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dated October 16 and 18 (No issue on October 17), 1953: Praise for Gemini's `Avvaiyar'

Gemini Pictures' film "Avvaiyar" was continuing a highly successful run at Wellington and Prabhat in Madras City and at many other centres in Madras Province, and in its Telugu version in Andhra. The picture, with K. B. Sundarambal singing and acting in the title role, was drawing lavish admiration and praise from many kinds of viewers.

To the film's producer Mr. S.S. Vasan, Professor J.E. de La Harpe of the University of California, wrote, "Although I don't know one word of Tamil, I enjoyed the film immensely, being able to guess more or less the story from the scenes as it is acted out. This letter is not only to congratulate you on such a remarkable picture (the nature shots are particularly good), but to urge you to export it. Nothing could make India — at least Southern India — better understood abroad and liked than `Avvaiyar' with its rural scenes, temple processions, religious incidents, and scenes such as the one of elephants storming a city. These will send foreign audiences wild, in addition to the very interesting musical aspect; your actress has a lovely voice. Although a Frenchman, I have been living in America for 27 years. As I know the Americans, they would simply love such a picture, so different from the stuff usually fed to the public here by Hollywood. I am sure you could make a smashing success with "Avvaiyar." Only be sure to leave it just as it is, do not add a love story (such as Hollywood thinks is indispensable), and do not change the typical Indian scenes. English sub-titles will be quite sufficient to make the whole story understandable. I hope I shall be able to see `Avvaiyar' in the U.S.A. with English titles before too long."

Mr. K. Venkataswami Naidu, Minister for Religious Endowments and Registration, said, "I have seen both the Telugu and Tamil versions of `Avvaiyar.' When some of us were feeling that standards are going down in film production, this movie has come as a great relief. It is a perfect picture, carrying great moral and historical value. I need not speak of technical perfection for a Gemini production."

Mr. N. Chandrasekhara Aiyar wrote, "Cinema does not attract me very much. To a large extent, I share Rajaji's view that many movies have a demoralizing influence on our young men and women. The persuasion of one of my valued friends made me attend the Tamil picture `Avvaiyar' at Wellington Theatre. Not only do I not regret my visit; on the other hand I feel it was a privilege and a pleasure to have seen such a good picture, full of high moral lessons and vibrant with the melodious music of Srimathi K.B. Sundarambal who plays the role of `Avvaiyar.' Mr. Vasan must be congratulated."

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