five of Krishna’s iconic movies that are trendsetters in Tollywood and can be cherished for generations.

First film to be shot outdoors

krishna and vijaya nirmala in sakshi

Krishna and Vijaya Nirmala in ‘Sakshi’. (Supplied)

Sakshi, released in the year 1967 and directed by Bapu, was the first Telugu film to be shot at outdoor locations.

Till then, nobody took the initiative to shoot films outdoors by travelling to other cities, especially for songs.

The entire film was shot in 20 days and a major part was shot outdoors near Pulidindi, located on the banks of the Godavari.

Sakshi won critical acclaim at the Tashkent Film Festival. It was also Krishna’s first movie opposite Vijaya Nirmala, whom he went on to marry.

Back in those days, many people from the Telugu film industry believed Sakshi would not run for even 20 days in theatres.

But it proved everyone wrong and ran for almost a month. It also minted money for the producers, besides receiving critical acclaim.

First cowboy film

mosagallaku mosagadu

‘Mosagallaku Mosagadu’. (Supplied)

Mosagallaku Mosagadu is the first ever cowboy film to be made in India.

Released on 27 August 1971, the film was a commercial success and ran for 100 days.

Indeed, it was dubbed into Tamil as Mosakkaaranukku Mosakkaaran, in Hindi as Gunfighter Johnny and also in English (trimmed version) as Treasure Hunt.

Mosagallaku Mosagadu was directed by KSR Das. Aarudra was the screenwriter.

It featured Krishna, Vijaya Nirmala, Nagabhushanam, Kaikala Satyanarayana, Gummadi, Dhulipala, M Prabhakar Reddy, and Jyothi Lakshmi in prominent roles.

G Adiseshagiri Rao produced it under the banner of Sri Padmalaya Films.

It was also the first Indian Telugu action-Western film to be released in Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali, English, Spanish, and Russian. In short, it was a pan-India film released 50 years ago.

First cinemascope

alluri krishna

‘Alluri Sitarama Raju’. (Supplied)

Termed one of his best films, Krishna’s Alluri Sitarama Raju needs no introduction. Released in 1974, it was the first Cinemascope movie in Tollywood.

Superstar Krishna essayed the role of Alluri Sitarama Raju, a revolutionary tribal leader. Since then, nobody dared play the character as the Telugu audience never accepted anyone else as Alluri.

The film won National Film Award for Best Lyrics for the song Telugu Veera Levara, penned by noted poet Sri Sri.

Alluri Sitarama Raju also won the Nandi Award for Best Feature Film and was screened at the International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section, and also at the Tashkent Film Festival.

It ran for 175 days and ended up becoming the highest-grossing Telugu film of the year.

First spy film

krishna in gudachari 116 movie

‘Gudachari 116’. (Supplied)

Gudachari 116 is the first-ever spy film to be made in Telugu. Released on 11 August, 1966, the movie featured the superstar as a spy — Gopi aka Agent 116.

Jayalalithaa, Rajanala, Mukkamala, Relangi, Ramana Reddy, and Rajababu appeared in key roles.

The Superstar shared screen space with Shoban Babu (Agent 303) in this flick.

Gudachari was written by Anuradha and directed by M Mallikarjuna Rao. It was jointly produced by Rajalakshmi Productions and Vijaya Lakshmi Pictures.

The movie became a humungous hit and the Telugu audience went ga-ga over Krishna. It was remade in Hindi as Farz (1967).

Following its unprecedented success, Krishna acted in several spy movies (unrelated sequels) like James Bond 777 (1971), Agent Gopi (1978), and Gudachari 117 (1989).

First stereophonic-sound film

krishna in simhasanam

‘Simhasanam’. (Supplied)

Krishna’s Simhasanam (1986) is remembered for the benchmarks it had set in Tollywood.

It’s the first 70 MM film with six-track stereophonic sound to be made in Telugu cinema.

Besides playing the lead, Superstar Krishna donned the hats of director, writer, editor, and producer (Padmalaya Studios) for this iconic flick.

The movie marked the directorial debut of the Superstar. While Krishna played a dual role, Jaya Prada, Radha, and Mandakini were the other female leads in it.

A folklore tale, Simhasanam was simultaneously shot in Hindi as Singhasan. It was shot in two months in Padmalaya Studios, Mysuru (then Mysore), and Hogenakkal.

The music album composed Bappi Lahiri created a huge sensation among the Telugu audience. The song “Akasamlo Oka Tara” topped the charts for a long time.

The movie was the first to collect over ₹1.5 crore in the first week of release. It also registered the highest gross collection in a single theatre in Hyderabad city.