40 Years of ‘Khaidi’: A film that made Chiranjeevi a star


“Khaidi” was a watershed moment in Chiranjeevi’s career. This film, which was released on October 28, 1983, catapulted Chiranjeevi to stardom. Directed by A. Kodandarami Reddy, ‘Khaidi’ celebrated its 40th anniversary today.

On this occasion, Telugucinema.com has put together a retrospective with the statements from Chiranjeevi, director and producer. Read on.

What is the story about?

Sooryam (Chiranjeevi) is a college student who falls in love with Madhulatha (Madhavi), the daughter of the feudal lord of his village, Veerabhadraiah (Rao Gopal Rao). Venkateswarlu (P.L Narayana), Sooryam’s father, owes money to Veerabadhraiah. Veerabadraiah devises a plan to put a stop to his daughter’s relationship with Sooryam. He murders Sooryam’s father and later harasses his sister, causing her to commit suicide. Veerabhadraiah accuses Sooryam of murdering his sister and has him arrested. The rest of the film depicts Sooryam’s vengeance on the feudal lord.


Megastar Chiranjeevi

“Khaidi made me a permanent prisoner (Khaidi) in the hearts of fans.

That movie was a huge turning point in my life! The film’s reception from the audience is unforgettable. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to our entire Telugu audience for bestowing such great success and making me a star.”

Dr. M. Tirupathi Reddy, the presenter

“I am from Nellore and moved to Madras to work in the film financing business. We established Tirupathi Finance and financed a number of films. That’s when I first met Chiranjeevi and Kondarami Reddy. We proposed of collaborating with Chiranjeevi and Kodandarami Reddy, and we toyed with couple of stories. However, I liked the subject of “First Blood” and asked the Paruchuri brothers to write a story based on it. They provided an excellent script for the film. In our initial script, the protagonist was simply a villager, but when we changed it to a student, it clicked! “Khaidi” was my choice for the title.

Madhavi and Chiranjeevi were a popular pair back then, but Madhavi had never worked with Kondadarami Reddy before, so I wanted to cast her in the film. Nitya has already appeared in a Tamil film. I liked her character in the film, so we cast her as Rosy, the bubbly character. We renamed Nitya Samyuktha after our banner name, and she continued to appear in films such as Sirivennela under the same name.


On May 10, 1983, the film’s production began at Prasad Labs, with the muhurtam shot on Chiranjeevi and Madhavi. (It was the continuation scene of Menaka-Vishwamitra song vEdam, naadam…, where Madhavi asks Chiranjeevi about their love). The film was finished in three shooting schedules, shot over the course of forty days and forty film rolls.

Even though we had just announced it, the film was sold for 25 lakh rupees! Chiranjeevi received Rs.175,000, Madhavi received Rs.40,000, Sumalatha received Rs.20,000, and the director, Kondarami Reddy, received Rs.40,000 as their remunerations.

We spent all of our money to make the film look grand, and we didn’t make much money on the first run. We made a profit on this film after five years and throughout the following years because the film’s rights were sold to exhibitors once every five years. We made a profit of 20 lakh rupees after five years, and some more in subsequent years. We didn’t make much money on satellite rights because we didn’t realize it would be so popular later.

The majority of the filming took place in the village of Rebala near Nellore. Climax portions were filmed Porur near Madras. The blasting of houses and other such scenes were performed on a specially constructed set.

Madhavi had her own house in Talakona, while everyone else lived in huts and houses near the village.

Chiranjeevi’s now-famous costume (which can still be seen in posters) was his own creation! We considered doing it normally, but he wanted the outfit to be a little different. He grabbed a black trouser and a black T-shirt from the house at the last minute, removing the sleeves of the shirt and placing the belt above the T-shirt. With this film, he became a Khaidi in the hearts of millions of people thanks to his outfit!


In Tirupathi, an elderly lady was unable to bear the thought of Chiranjeevi being hanged and cried out loud in the theatre that he should not be hanged! Such was the film’s and the actors’ performances’ impact on the audience at the time.

Later, the film was remade in Kannada and Hindi. Vishnuvardham did it in Kannada, while Padmalaya acquired the rights for Hindi and produced it with Jeetendra. Madhavi was the female lead in all three languages.

A. Kodandarami Reddy, the film’s director

We had planned to make the film with a story written by a Tamil writer, but it didn’t work out. Tirupathi Reddy gaaru then gave us the cassette of “First Blood” (1982) and suggested that we base the story on the opening scenes of the film. Based on it, the Paruchuri brothers created a fantastic story. We never thought it would be risky to go out of our way to do something different back then! We were always interested in trying new things. RagulutOndi mogalipoda… and idEmiTabbaa…? were big hits back then because we did them differently! This was Chiranjeevi’s first film to cross the one crore mark in box office receipts, granting him star status.

By: Sri Atluri



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