Gauravam (1973 film)

Gauravam (transl. Prestige) is a 1973 Indian Tamil-language legal drama film written and directed by Vietnam Veedu Sundaram. The film stars Sivaji Ganesan in a dual role as a barrister and his nephew (an amateur lawyer) fighting the same case. It is an adaptation of Sundaram's play Kannan Vandhaan. The film was released on 25 October 1973 and became a commercial success, with Ganesan winning the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil.

Gauravam 1973 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byVietnam Veedu Sundaram
Screenplay byVietnam Veedu Sundaram
Based onKannan Vanthaan
by Vietnam Veedu Sundaram
Produced byS. Rangarajan
StarringSivaji Ganesan
CinematographyA. Vincent
Edited byR. Devarajan
Music byM. S. Viswanathan
Vietnam Movies
Release date
  • 25 October 1973 (1973-10-25)
Running time
136 minutes


Madras High Court barrister Rajinikanth is a tour de force criminal defence lawyer who has never lost a case. He is a self-made man with a rags to riches story. He is well respected by other lawyers and is a terror to his opponents in the court. His only unfulfilled ambition is the prestigious position of judgeship and has all the qualifications of being a judge, with an exaggerated ego being his only character flaw. Kannan is Rajinikanth's nephew who is brought up like a son by the childless Rajinikanth and his wife Chellamma. Rajinikanth tutors Kannan in law and wants his ward to be as successful as he is. Kannan is an antithesis of Rajinikanth; he is a loving, loyal, god-fearing man, who occasionally appears in pro bono cases as a public defender.

One day, Rajinikanth is shocked to learn that an undeserving lawyer Rangabashyam has been made the high court judge, instead of him. Meanwhile, a man named Mohandas murders his wife and beseeches lawyers to appear on his behalf and save him. Rajinikanth feels that the bar council has insulted his prowess in jurisprudence and decides to seek his revenge by gaming the system and getting Mohandas acquitted, despite the latter's clear guilt. Mohandas is acquitted by the court, thanks to Rajinikanth's expertise in law. This deeply hurts Kannan, who does not say anything at that time out of respect for his uncle.

Later, Mohandas's fiancé dies in her bathtub by accident. Mohandas is arrested under suspicion that he has repeated his crime. Rajinikanth appears on Mohandas's behalf again. But this time around, Kannan protests and walks out of the house to become the prosecution lawyer facing Rajinikanth, convinced that the loyalty to his profession supersedes the loyalty to his adopted father. In the climactic court battle, Kannan defeats Rajinikanth due to his meticulous preparation as well as Mohandas neglecting to mention a critical surprise witness. Rajinikanth is particularly infuriated when Kannan taunts him asking if he would like an adjournment to prepare to cross examine that witness. Rajinikanth's ego does not allow him to seek adjournment, handing Kannan the victory. His first loss proves too much to handle and an anguished Rajinikanth succumbs to death, just before Kannan brings him the news of his appointment as a judge.



Kannan Vandhaan was a stage play.[2] Sundaram, who wrote the play, returned to direct the film adaptation, titled Gauravam.[3] The title of the film, which translates to prestige, was taken from the play and film versions of Sundaram's Vietnam Veedu where there is a character named Prestige Padmanabhan.[4] Sivaji Ganesan's style of smoking a pipe in the film was inspired by that of an industrialist T. S. Krishnan, and his hairstyle was inspired by T. S. Narayanaswami, an industrialist then associated with India Cements.[5] Gauravam was the first film where Ganesan and Y. G. Mahendran acted together.[6]


The music was composed by M. S. Viswanathan.[7]

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length
1 "Yamuna Nadhi" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, P. Susheela Kannadasan 04:22
2 "Adhisaya Ulagam" L. R. Eswari 04:05
3 "Palooti Valarthakili" T. M. Soundararajan 04:32
4 "Mezhuguvarthi Erikindrathu" T. M. Soundararajan 03:33
5 "Neeyum Naanuma" T. M. Soundararajan 04:33


Gauravam was released on 25 October 1973,[8][9] Diwali day.[10] The film became a commercial success, running for over 100 days in theatres.[11] Ganesan won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil.[12]


Ganesan reprised the role of Rajinikanth in the Doordarshan television series Meendum Gowravam.[5]


  1. ^ Ganesan & Narayana Swamy 2007, p. 182.
  2. ^ Venkatramanan, Geetha (29 March 2012). "Drama with dignity". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  3. ^ "'Vietnam Veedu' Sundaram passes away". DT Next. 7 August 2016. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  4. ^ S, Srivatsan (9 April 2020). "Pride and prestige: Remembering 'Vietnam Veedu' on its 50th anniversary". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  5. ^ a b Raman, Mohan (17 September 2011). "GOWRAVAM – Re visited". Mohan's Musings. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Oscar-worthy performance by Sivaji: Y Gee Mahendra". The Times of India. 14 January 2015. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Gowravam (1973)". Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  8. ^ "161–170". Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  9. ^ "கௌரவம்" [Prestige]. Murasoli (in Tamil). 25 October 1973. Archived from the original on 17 July 2021. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  10. ^ யுவகிருஷ்ணா (25 October 2019). "தீபாவளி ரிலீஸ்!" [Diwali release!]. Kungumam (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 10 June 2021. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  11. ^ Ganesan & Narayana Swamy 2007, p. 242.
  12. ^ The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. 1984. p. 234. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.


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