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Competition among films is inevitable. It had been there since the first Telugu talkie was born. If a film becomes a success, many more films adopt the same story or the same formula and compete with each other, calling it creative competition. After the first Telugu talkie, Bhaktha Prahlada, this creative competition evolved its way out through the film Sati Savithri. H. M. Reddy famously called as Talkie Puli directed the film under the banner Bharat Movie Tone in the year 1933. In the same year, famous director Chitthajallu Pullayya made one more Sati Savithri under the bannerEast India Film Companyand competed with the former one. Interestingly, the second Sati Savitri bagged success while the first one did not fare well.

Later, again in the year 1936, one more subject was made into a film twice. Under the banner Saraswati Talkies Limited, H. V. Babu directed the film Draupadi Vastrapaharanamu, which was released on February 29th, 1936. It was received well by the audiences. Simultaneously, in competition to Draupadi Vastrapaharanamu, director duo Ramana Murthy and Jagannath made a film with the same subject called Draupadi Maanasamrakshanamu, which was released within a month, on 24th March 1936. Though it was critically appreciated, it failed to grab a box office success.

More than a decade later, the trend of creative competition picked its pace again in Tollywood. In the year 1950, on 26th February, the audiences were presented with two different films, but with the same story. It was the popular Lakshmamma Katha. Getting into the details, MRA company was the first one that intended to make Lakshmamma Katha as a film. But due to reasons unknown, it was Sobhanachala Production Company that had Tripuraneni Gopichand direct the film Lakshmamma Katha, who was the first one to take it to the sets. During the same time, Prathibha Company also produced the same story with Gantasala Balaramayya’s supervision with the title Sri Lakshmamma Katha. Of the two the former one won people’s appreciation.

History repeated once more after 26 years in 1976-77, with NTR’s blockbuster Dana Veeera Sura Karna. Superstar Krishna competed with NTR’s Dana Veeera Sura Karna with the simultaneously made film Kursukshetram having the same story. While Dana Veeera Sura Karna is a milestone in Telugu Cinema, Kurukshetram is one of the barely remembered films.

Interestingly, two more incidents are worth a special mention here! When NTR’s Satya Harischandra was released in the year 1965, SVR’s Harischandra of 1956, was re-released to compete with NTR’s Satya Harischandra. Also, when Krishna’s Devadasu was released in the year 1974, ANR’s classic Devadasu was re-released to compete with Krishna’s film!. Well, that’s how the creative competition sets out for it’s an industry that thrives on competition. 

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