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Top 25 Best Telugu Movies of All Time

Telugu film industry is one of the biggest film industries in India. The Telugu film industry or “Tollywood” as it is popularly called, has produced some of the most expensive and highest-grossing movies. In this article, we list the 25 best Telegu movies of all time which has been loved by both audience and the critics.

Over the last few years, Telugu movies has started getting viewership from all across to the globe and no more limited to the regional movies. Therefore, most of the superhit Telugu movies dubbed in Hindi to get wider reach & bigger box office collection. If you too love entertaining movies and have not explore Telegu movies till now, here is the list of best 25 Telegu movies of all time to begin with. What more are you waiting for?

Best Telugu Movies of all time –

1. Mayabazar (1957)

IMDb rating: 9.1/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Cast: N.T. Rama Rao, S.V. Ranga Rao, Savitri

This is a 1957 epic Hindu mythological film directed by K.V. Reddy. The story is an adaptation of the folk tale Sasirekha Parinayam which is based on the characters of the Mahabharata. The film was a critical and commercial success with praise for its cast and technical aspects despite the limitations of technology at that time. On the centenary of Indian cinema in 2013, CNN-IBN included Mayabazar in its list of “ 100 greatest Indian films of all time”.

2. Pathala Bhairavi (1951)

IMDb rating: 8.5/10

Genre: Action, Adventure

Cast: N.T. Rama Rao, S.V. Ranga Rao

This is a 1951 fantasy film directed by K.V. Reddy. The movie is based on Kasi Majilee Kathalu, written by Madhira Subbanna Deekshitulu though it was also partially inspired by the story of Aladdin. Pathala Bhairavi is considered a breakthrough film for its lead actors and was also the only South Indian film to be screened at the first International Film Festival of India.

3. Sankarabharanam (1979)

IMDb rating: 8.9/10

Genre: Drama, Music, Romance

Cast: J.V. Somayajulu, Manju Bhargavi, Tulasi

This is a musical drama film written and directed by K. Viswanath. The film shows the chasm between Classical and Western music based on the perspective of people from two different generations. It won four National Film Awards including the Best Popular Feature Film and seven state Nandi Awards.

4. Shiva (1989)

IMDb rating: 8/10

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Cast: Nagarjuna Akkineni, Amala Akkineni, Raghuvaran

Siva is a 1989 crime action film directed by Ram Gopal Varma. The movie explores the concepts of student exploitation by anti-social elements and the impact of crowd psychology. The film was a commercial success and went on to become the highest-grossing film of the Telugu film industry. Siva attained cult status and is considered Nagarjuna’s breakthrough film.

5. Sagara Sangamam (1983)

IMDb rating: 8.8/10

Genre: Drama, Musical

Cast: Kamal Haasan, Jaya Prada, Sarath Babu

This is a 1983 dance film written and directed by K. Viswanath. The film received positive reviews and was a box office hit. The film received two National Film Awards. The film is listed among CNN-IBN’s list of 100 greatest Indian films of all time. The movie was dubbed into Russian and screened at the Moscow International Film Festival and  Asia Pacific Film Festival.

6. Geethanjali (1989)

IMDb rating: 8.3/10

Cast: Nagarjuna Akkineni, Girija Shettar, Vijayakumar

Genre: Drama, Romance

This is a 1989 romantic drama film written and directed by Mani Ratnam. The music was composed by Illaiyaraaja. The film was a commercial success and received The National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. With this movie, Nagarjuna became the heart-throb of Telugu filmgoers.

7. Donga Donga( 1993)

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Cast: Prasanth, Anand, Heera Rajgopal

Donga Donga is a 1993 movie directed by Mani Ratnam and produced by D. Aruna. The music of the movie was composed by A. R. Rahman. The movie won the National Film Award for Best Special Effects and the National Film Award for Best Choreography. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

8. Annamayya (1997)

IMDb rating: 8.0/10

Genre: Biography, Drama, History

Cast: Nagarjuna Akkineni, Suman, Bhanupriya

This is a 1997 biographical film portraying the life of 15th  century composer Annamacharya played by Nagarjuna. The film has score and soundtrack composed by M.M. Keeravani. Upon release, the film received positive reviews and won 8 Nandi Awards, 3 Filmfare Awards, and two National Film Awards.

