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Rouben Mamoulian


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#1 Izo

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 05:06 PM

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I confess that I haven't seen a single Mamoulian film, yet he is one of those names I see thrown around time and again. His Applause won Best Picture, so I'm sure many of you list-watchers have seen it and can tell me if it's worth seeking out or is more historically important than artistically worthwhile. He was most active in the 1930s, it seems, with films such as Applause, City Streets, Song of Songs, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Becky Sharp (the first film made in three-strip Technicolor) are highly thought of, if mostly forgotten. Later films, like the Tyrone Power matador film Blood and Sand (with "choreography" by Budd Boetticher) are also fairly highly regarded.

Does anyone know more than I?

Senses of Cinema Great Director

TSPDT 1000 Greatest Films: Love Me Tonight (1932)

#2 clydefro

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 12:24 AM

I think you're mistaken about Applause regarding the Oscars. It wasn't nominated for anything that I can tell. Anyway, I've heard good things about that film but haven't seen it. I can endorse Love Me Tonight (available on DVD from Kino) entirely as very much in the same vein as the films from the Eclipse Lubitsch Musicals set and probably superior to any of them. It also has Myrna Loy in support which is a recommendation in itself. I'm behind on Mamoulian, but people tend to praise Fredric March in his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Queen Christina with Garbo is also highly regarded.

Mamoulian was also originally on board to direct Laura but thank goodness he left the film to be replaced by Otto Preminger. I can't imagine Mamoulian's more romantic, lighter touch being applied to the themes of obsession and sexual confusion found in Laura.

Edited to add that Mamoulian's The Mark of Zorro remains probably the definitive cinematic portrayal of that character. He has both Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell as the leads and uses them with utter sensuality and just the right mix of adventure and romance.

#3 Izo

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 08:18 AM

You're right again, Clyde. It was the National Board of Review that gave Applause the Best Pic title.




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