Rouben Mamoulian

Rouben Mamoulian

Infobox Actor
name = Rouben Mamoulian

birthdate = birth date|1897|08|08|mf=y
birthplace = Tbilisi, Georgia, Russia
deathdate = death date and age|1987|12|04|1897|08|08|mf=y
deathplace = Hollywood, California, U.S.
occupation =film, theatre director
spouse = Azadia Newman (m.1945)
awards = NYFCC Award for Best Director
1936 "The Gay Desperado"

Rouben Mamoulian (October 8, 1897 – December 4, 1987) was an Armenian-American film and theatre director.

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia (ruled at that time by imperial Russia) to an Armenian family, Rouben relocated to England and started directing plays in London in 1922. He moved to America the next year to teach in Eastman School of Music and was involved in directing opera and theatre. In 1930, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Asked how to say his name, he told "The Literary Digest" "The correct pronunciation is "roo-BEN ma-mool-YAN"." (Charles Earle Funk, "What's the Name, Please?", Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.)

tage directing

Mamoulian began his Broadway director career with a production of DuBose Heyward's "Porgy", which opened on October 10, 1927. He directed the revival of that show in 1929 along with George Gershwin's operatic treatment, "Porgy and Bess", which opened on October 10, 1935. Mamoulian was also the first to stage such notable Broadway works as "Oklahoma!" (1943), "Carousel" (1945) and "Lost in the Stars" (1949).

Film direction

He directed his first feature in 1929, "Applause", which was one of the early talkies. It was a landmark film due to Rouben's innovative use of camera movement and sound, and these qualities were carried through to his other films released in the 1930s, such as "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1931) and the musical film "Love Me Tonight" (1932). He directed the first three strip Technicolor film, "Becky Sharp" (1935), based on Thackeray's "Vanity Fair", as well as the 1937 musical "High, Wide, and Handsome". His next two films earned him wide admiration, "The Mark of Zorro" (1940) and "Blood and Sand" (1941), both remakes of silent films. "Blood and Sand" was filmed in Technicolor, and used color schemes based on the work of Spanish artists such as Diego Velázquez and El Greco. His foray into screwball comedy genre in 1942 was a success with "Rings on Her Fingers" starring Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney.

His last completed musical film was MGM's 1957 film version of the Cole Porter musical "Silk Stockings". This had been one of Porter's less successful stage musicals and was based on the 1939 Greta Garbo classic "Ninotchka". The film "Silk Stockings" starred Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, with Janis Paige and Peter Lorre in support (with Lorre singing in the film).

Mamoulian's film directing career came to an end when he was fired from two consecutive films, "Porgy and Bess" (1959) and "Cleopatra" (1963). He had previously been fired as director of "Laura" (1944). After directing the highly successful original stage productions of "Oklahoma!" and "Carousel", he worked on only a few other theatrical productions, such as "St. Louis Woman", which introduced Pearl Bailey to Broadway audiences. In 1982 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of America.

He died in 1987 of natural causes at the age of 90 in Woodland Hills, California.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1709 Vine Street.

Directorial filmography

*1929 - "Applause"
*1931 - "City Streets"
*1931 - "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
*1932 - "Love Me Tonight"
*1933 - "Queen Christina"
*1933 - "The Song of Songs"
*1934 - "We Live Again"
*1935 - "Becky Sharp"
*1936 - "The Gay Desperado"
*1937 - "High, Wide, and Handsome"
*1939 - "Golden Boy"
*1940 - "The Mark of Zorro"
*1941 - "Blood and Sand"
*1942 - "Rings on Her Fingers"
*1944 - "Laura" (uncredited)
*1948 - "Summer Holiday"
*1952 - "The Wild Heart" (US version)
*1957 - "Silk Stockings"

External links

*ibdb name|id=8497|name=Rouben Mamoulian
*imdb name|id=0541149|name=Rouben Mamoulian

NAME= Mamoulian, Rouben
SHORT DESCRIPTION=film, theatre director
DATE OF BIRTH= 1897-08-08
PLACE OF BIRTH= Tbilisi, Georgia, Russia
DATE OF DEATH= 1987-12-04
PLACE OF DEATH= California, California, U.S.


Wife Azadia Newman is a portrait painter. Gore Vidal included a photograph of Azadia in his 1995 memoirs, "Palimpsest".

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Rouben Mamoulian — (* 8. Oktober 1897 in Tiflis, Georgien; † 4. Dezember 1987 in Woodland Hills, Kalifornien, USA) war ein US amerikanischer Film und Theaterregisseur. Karriere Gebürtig aus einer armenischen Bankiersfamilie in Tiflis, verbrachte er einen Teil… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Mamoulian — Rouben Mamoulian (* 8. Oktober 1897 in Tiflis, Georgien; † 4. Dezember 1987 in Woodland Hills, Kalifornien, USA) war ein US amerikanischer Film und Theaterregisseur. Karriere Gebürtig aus einer armenischen Bankiersfamilie in Tiflis, verbrachte er …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mamoulian, Rouben — (1897 1987)    Son of an actress, Rouben Mamoulian was born in Russia and studied law at the University of Moscow. He abandoned his legal pursuits to study at Eugene Vakhtangov s Studio Theatre. He directed The Beating on the Door (1922) in… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Mamoulian, Rouben — (8 oct. 1897, Tbilisi, Georgia, Imperio ruso–4 dic. 1987, Los Ángeles, Cal., EE.UU.). Director ruso estadounidense. Después de estudiar actuación en el Teatro de Arte de Moscú, se mudó a Londres en 1918, donde dirigió operetas y musicales. En… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mamoulian —   [mə muːlɪən], Rouben, amerikanischer Theater und Filmregisseur armenischer Herkunft, * Tiflis 8. 10. 1897, ✝ Los Angeles (Kalifornien) 4. 12. 1987; seit 1923 in den USA, wo er Opern, Operetten und Musicals inszenierte, u. a. »Porgy and Bess«… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Mamoulian, Rouben — born Oct. 8, 1897, Tiflis, Georgia, Russian Empire died Dec. 4, 1987, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S. Russian U.S. director. After training as an actor at the Moscow Art Theatre, he moved to London in 1918, where he directed operettas and musicals.… …   Universalium

  • Mamoulian — /məˈmuliən/ (say muh moohleeuhn) noun Rouben, 1897–1987, US film and stage director, born in Russia …   Australian English dictionary

  • Мамулян, Рубен — (Mamoulian, Ruben)    Режиссер театра, кино и телевидения. Родился 8 октября 1897 г, в Тифлисе, в армянской семье, умер 4 декабря 198.7 г. в Вудланд Хиллз (штат Калифорния). Изучал право в Московском университете, занимался в театральной студии у …   Режиссерская энциклопедия. Кино США