Rouben Mamoulian

Active - 1929 - 1987  |   Born - Oct 8, 1898 in Tiflis, Georgia (former USSR)  |   Died - Dec 4, 1987 in Woodland Hills, CA  |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Musical, Comedy, Film, TV & Radio [nf]

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Biography

An actor in Russian theater in the teens, Rouben Mamoulian relocated to England and began directing plays in London in 1922. He came to the U.S. the following year and was soon directing opera and theater. He helmed his first film in 1929, the landmark early talkie Applause. This backstage drama was noteworthy for its inventive camerawork and resourceful use of sound -- qualities that also defined Mamoulian's major works of the early 1930s: the crime drama City Streets (1931) with Gary Cooper; the horror tale Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) with Fredric March; the Lubitsch-inspired musical Love Me Tonight (1932), with Jeanette MacDonald; the historical drama Queen Christina (1933) with Greta Garbo; and the first Technicolor feature from Hollywood, the Thackeray adaptation Becky Sharp (1935). In the early '40s, Mamoulian's silent-film remakes, The Mark Of Zorro (1940) and Blood and Sand (1941), both starring Tyrone Power, were widely admired, but he went on to make only three more films: the comedy Rings on Her Fingers (1942) and the musicals Summer Holiday (1948), based on Eugene O'Neill's "Ah, Wilderness!," and Silk Stockings (1957), based on Lubitsch's film Ninotchka. Never one to compromise, Mamoulian started but was replaced on the films Laura (1944), Porgy and Bess, and Cleopatra (1963). He remained busy directing theater and opera, and staged the original productions of such celebrated works as Porgy and Bess, Oklahoma!, Carousel, and Lost in the Stars.

Movie Highlights

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