Damini – Lightening
Nari Nuhen Tu Narayani (Oriya)
Damini – Lightening is a 1993 Hindi film directed by Rajkumar Santoshi starring Meenakshi in the titular role as Damini along with Sunny Deol and Rishi Kapoor in supporting roles. The film tried to deliver a strong social message that reached the mass owing to the incredible acting of Meenakshi Sheshadri and Sunny Deol and amazing dialogues penned by Rajkumar Santoshi himself. The film was an instant hit at the box office and is even today considered to be the one of the Best Women-Centric Films after Mother India. The movie was later remade in Tamil as Priyanka with Revathi reprising the role of Meenakshi Sheshadri. The movie was also remade in Telugu as Urmila and Oriya as Nari Ninu Tu Narayani.
Arangetra Velai (Tamil)
Dhanalakshmi I Love You (Telugu)
Trin Trin (Kannada)
Most of the movies on the list are either official remakes of South Indian movie or a Bollywood movie. The common factor is that the original movie is always the best of the lot. However, that is not the case with Hera Pheri. Although, the movie was an official remake of Ramji Rao Speaking, Hera Pheri is considered to be a better movie than its original version. The movie established the career of Paresh Rawal as a comedian and a Character actor while helping the failing career of Akshay Kumar. Ramji Rao Speaking, on the other hand, had Innocent, Mukesh and Sai Kumar in the lead roles who were played by Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty in its Hindi remake. The movie was also remade in Tamil by the original film’s director Fazil as Arangetra Velai as well as in Telugu as Dhanlakshmi I Love You and Kannada as Trin Trin. Hera Pheri has gained the cult status amongst the audience and Hera Pheri is one of the best Cult Comedy Films of Bollywood.
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.
Vasool Raja MBBS (Tamil)
Shankar Dada M.B.B.S.(Telugu)
Uppi Dada M.B.B.S.(Kannada)
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. started a new trend in Bollywood of making comedy movies that share a strong social message through the film. The movie talked about the relation between a patient and a doctor as well as the importance of compassion among the doctors for their patients in addition to their professional attitude. The movie also gave us a hit pair of Munna Bhai and Circuit, which were portrayed by Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi respectively. The theme of the movie made the audience laugh and cry at different moments as well as won the hearts of many people along the way. The success of the movie provoked regional film industry to remake the movie for their audiences. The movie was officially remade in Tamil as Vasool Raja MBBS starring Kamal Hassan in the lead role, in Telugu as Shankar Dada M.B.B.S. with Chiranjeevi as the lead and in Kannada as Uppi Dada M.B.B.S with Upendra in the lead role.
Seeta Aur Geeta
Vani Rani (Tamil)
Ganga Manga (Telugu)
Although, it wasn’t the first ever movie to star a leading actor or actress in double roles, Seeta Aur Geeta, somehow set the right example for many future Bollywood films starring the main lead in dual roles. In Hindi itself, there were many different remakes of this 1972 comedy film starring Hema Malini double role along with Dharmendra and Sanjeev Kumar in important roles. The movie inspired movies like Jaise Ko Taisa starring Jeetendra, Chaalbaaz starring Sridevi, Kishen Kanhaiya starring Anil Kapoor, Judwaa starring Salman Khan and Duplicate starring Shahrukh Khan. The success of this concept was widely accepted all across India and filmmakers in the South remade this movie in multiple languages such as Ganga Manga in Telugu and Vani Rani in Tamil.
Amar Akbar Anthony
Shankar Salim Simon (Tamil)
Ram Robert Rahim (Telugu)
John Jaffer Janardhanan (Malayalam)
Amar Akbar Anthony gave life to the hit trend of multi-starrer movies in the late 70s and early 80s. Starring Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan in the titular roles, the movie directed by Manmohan Desai was an instant hit at the box office breaking all the previous records. Owing to its huge success as a multi-starrer Bollywood action comedy film, the movie was remade in multiple languages in the South Indian film industry. The movie was remade in Tamil as Shankar Salim Simon, in Telugu as Ram Robert Rahim and Malayalam as John Jaffer Janardhanan.
