Ramanaidu - Literally a One Man Industry
Sometimes, the numbers are enough. 155 movies in 13 languages, produced in 52 years. By one man. Daggubati Ramanaidu.
The start to his career epitomises the man. Over five decades ago, a writer had an innovative story about identical twins. It was a dual role for the lead actor, rare for those times. Many big production houses baulked at the idea. ANR was interested, but then decided to go with a Bengali story and made ‘Idhdharu Mithrulu.’ Thus, the bound script was lying around for four years with no producers having the courage to take it up, even after the success of Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s film. Then, a 27 year old youngster who had just opened a new production house called Suresh Productions, jumped in to produce it. The movie was ‘Ramudu Bheemudu’; a blockbuster that was remade umpteen times in many languages - including ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ in Hindi. And that impetuous young man was D. Ramanaidu. The impetus did not wane for the next half a century.
Just making all those films would be a full-time, lifetime job for half a dozen people. But apart from that, Mr. Ramanaidu, built a lab, three studios, a film school, many charitable institutions, and was elected a Member of Parliament. Above all, was accessible to aspiring youngsters, ever ready with a word of encouragement or advice.
Yes, it all comes down to numbers; numero uno. He had an all-consuming passion for cinema, yet he had such a fully rounded personality that one may paraphrase Shakespeare to define him: 'the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world, "This was a cineMan!"'