There are many memorable flicks in Telugu Cinema over the past eight decades. Movie making has gone through many changes but the core storytelling principles have remained the same. As we have provided you with some best movie lists previously, in this part we will mention the best movies from Telugu Cinema according to the IMDb ratings that we haven’t mentioned before. Let’s dive into the details and check out the best Telugu movies, now.
Here are some of the best Telugu movies!
The Greatest spice of the Telugu film industry ever. With Mahesh Babu as ‘Pokkiri’, this is one of the best Telugu movies that inspired filmmakers across South and Bollywood to re-make it, multiplying the super hit effect everywhere.
This movie, being one of the best Telugu movies, remains to be the best romantic story ever told on the Telugu screen. The performances of NTR and Bhanumathi at their young age give us a glimpse of what was their potential when they started their careers. Bhanumathi already established herself as an actress but this movie made her a director’s delight. BN Reddy as director etched his name into the history books of Telugu Cinema.
Based on the novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Devadasu is remembered as an eternal tale of love and pain; thanks to the compelling drama, incredible performances, and brilliant technicalities. Amidst the many merits, it was the towering act of ANR that had left the viewers spellbound.
BN Reddy in the 1960s asked then top actress Anjali Devi to play the aged mother role and she pulled it off with conviction. This movie is tonally similar to Mother India but it is a different story to Hindi classic. For the performances of the leads, this movie is a must-watch and thus included in the list of best Telugu movies.
Arguably one of the best Telugu movies, Mayabazaar had a massive influence on the industry. Stellar performances (specifically by SV Ranga Rao and Savithri), stunning technicalities at the time, and evergreen lyrics made Mayabaaar a treasure for ages. The film also played a key role in helping NT Rama Rao cementing his place as the silver screen’s Lord Krishna.
Political Satires in the best Telugu movies started way back in 1954 when devotional, mythological, and folklore films were ruling the roost. Without any stars like NTR, ANR KV Reddy decided to make this movie with senior actors of the time. Relangi after becoming a busy comedian with Reddy’s Pathala Bhairavi became an all-around performer and a star actor with this film.
Essaying the story of Sita’s exile from Ayodhya, Lava Kusa came as yet another incredible epic featuring NT Rama Rao. The film had created an unprecedented storm at the box office and went on to etch its place on the list of all-time Telugu classics. Interestingly, Lava Kusa holds the record for being the first Telugu film to collect Rs 1 crore at ticketing windows.
NTR’s first folklore film stands out to be one of the best Telugu movies of all time. The success of this film made him as popular as ANR, who was already a star by then. The movie became such a sensation that it launched careers of NTR, SVR as villain, character actor, and Balakrishna as comedian alone audience lang. KV Reddy showed his masterful imagination in this film.
Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya
Venkatesh Maha, who gave us C/o Kancharapalem, helmed Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya. And nobody could have done a better job of remaking Malayalam hit Maheshinte Prathikaaram. The story of a happy-go-lucky guy taking the path of vengeance while still retaining his innocence leaves you with a warm feeling.
ANR became synonymous with Devadas’s character. Some of his later films cleverly added the elements from this character to his romances. The audience loved him in such roles that his son, Akkineni Nagarjuna did Majnu to please his fans and prove that he has a lot more to offer than he did in his first film. After this 1953 classic, ANR and Savitri became a hit pair alike ANR – Anjali Devi.
All Mahesh Babu ever wanted out of this film was to sell enough tickets so that it gets declared “blockbuster”. And Anil Ravipudi does exactly that. The director weaves together a bunch of tried-and-tested heroic moments that he knows will send hardcore fans of Mahesh into a frenzy in theatres. He also manages to keep the audience entertained throughout the film’s run-time.
Based on the life of India’s revolutionary freedom fighter Alluri Seetharamaraju, the film was a smashing hit. The film’s rousing storyline helped it gain a sweeping reception from audiences all over. Not only did the film break numerous records at the time of its release but also assumed great significance in narrating the story of an unsung hero of India’s freedom struggle.