Thillu Mullu (Tamil)
Aasegobba Meesegobba (Kannada)
Simhavalan Menon (Malayalam)
Thillu Mullu (Tamil)
Gol Maal is one of the iconic movies directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee starring Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt in pivotal roles. The movie is termed a classic because of its unique storyline, melodious music by R.D. Burman and great chemistry displayed by the lead actors in the movie. The movie was well appreciated both critically and commercially without any big star cast. The success of the movie was repeated with its official remake in Tamil as Thillu Mullu starring Rajnikanth in the lead roles. Later after a decade, the movie was officially remade in Kannada as Aasegobba Meesegobba, Malayalam as Simhavalan Menon and again in Tamil as Thillu Mullu starring Shiva and Prakash Raj who reprised the roles of Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt from the original Hindi version respectively.
Lakshmi Narasimha (Telugu)
Policegiri is yet another South Indian remake of a 2003 Tamil cop movie, Saamy starring Vikram and Trisha in the leading roles. In the Hindi version, the role of Vikram was reprised by Sanjay Dutt while Prachi Desai was roped in to play the leading lady in the movie. Due to its huge success, Saamy set the trend of police films in Tamil cinema following a huge list of successful cop movies. Later, the movie was remade in Telugu as Lakshmi Narasimha starring Balakrishna and Asin, in Bengali as Barood starring Mithun Chakraborty and in Kannada as Ayya starring Darshan.
Band Baaja Baaraat
Aaha Kalyanam (Tamil/Telugu)
Band Baaja Baaraat is a 2010 youthful romantic comedy directed by debutante Maneesh Sharma starring Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh in the lead roles. The film was a surprise hit despite its initial clash with multi-starer movies like No Problem and Tees Maar Khan. The film was well received by the audience owing to its youth-oriented storyline, excellent screenplay, great music and brilliant acting performance by debutante Ranveer Singh and 2 films old, Anushka Sharma. The popularity of the movie among the youth prompted Yashraj films to produce an official remake of Band Baaja Baaraat in Tamil/Telugu as Aaha Kalyanam starring Nani and Vaani Kapoor in the lead roles. Another remake in Telugu titled Jabardasth was also made in Telugu starring Siddharth and Samantha in the lead roles.
Swati Mutyam (Tamil)
Swathi Muthu (Kannada)
Eeshwar is one of the most innocent movies I have watched till date. The movie, starring Anil Kapoor in the titular role and Vijayshanti as the female lead, is the official remake of Telugu movie Swati Mutyam starring Kamal Hassan in the lead role. The Telugu movie was also selected as an official entry to Oscars from India in 1986. Being a musical blockbuster, the film was received widely in all major centers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The huge success of the movie prompted filmmakers in other industries to remake the movie in their respective languages. It was remade in Hindi as Eeshwar and Kannada as Swathi Muthu.
Some Notable Mentions:
In addition to these multi-lingual successful movie remakes, I would also like to add a few more. These mentions don’t qualify for the above list, however, they do deserve notice because of the popularity and influence in different languages.
The first on this notable list is OMG – Oh My God!, that was recently remade in Telugu as Gopala Gopala starring Daggubati Venkatesh and Pawan Kalyan donning the respective roles of Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar. Although, the movie is based on the popular Gujarati play titled, “Kanji Virudh Kanji”, many few know the fact that its story also resembles to a 2001 Australian movie, “The Man Who Sued God”.
Another movie that needs a mention is Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya starring Salman Khan and Kajol. The movie was first remade into Telugu as “Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana” featuring the directorial debut of Prabhu Deva starring Siddharth and Trisha Krishnan. And the Telugu version was yet again remade into Ramaiya Vastavaiya by the same director starring Shruti Hassan and Girish Kumar in the lead roles. Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya was also remade in Bengali as I Love You starring Dev and Payal Sarkar. The interesting point to be noted here is that all these movies were adapted or influenced from the 1989 super-hit movie, “Maine Pyar Kiya”.
Apart from these, there is also Ghajini both in Hindi and Tamil which were originally inspired from a Christopher Nolan thriller Memento and remade in Hindi and Tamil starring Aamir Khan and Surya in the respective versions. Another notable mention is Amitabh Bachchan starer, Trishul which was remade into Tamil as Mr. Bharath starring Rajnikanth. The interesting fact here is that before Mr. Bharath, Trishul also inspired Kamal Hassan starer, Kadal Meengal and the Malayalam movie Meen.