Devatha (1941)

Run Time - 186 min.  |   Countries - India  |  
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Telugu filmmaker B.N. Reddi directs this controversial and wildly successful melodrama about the evils of class and traditional sexual mores. Returning to his village after studying law at Oxford, Venu (Chittor V. Nagaiah) has an illicit affair with a beautiful and proud maid named Lakshmi (Kumari), resulting in her getting pregnant. Engaged to marry the fantastically wealthy Vimala (Bezwada Rajarathnam), Venu offers his former lover a stack of money to go away. Offended, she storms away without taking the dough. Later, when Venu's planned nuptials fall apart after Vimala runs off with a sniveling poet named Sukumar (Ch. Narayana Rao), Venu confesses his dark secret to his mother, and together -- with his daughter in tow -- they set out to find Lakshmi. Though she is now a prostitute, he marries her anyway.