Boodgur Ramakrishnaiah Panthulu is well-known as B.R.Panthulu. He was a successful Actor and Director. He was also into production. He directed Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi movies. He won many National awards and State awards for his films. He won “Afro-Asian Film Festival Award” for his most famous movie “
Veera Pandiya Kattabomman
”. Some of his legendary films include “
” (1964), “
Dil Tera Diwana
” (1964). He is the director of the first color Kannada film “Sri Krishna Deva Rayalu”.
B R Panthulu hails from Kuppam, India. He was a teacher by profession before entering the film industry. He started his career as an Actor in the Kannada movie “Samsara Nauka” in 1936 featuring Rajamma, MadhavaRao, S.K. Padmadevi, and M.S. Madhava Rao. The movie’s story is adapted from a play by the “Chandrakala Nataka Mandali”. It unfolds the story of a man who rejects his grandfather’s wish and marries another woman and spends a troublesome life by achieving the favor of none of his in-laws. He finds himself accused of murdering the bride selected by his grandfather.
His first debut in direction and production is “Thangamalai Ragasiyam” in 1957.He was famous for directing Kannada films like “
”, and “Sri Krishna Devaraya”. He directed 57 films in his lifetime, including all the South Indian languages, under the banner of “Padmini Pictures”.
In 1957, Panthulu acted and directed the Tamil movie “Thangamalai Ragasiyam”, and it is also released in Kannada. In 1958, School Master was released, and it became an astonishing hit. It was produced as well as directed by him. It received “All India Certificate of Merit for Best Feature film”. Panthulu played the role of a School Headmaster in the movie. “School Master” is the first Kannada film to complete the 25-week run. He got signified as “Panthulu” through this movie only. In 1972, the movie was released in Telugu featuring NTR. This movie was remade in Malayalam and Hindi also.
“Veerapandiya Kattabomman” was released in 1959 featuring Sivaji Ganeshan. It was directed and produced by B. R.Panthulu. It received a “Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film” in Tamil. It is also the first Technicolor Tamil film.
Panthulu produced and directed a Kannada film called “Kittur Chennamma” in 1962 featuring himself and Saroja Devi as Kittur Chennamma. Kittur Chennamma fought against the British East India Company and died in the year 1829. This movie got accolades as “Best Feature Film” in Kannada.
In 1962, Panthulu directed a Comedy Hindi film “Dil Tera Deewana” starring
, Mehmood, Pran, and Om Prakash.
Panthulu Produced and Directed a Tamil Socio-Fantasy film “Karnan”, which was released in 1964. The leading role was played by Sivaji Ganeshan. It unfolds the story of “Karna” from the epic “MahaBharata”. Due to its huge success, this movie was even released in Telugu and Hindi. It garnered the Certificate of Merit at the
National Film Awards
for the third Best Feature Film.
Panthalu’s wife name is B.R.Andallammal. He has two children, B.R.Ravishankar and B R Vijayalakshmi. His daughter is “Asia’s First Woman Cinematographer”.
Panthulu died at the age of 64 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Boodgur Ramakrisnan Panthulu was born on 26th July, 1910 in Budaguru, Kolar, Chennai. He was a director, producer and actor who mainly worked for South-Indian Film Industry. He used to make films in many languages like Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada. He is well known for making films relating to the emotions of nationalism and patriotism, inspiring freedom. He converted Ma. Po. Si’s biography into a movie named “Veerapandiya Kattbomman” in which a local chieftain fought for is right of freedom from the British. He also directed a movie named “Kappollittiya Thamizhan” based on the story of follower of ‘Bal Gangadhar Tilak,’ who went against the British rule and fought hard for Indian Freedom. In the beginning, he was a teacher
. He liked professional theater at that time so he joined a local theater group named “Candraala Nataka Mandali.” There he acted in various plays, some of them named as “Guleba Kaveli,” “Sadarame” and “Samsara Nauka.” He also worked in ‘Sri Krishna Garudi,” a play by
. His own professional group was known as “Kalaseva Nataka Mandali.” His debut film as an actor was “Samsara Nauka” released in the year 1936, produced by H.L.N. Simha. In this movie the lead gets married to a girl against the wishes of his family and is boycotted by the community. As a result he is not supported even by his in-laws, becomes jobless and gets accused of killing the girl, whom his grandfather chose for getting married with. The film was the real adaptation of the play performed by his own theater group and was quite authentic. In the year 1950, he made a film in Tamil along with the film maker P. Pullaiah and Musician T.R. Mahalingam under a production house that was later named as Sukumar Productions. The name of the movie was “Macharekhai.”
In the year 1954, he started his own production company named “Padmini Pictures” along with the writer P. Neelakantam. Their first film was “Kalyanam Panniyum Brahmachari.” His own banner went on to create landmark films and made many Kannada films namely “School Master” in the year 1958, “Kittur Chinnamma” (1961) and “Sri Krishnadevaraya” in the year 1970. He won the award of “Karnataka State Film Award For The Best Actor” for the role of “Timmarusu” for the movie “Krishnadevaraya” (Vijayanagra King). His directional debut was “Rathnagiri Rahasya” which was a huge success commercially. All in all he, in his lifetime, directed and produced 57 movies in each and every south Indian language. His biography was written by A.N. Prahalada Rao and was released in November, 2016. He dies on October 8, 1974, at the age of 64.