The Telugu film industry is often underestimated considering the influence of Tamil cinema and the quality of Malayalam cinema.

However, because of the likes of Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, and Daggubati Venkatesh doing a small stint in Bollywood in the past and the trend of Hindi-dubbed Telugu movies, the Telugu film industry, and its stars are getting recognized and appreciated for their hard work and style of cinema.

Recently, the success of SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali starring Telugu superstars like Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, and Rana Daggubati has also helped Telugu Cinema gain respect.

Today, the Telugu film industry is seen as a great platform for quality cinema and a spearhead for taking Indian cinema to a whole new level in the global spectrum.

Best Telugu Movies of All Time

Over the past decades, the Telugu film industry has developed the perfect formula of producing blockbuster films which are not only loved in Andhra Pradesh but applauded nationally via dubbing.

Today, I will share some of the best Telugu films of all time which can help you look into cinema from a whole new perspective.

The great thing about Telugu films is the fact that most of these movies are dubbed in multiple languages including Hindi.

Here’s a list of top Tollywood Movies that you must watch once in your life to experience the true essence of Indian cinema:

Baahubali (Part 1 & 2)

Baahubali part 1 and 2

Baahubali is a marvelous gift from Tollywood to the Indian film industry. Although the film is a multi-lingual film, Baahubali: The Beginning is considered a Telugu film for its star cast.

The special effects, cinematography, storytelling, costumes, setup, and characters were so real that makes you believe in the whole Mahishmati universe. The characters portrayed throughout the two films set new standards for both existing and upcoming stars.

Baahubali is an epic Indian film which has raised the standards of filmmaking in the country.

Pokiri (2006)

Pokiri 2006 Telugu action film

Before the 2009 film, Wanted, revived the career of Salman Khan, Puri Jagannadh already directed the 2006 action film Pokiri.

Starring Mahesh Babu and Ileana D’Cruz in the lead roles, the film was later remade into many languages including a Hindi film. The film tells the story of an undercover cop infiltrating the mafia gang to catch the Dubai-based don.

The film also stars Prakash Raj who reprised his role as Ali Bhai in both Hindi and Tamil remakes.

Magadheera (2009)

Magadheera telugu film

Before Baahubali, SS Rajamouli made an action thriller film in 2009 titled Magadheera. Featuring Ram Charan and Kajal Aggarwal in the lead roles, the film is based on incarnation theme.

Magadheera tells the story of the lead actors and their love story set apart in two different timelines. While the first timeline is set in the pre-historic era, the second timeline is set 400 years after the first timeline.

It’s an interesting love story of two people separated in the past and reunited after 400 years.

Mayabazar (1957)

Mayabazar telugu film color

Directed by Kadiri Venkata Reddy, the 1957 film Mayabazar is a Telugu fantasy film featuring N.T. Rama Rao, Savitri, and S.V. Ranga Rao in prominent roles.

The film based on the popular folktale titled Sasirekha Parinayam which tells the love story of Arjun’s son Abhimanyu and Balarama’s daughter.

Eega (2012)

Eega and makkhi science fiction telugu film

Yet another film directed by SS Rajamouli makes it to our list of best Telugu films of all time. Well, this time the film has no ties with the prehistoric era but revolves around a supernatural theme.

The film features Sudeep in a negative role, whereas Nani and Samantha Ruth Prabhu play the lead roles. The film tells the story of a young man who falls in love with his neighbor but gets killed by a business tycoon as he is also interested in the girl.

However, Nani reincarnates in the form of a housefly and avenges his death while protecting the love of his previous and present life.

Sagara Sangamam (1983)

Sagara Sangamam telugu

Sagara Sangamam is a 1983 musical drama directed by K. Viswanath. The film features Kamal Haasan, Jayaprada, Sarath Babu, S.P. Sailaja, and Chakri Toleti in pivotal roles.

The film tells the story of an aspirant dancer and the struggles throughout his life. Later, the film was later dubbed into Malayalam and Tamil initially and finally in Russian to be screened at Moscow International Film Festival, Asia Pacific Film Festival, and AISFM Film Festival.

Missamma (1955)

Missamma Telugu comedy film

Missamma is a Telugu comedy film featuring N.T. Rama Rao and Savitri in the lead roles whereas Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Jamuna, S.V. Ranga Rao, and others played the supporting characters.

The film tells the story of two unemployed people who pose as a married couple to secure jobs at a high school. It turns out that the girl who poses as the wife is the missing daughter of the man who runs the high school. Whether the truth comes out or not forms the crux of the film.

Sankarabharanam (1980)

Sankarabharanam Telugu Musical Film

Directed by K. Viswanath, Sankarabharanam is a 1980 Telugu film drawing attention to the wide gap between classical and western music across two generations.

The film features J.V. Somayajulu, Manju Bhargavi, Chandramohan, and Rajyalakshmi in pivotal roles.

Arjun Reddy (2017)

Arjun Reddy 2017 Telugu film

Arjun Reddy is a 2017 Telugu film starring Vijay Deverakonda and Shalini Pandey in the lead roles.

Directed by Sandeep Vanga, the film revolves around an alcoholic surgeon with anger management problems that set him off on a destructive path after his girlfriend gets married to another person. The film follows his downfall and revival.

Rudraveena (1988)

Rudraveena chiranjeevi film in telugu language

Directed by K. Balachander, Rudraveena is a 1988 musical drama featuring Chiranjeevi and Shobana in the lead roles.

The film also features Gemini Ganesan in a pivotal role in the film. The film tells the story of indifference between a father and son on their views on caste differences.