9. Indra (2002)

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Genre: Action, Drama

Cast: Chiranjeevi, Sonali Bendre, Aarthi Agarwal

This is a 2002 action drama film directed by B. Gopal and produced by C. Aswani Dutt. The film achieved box office success. Indra was the second highest-grossing Indian film of 2002 after Shah Rukh Khan’s Devdas. Indra is one of the biggest hits of Chiranjeevi’s career. The film won three state Nandi Awards and two Filmfare Awards South.

10. Pokiri (2006)

IMDb rating: 8.0/10

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Cast: Mahesh Babu, Ileana D’Cruz, Prakash Raj

This is a 2006 action thriller film written and directed by Puri Jagannadh. In this movie, a money-minded criminal has to deal with two rival gangs as well as an evil cop threatening his girlfriend. The movie was a commercial success and remained the highest-grossing Telugu film for three years until it was surpassed by Magadheera in 2009. The film won five Nandi Awards and two Filmfare Awards.

11. Magadheera (2009)

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy

Cast: Ram Charan, Kajal Aggarwal, Dev Gill

This is a 2009 fantasy romantic action film directed by S.S.Rajamouli. The movie is themed on reincarnation and eternal love. The movie received critical acclaim and commercial success. It is the first Telugu film to enter the 100-crore club. The film won National Award for Best Choreography and Best Special Effects at the 57th National Film Awards.

12. Eega (2012)

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama

Cast: Sudeep, Nani, Samantha Ruth Prabhu

This is a 2012 fantasy action film written and directed by S.S.Rajamouli. The film’s narrative is in the form of a bedtime story told by a father to his daughter. The protagonist is murdered by his rival and he avenges his death by reincarnating as a housefly. Eega won two National Awards ( Best Feature Film in Telugu and Best Special Effects) and five Filmfare South Awards

13. Manam ( 2014)

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Cast: Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Nagarjuna Akkineni, Naga Chaitanya Akkineni

This is a 2014 fantasy drama film written and directed by Vikram Kumar and produced by the Akkineni family. The film deals with the concepts of rebirth and eternal love and it garnered several accolades. The film’s story is not only about the relationship between reborn lovers but also about the relationship between reborn parents and their children.

14. Baahubali: The Beginning (2015)

IMDb rating: 8/10

Genre: Action, Drama

Cast: Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty

Baahubali is one of the best south Indian movie dubbed in Hindi, is the story about a child from the Mahishmati kingdom who is raised by tribals and one day learns about his royal heritage, his father’s bravery in battle, and a mission to overthrow the  current tyrant ruler. The film proved to be a blockbuster at the box office and was the highest- grossing Indian film of 2015.

15. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

IMDb rating: 8.2/10

Genre: Action, Drama

Cast: Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty

The movie is a follow-up to the movie Baahubali: The Beginning. The film shows the sibling rivalry between Amarendra Baahubali and Bhallaladeva; the latter gets the former killed by Kattapa. Years later, Amarendra’s son returns to avenge his death. It is one of the highest-grossing Indian films to date and received three National Awards- Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, Best Special Effects, and Best Stunt Choreographer.

16. Jersey (2019)

IMDb rating: 8.5/10

Genre: Drama, Sports

Cast: Nani, Shraddha Srinath, Sathyaraj

This is a 2019 sports drama film written and directed by Gowtam Tinnanuri. The film deals with late bloomers who want to excel in sports but face several challenges. The movie received positive reviews and critical acclaim. The film won two National Film Awards- Best Feature Film( Telugu) and Best Editing.

17. Arjun Reddy (2017)

IMDb rating: 8.0/10

Genre: Action, Drama, Romance

Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Shalini Pandey, Jia Sharma

This is a 2017 romantic drama film written and directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga. The film revolves around Arjun Reddy, a surgeon who goes on a self-destructive path after the marriage of his girlfriend; the film focuses on his downfall and how he bounces back. The movie was a box office success and received widespread critical acclaim.

18. C/o Kancharapalem (2018)

IMDb rating: 8.8/10

Genre: Drama

Cast: Radha Bessy, Subba Rao Vepada, Praneeta Patnaik

This is a 2018 slice-of-life anthology film written and directed by Venkatesh Maha. The plot follows four unconventional love stories in parallel, all set in the neighborhood of Kancharapalem. The film received positive reviews from the audience and the critics. The film features a cast of over 80 non-actors, most of them native to Kancharapalem, a neighborhood of Vishakapatnam.