ANR and NTR acted in this film as their life was dependent on it., Their competitive nature made the film a memorable piece forever and ever. ANR said in an interview back then, he did not care about commercial aspects of the film and acted as Narada to prove his versatility. Still, we can see many watching the film on Shivaratri, especially.
ANR and KV Reddy combination delivered a social film classic. Donga Ramudu proves to be a true entertainer and it has all the elements that we still associate with Telugu cine’s career-best earned the name as a versatile actress with this film as she mesmerized people with her comic timing in this one.
Ye Maya Chesave
2010 gave us an interesting bunch of films — Leader, Prasthanam, Khaleja, and Vedam. Among them, Ye Maya Chesave is my favorite. Jessie is a complex character that’s unapologetic about her indecisiveness. She falls in and out of love, wants to be the good daughter who can’t antagonize her parents, but still keeps Karthik hanging by a thin string of hope.
Seetha Rama Kalyanam
This movie proved what a great director NTR was. He delivered his career-best performance back then as Ravana and music from the film became iconic. Even today songs from the movie are played at events, marriage functions, and ceremonies too. He narrated Lord Rama’s story till his marriage through Ravan’s perspective. The movie achieved major technical advancement too back in the day.
Sri Panduranga Mahatyam
The movie is based on a Maharashtrian devotee. NTR played King, folklore hero, and mythological characters like Rama, Krishna in many films. But he proved to many that he can shine as a devotee too with his film. Songs from the movie are still heard in major events and religious gatherings. The movie turned out to be such a classic that Balakrishna couldn’t restrict himself from remaking it.
Each time there’s a film about a young political leader who wants to be an agent of change, many of us welcome it because in real life too, we hope for better times. Rana Daggubati got an unconventional launch, unlike many other star kids of film families, in a director-driven film. Sekhar Kammula’s film talked about the need for a leader who would bat for avineeti nirmoolana.
Many jokes came into existence because of this film’s name in the list of best Telugu movies. But it became a pop culture reference because of the flawless acting and direction of NTR. Jamuna supported him to stand back very well. Even though the story doesn’t feel new today, the screenplay still has the magic to keep us engaged throughout the runtime.
When the father-son duo of K V Vijayendra Prasad and SS Rajamouli begin a film in a ‘let us tell you a story kind of a format, we pay attention. Even if the story is about a housefly! Had the ‘eega’ (the fly) been a living male actor (male because he’s the hero’s reincarnation), he would have been a contender for the superstar throne. Sudeep put in a bravura performance, especially when you consider that the eega was added through special effects later. Nani got a memorable extended cameo and Samantha as the micro artist gave wings to the incredulous Rajamouli dream.
Swamy Ra Ra
When an idol of Ganesha goes missing from Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram and its mayhem. Debut director Sudheer Varma paid homage to his global inspirations, including torrent, and quotes Quentin Tarantino who said ‘I steal from every single movie ever made.
The original folklore hero of the best Telugu movies, ANR couldn’t stand back and witness his peers dominate the genre that made him popular. So, he delivered an absolute classic with Suvarna Sundari. The songs from the film are still popular and the story structure is still followed in some screenplays, even today. The movie became a success in Tamil and Hindi as well. Anjali Devi – ANR pair delivered a huge blockbuster back in the day with this film again after a film like Anarkali.
The movie is more remembered for its songs or song – “Ee Jeevana Tharangalalo”. But it made sure that Vani Sree, Sobhan Babu, and Krishnam Raju become popular actors at one go. After this film, Vani Sree became a star performer and Krishnam Raju needn’t had to look back at all. For Sobhan Babu this movie became a pathway to stardom by winning the hearts of women.
ANR as Devadas became a box office formula from this film. Many writers and directors tried to emulate the climax portion of this film with ANR as the hero in other films. That is how impacts-high performance was. He and Vani Sree became a hit pair after this film.
