Musicals by definition doesn’t mean films that have protagonists in musical professions and films that just talk about arts. If the narration in the film has more space for music and director deals with more and more situations with music, then such films are called musical films. Telugu films or Indian films in general give an impression of musicals to foreign viewers as song and dance is a part of our films.
Here are 20 All-Time Best Telugu Musical Films
Malliswari in 1951 is a revolution in Telugu films. It did not become a bumper hit like Pathala Bhairavi but the music remains to be the classic, even today. “Yeda Thanunnado Bava” and many songs are still popular. NTR, Bhanumathi acted in the lead roles and B.N. Reddy directed the film. This has been a key in setting NTR on the path of variety of films than just one genre. Saluri Rajeswara Rao scored the music.
Panduranga Mahatyam is the film where NTR proved he can play a devotee as well. The movie became a huge hit upon release and TV Raju’s Music for the film is still remembered by many. “Jaya Krishna Mukunda Murari” song is still a must at devotional gatherings. It is composed for this film and after its debut, the composer became very famous for giving such lifetime album.
Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham
Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham film has many shlokas and poetry verses – pandhyas, apart from songs. Each song from the album is a huge hit and still revered. “Anni Manchi Shakunamule”, “Veyi Subhamulu Kalugu Neeku” and many more songs are famous to date. NTR and ANR acted in this all–time classic movie directed and produced by KV Reddy. Music is composed by Pendyala for this film.
KV Reddy’s most revered masterpiece entertainer. The movie still feels fresh with the dialogues, comedy, story – thanks to Pingali Nagendra Rao’s script. Music composed by Ghantasala became the most memorable OST ever. Do we really have to talk about cast of the film and its songs?
Adi Narayana Rao used to compose and produce films very rarely. But his wife actress, Anjali Devi used to get a big boost from them. The composer came up with one of his best albums for this musical love story starring ANR and Anjali Devi pair. “Piluvaku ra Alugaku ra” song is from this movie.
Anarkali is the Telugu Mughal-E-Azam in terms of music and even acting capabilities. The sets are not as grand as the Hindi film. But ANR-Anjali Devi pair with the help of Adi Narayana Rao and Vedantam Raghavayya created an absolute musical classic on Telugu screen.
Pingali Nagendra Rao used to write songs, poetry verses- pandhyams, poems, dialogues, screenplay for KV Reddy films. This movie is again a classical musical film. “Oho Cheli Oho Madiya Mohini”, “Ainadedo Ayinadi” songs are still popular from the film. The widely considered a difficult song to sing – “Sivashankari Sivanandalahari” is composed by Pendyala for this album.
Even though the movie appears to be a simple love story about unrequited love, Adurthi Subbarao treated the film as a musical masterpiece. Songs composed by KV Mahadevan for this film like “Muddabanti puvvulo”, “Gouramma nee mogudu”, “Godari gattundhi” have become hugely popular. Savitri, ANR and Jamuna delivered some of their best performances for the film.
ANR acted as a stage performer in the film. He gets caught up between two highly talented disciples of Sage Narada and henceforth, he has to uncover a secret to determine who is great. Movie is an absolute masterpiece in terms of music. “Srilalitha Sivajyothi” and “Girija Kalyanam” songs from the film written by Malladi Ramakrishna Sastry are still popular on stage. Movie music is composed by Ghantasala.
Lavakusa doesn’t need a separate introduction as the movie became so popular that we don’t see a Telugu household that doesn’t know the film name or song from the movie. Ghantasala composed music for the film.
May be the most accurate film from all listed to be called a musical as genre definition describes. Bapu – Ramana decided to prove everyone that they can give best film based on Ramayana even though many were made by the time. The entire film is dealt like a continuous song. KV Mahadevan composed music for the film and he won awards too. May be this is the only film at the peak of NTR’s popularity took Sobhan Babu for the role of Rama and did not have NTR in any role in the film.
Again Bapu – Ramana decided to go for musical narrative of Rama’s story until he marries Seetha. The movie is an epic in terms of innovation in visual effects, narrative structure. KV Mahadevan composed music for the film but no song will be similar to Sampoorna Ramayanam, that released earlier from same director-composer combination with similar story.
K Viswanath announced his new path as a director from regular stories he was making till that time. Siri Siri Muvva music composed by KV Mahadevan is still popular. Most popular song from the album is “Jhummandi Nadam”. Jayaprada acted as a mute dancer in the film.
K Viswanath and KV Mahadevan created history with the film. Each song from the album is still revered and is highly popular. Movie narrative revolves around music and because of the Music, we can say that it became such a memorable masterpiece in Telugu Cinema.
This time K Viswanath went to Ilaiyaraja and the composer gave him his absolute best. With a movie that talks about the failure story of a dancer, the strong support from composer is highly important. Composer did not disappoint the maker and even performances from Kamal Haasan and other cast members still stand fresh in audiences mind.
“Jilibili Palukula O Myna Myna” song that we normally hear on radio stations is from this album. Sithara composed by Ilaiyaraja for Vamsy is an absolute masterpiece again from the composer. Songs stood the test of time and even film too.
Swarnakamalam is a love story that stands on the premise of arts. This is again from K Viswanath and the music composed by Ilaiyaraja for this film reverberates on radio till date. Venkatesh and Bhanupriya gave their best to the film.
Chiranjeevi’s under appreciated box office film but a cult classic for today’s generation due to the music and narration. K. Balachander and Ilaiyaraja made history with the film as the songs still remain fresh in the memory of many Telugu film lovers. “Chuttu pakkala chudara”, “Tarali rada tane vasantham” are most popular songs from the album.
Swathikirnanam / Sirivennela
K Viswanath went on a musical film spree and he created one after another good films that lasted for years in memory of Telugu Film lovers. Music wise both these films stand equal but Swathikiranam became a box office hit but Sirivennela failed to do so. Still music composed by KV Mahadevan for both albums is still popular.
When it comes to musicals, Annamayya is the best possible musical film that came in last 30 years in TFI. Even the same team couldn’t repeat the feat. Music by Keeravani, Direction by K Raghavendra Rao and performances of Nagarjuna, Suman along with Ramyakrishnan, Kasturi, Bhanupriya made the film an absolute musical masterpiece.
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