19. Rangasthalam( 2018)

IMDb rating: 8.2/10

Genre: Action, Drama

Cast: Ram Charan, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Aadhi

This is a 2018 period action drama film written and directed by Sukumar. It narrates the story of two brothers, Chittibabu and Kumar Babu who oppose the village’s local government and corrupt cooperative society. The film received positive reviews from the critics and was a commercial success. It also won the National Film Award for Best Audiography. The film is considered one of the “25 Greatest Telugu Films of the Decade” by Film Companion.

20. Mahanati ( 2018)

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

Genre: Biography, Drama

Cast: Keerthy Suresh, Dulquer Salman, Samantha Ruth Prabhu

This is a 2018 biographical drama film based on the life of actress Savitri. The movie received critical acclaim for Keerthy’s performance as Savitri and its screenplay and direction. The film received three National Film Awards- Best Feature Film in Telugu, Best Actress for Keerthy, and Best Costume Design. The movie became the highest-grossing South Indian film that starred a woman as its primary character.

21. Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo (2020)

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama

Cast: Allu Arjun, Pooja Hedge, Tabu

This is a 2020 action dramedy film written and directed by Trivikram Srinivas. The film opened to critical acclaim and was a commercial success. Thaman received the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for this movie. The movie is one of the highest-grossing Telugu films of all time.

22. Vakeel Saab (2021)

IMDb rating: 7.0/10

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Nivetha Thomas, Anjali

This is a 2021 legal drama film written and directed by Venu Sriram. It’s a remake of the 2016 Hindi-language film Pink. Vakeel Saab was the highest opener in India post the pandemic netting over 38 crore on its first day.

23. Uppena (2021)

IMDb rating: 6.5/10

Genre: Action, Drama, Romance

Cast: Panja Vaisshnav Tej, Krithi Shetty, Vijay Sethupathi

This is a romantic drama film written and directed by Buchi Babu Sana. The movie is set in Kakinada and revolves around a fisherman Aasi who falls in love with Bebamma, the daughter of an influential zamindar. The film was a commercial success at the box office. It received the National Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu.

24. RRR (2022)

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Genre: Action, Drama

Cast: N.T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgan

RRR is a 2022 epic period action drama film directed by S.S. Rajamouli. It revolves around the two fictional Indian revolutionaries, their friendship, and their fight against the Britishers. RRR is one of the most expensive Indian films to date and was made on a budget of Rs.5.5 billion. The song “ Naatu Naatu” won the Best Original Song at the 95th Academy Awards. It also won 6 National Awards including Best Popular Feature Film, Best Music Direction, and Best Male Playback Singer. You can watch this telugu movie on Netflix.

25. Pushpa: The Rise Part-1 (2021)

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Cast: Allu Arjun, Fahadh Faasil, Rashmika Mandanna

Pushpa is a 2021 action drama film written and directed by Sukumar. The film depicts the rise of coolie Pushpa Raj in the smuggling syndicate of red sandalwood. The film received mixed reviews but was one of the highest-grossing films of 2021. The movie received two National Film Awards- Best Actor and Best Music Direction. It is one of the best Telugu movie to watch on Amazon Prime.

FAQs –

1. Who is regarded as the Father of Telugu cinema?

Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu is regarded as the Father of Telugu cinema. He produced Bhishma Pratignya, the first full-length Telugu film, in 1921. He was the first to build and own cinema halls in Madras.

2. What is the biggest film industry in India?

Tollywood or the Telugu film industry is the most significant in India as they make more movies than any other cinema industry in the country. The best part is they also generate a lot of revenue.

3. What are some of the Guinness Book records held in Tollywood?

–  P Susheela is one of the most revered Indian singers around the globe. She holds the Guinness record for the most recorded artist in music history. She has reportedly recorded up to 17,695 solo, duet, and chorus-backed songs in over six Indian languages since the 1960s.
–  One of the reigning comedy kings of India, Brahmanandam holds a Guinness Book of World Records for featuring in as many as 1000 films.
–  Late singer S.P. Balasubramaniam made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for recording the highest number of songs with over 40,000 songs in various languages.
– Actor and director Vijaya Nirmala has the Guinness  Book Record for being the female director in the world to direct 42 full-length movies.

4. Which is the highest-grossing Telugu movie of all time?

S.S. Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2: The Conclusion( 2017) is the highest-grossing Telugu movie of all time.
 

Your Turn!

Which is your favourite Telugu movie? Let us know in the comments section!

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