After a huge blockbuster, we see heroes struggling to entertain audiences for a few years or films as expectations will be sky-high. But ANR immediately after Prem Nagar delivered an even bigger blockbuster in the same year with this film modern-days and his performance made the film one of the best in Telugu Cinema.
The highly appreciable work of Singeetam, this classic of the late 80s was the first attempt at making one of the silent best Telugu movies in modern-day cinema. It was watched across the country and Kamal Hasan’s new look and challenging performance are commendable.
NTR took on the challenge of acting in a role that Shivaji Ganeshan absolutely breathed life into. The movie became a melodramatic classic in Telugu Cinema in social films. NTR’s naïve man, almost equating himself to a dog at the house of his uncle, makes this film a must-watch.
Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari
Filmmaker Ashwini Dutt and director Raghavendra Rao teamed up to create this fantasy film. Tollywood greats Chiranjeevi and Sridevi added more weight to this creation which created waves in the entire South Indian film world.
Chiranjeevi wanted his guru, legendary director Balachander to start next-generation action, Anjana Productions are run by his brother, Naga Babu with a film that will be remembered for years. He got his wish with the film but it did not become a commercial success. It is a classic for his next-generation fans.
An unexpected super hit by Mahesh Babu playing the lead role. This one got so popular that it was re-made again and again in different regional languages, and found success with all its remakes.
Khaidi became the identity of Chiranjeevi as the star hero in the best Telugu movies. He managed to take the popularity given by this film to the next level but he still likes to be referred to as Khaidi as he gave everything to this film and in return, he got more than he could ever ask for. For its screenplay and action, the movie remains a milestone in Telugu Cinema.
Only a few filmmakers can dare dream of creating such an impact with their first film. Shiva created a huge impact on Telugu Cinema and RGV is still respected by many for delivering such gangster classics that he started off with Shiva. Do we have to say more about the best Telugu movies?
Kamal Hassan and Balachander decided to do a film in Telugu and they just came up with a pure classic. It is still the best movie from Telugu Cinema to address issues like Unemployment and youngster’s problems with bureaucracy, overbearing, undermining parents. Music from the film is still popular.
No actor got such a swan song in his last film. Manam remains a heart-warming tribute to a father from his son and from an actor to another actor. Vikram Kumar came up with a unique idea but the Akkineni family owned it up to give it’s head a great memorable tribute.
Anukokunda Oka Roju
A very few have been made with this theme and this kind of screenplay. Chandrasekhar Yeleti is the master screenplay writer who has made the biggest impact in the best Telugu movies. It’s a suspense thriller with one of the career-best performances given by Charmi.
Krishna Vamsi’s romantic drama Murari, which starred Sonali Bendre as the female lead, was a major turning point in Mahesh Babu’s career. The film is based on a curse haunting a zamindar family, and it’s predicted that every 48 years, the heir of the family will succumb to it. The dazzling romance between Mahesh Babu and Sonali Bendre, coupled with Mani Sharma’s chart-busting music, turned the film into a huge hit and marked the beginning of bigger things to come in Mahesh Babu’s career.
If there’s one Telugu film that can give a tough competition to the record set by Suryavamsam (1998) for the most number of reruns on TV, it has to be the Mahesh Babu- and Trisha-starrer, Athadu. Apart from his terrific writing style, Srinivas also ushered in a new style of filmmaking, where conversations are often terse and actors let their actions speak louder than words. The film is modeled on the lines of a cat-and-mouse chase between Pardhu (Mahesh Babu) and a CBI officer, played by Prakash Raj; although most of the drama revolves around Pardhu’s growing relationship with his family.
Post Pokiri, Mahesh Babu’s career witnessed a downturn with films like Sainikudu (2006) and Athidhi (2007) not performing at the box office, and he took a long break from work to spend more time with his family. His return to the silver screen in Trivikram Srinivas’ eagerly awaited action drama, Khaleja (2010) couldn’t have been more dramatic. The theme of the film didn’t strike a chord with the audience, and the film bombed at the box office.