Rudraveena focuses on the events that change the stern views of the father on caste discrimination and eliminate his hatred towards lower castes.

Pathala Bhairavi (1951)

Pathala Bhairavi 1951 Telugu Film

Pathala Bhairavi is a classic fantasy film directed by Kadiri Venkata Reddy. The film features N.T. Rama Rao, S.V. Ranga Rao, and K. Malathi in the lead roles.

The film is inspired by the story of Aladdin and based on the short story series titled Kasi Majilee Kathalu written by Madhira Subbanna Deekshitulu.

Arya (2004)

Arya Telugu Film Allu Arjun

Arya is a 2004 film that made Allu Arjun a star overnight. Directed by the debutant Sukumar, the film tells the story of Arya portrayed by Allu Arjun who makes it his life’s mission to unite the girl he loves with her lover who is the son a local MP. Whether Arya wins his love or not forms the crux of the story.

Also Read: Best Telugu Romantic Movies of all Time

Gundamma Katha (1962)

Gundamma Katha Telugu movie

Inspired by the William Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew, Gundamma Katha is a 1962 classic comedy-drama directed by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao.

The film is also the official remake of another classic Kannada film Mane Thumbida Hennu directed by B. Vittalacharya.

Aa Naluguru (2004)

Aa Naluguru 2004 Telugu film

Directed by Chandra Siddhartha, Aa Naluguru is a 2004 Telugu Philosophy film featuring Rajendra Prasad and Aamani in the lead roles.

The film tells the story of an old man who is the editor at a newspaper agency. His family and the boss despise him for his ethical values and honesty. The film follows his struggles and challenges as he sets on a lonely path of ethics and values.

Parugu (2008)

Parugu Allu Arjun Telugu drama film

Parugu is a 2008 romantic drama featuring Allu Arjun, Sheela, and Prakash Raj in the lead roles.

The film follows the life of Krishna, portrayed by Allu Arjun, who is kidnapped by Neelakanta, portrayed by Prakash Raj, as he is one of the friends of the guy who eloped with his elder sister.

While Krishna tries to help Neelkanta to find his elder daughter, he falls in love with his younger daughter. The rest of the film follows the quest of Krishna to win his love and Neelakanta’s approval for marriage.

Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule (2007)

Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule Venkatesh Telugu Film

Directed by ace Tamil film director Sri Raghava, Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule is a 2007 family drama starring Daggubati Venkatesh and Trisha Krishnan in the lead roles.

The film follows the love story of the lead stars and the family drama that comes along. The film is an interesting journey where a guy falls in love, loses his father, disrupts a marriage, and eventually wins the girl in the end.

Chanti (1991)

Chanti 1992 telugu film starring venkatesh

Chanti is one of the best Telugu films starring Daggubati Venkatesh and Meena in the lead roles. Directed by Ravi Raja Pinisetty, the film features Venkatesh as a naive man with a golden heart, whereas Meena plays the protected sister of her three brothers who literally raised her after their parents died.

The film tells the love story of the main lead characters. Whether they unite in the end or not forms the crux of the film.

Nuvvu Naaku Nachav (2001)

Nuvvu Naaku Nachav venkatesh

Nuvvu Naaku Nachav is a yet another romantic drama featuring Daggubati Venkatesh on our list of top Telugu films of all time. Directed by K. Vijaya Bhaskar, the film features Arti Agarwal alongside Venkatesh in the lead role.

The film tells the story of Venky who goes to attend the engagement ceremony of Nandini, who is the daughter of the close friend of Venky’s father.

However, both Venky and Nandini fall in love with each other but hide it from everyone to protect the harmonious bond between both their families. The rest of the story follows their journey and how they unite in the end.

Swayamkrushi (1987)

Swayamkrushi 1987 Film
Source: NFAI

Swayamkrushi is a 1987 Telugu drama film starring Chiranjeevi in the lead role alongside Vijayashanti, Sarvadaman D. Banerjee, and Sumalatha in pivotal roles.

The film tells the story of Sambayya who is a cobbler and raises his sister’s son Chinna while also financing the education of an orphaned girl.

Trouble starts when the father of Chinna returns and demands guardianship. The film was dubbed in Russian and was screened at Moscow International Film Festival.

Khaidi (1983)

Khaidi Best Telugu Movies of all Time

Khaidi is a 1983 Telugu action film that made Chiranjeevi an overnight star. Directed by A. Kodandarami, the film is loosely inspired from the Sylvester Stallone’s 1982 film First Blood.

The film also stars Madhavi, Rao Gopal Rao, and Sumalatha in pivotal roles.

Indra (2002)

Indra the Tiger or Indra Chiranjeevi Telugu film

Indra is a comeback film for Chiranjeevi after a series of flops and average grosser at the box office. Directed by B. Gopal, the film became the top grosser South Indian film at the time of its release.

The film tells the story of a man who leaves his wealth and position for the welfare of his village and lives a simple life in Varanasi as a taxi driver.

In a turn of events, he returns to his village and the rest of the story follows his quest to end the rivalry and get justice for her niece.

Bommarillu (2006)

Bommarillu Best Telugu Romantic film

Bommarillu is a cute Tollywood romantic story starring Siddharth and Genelia D’Souza in the lead roles.

The film is directed by Bhaskar and features Prakash Raj as an overprotective and overbearing father. Bommarillu tells the story of the love-and-hate relationship between the father and son.

The film shows how excessive love and care may sometimes create a void in a relationship. The film also teaches why the parents should sometimes let their kids do what they like instead of imposing their choices on them.

Your Turn

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