Mamoulian: Life on Stage and Screen, by David Luhrssen paints the influential stage and film director as a socially conscious artist who sought to successfully combine art and commercial entertainment which he did." Thomas Gladysz, Huffington Post
"Luhrssen's Mamoulian: Life on Stage and Screen provides an in-depth consideration of Mamoulian's remarkable contributions to stage and screen." Film Threat
"Luhrssen not only reveals the fascinating personal story of an important yet neglected figure, but he also offers a tantalizing glimpse into the extraordinary vibrant American film and theater industries during the twenties, thirties, and fortires." Yerevan Magazine
" Mamoulian: Life on Stage and Screen paints the influential stage an dfilm director as a socially conscious artist who sought to successfully combine art and commercial entertainment which he did." Huffington Post
"Luhrssen's book is written with passion and benefits from meticulous research. Despite the widely respected erudition of its subject its style is modest and accessible so curious newcomers to the subject should not feel deterred from giving it a try.... It is highly recommended." Eye For Film
"Today, one sees both worlds anew while watching Mamoulian's moviesand while reading Luhrssen's vivid, sensitive account of the magnificent mind that dreamed those worlds into being." Shepherd Express
"Much thanks and gratitude goes out for Luhrssen on bringing forth Mamoulian's contributions in Hollywood to the 21st century. Without this text, neither I nor many of my contemporaries would be able to appreciate Mamoulian's work." S. Danielle Galian
" Mamoulian: Life on Stage and Screen by David Luhrssen. Biography by Mamoulian arts and entertainment editor and longtime film critic gives an overdue spotlight to Rouben Mamoulian, who as a director shaped some of Broadway and Hollywood's most notable achievements from the 1920s through the '50s, including Applause (1929), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932), Becky Sharp (1935), Queen Christina (1935), The Mark of Zorro (1940), Oklahoma! (1943) and Carousel (1945)." Sunday Journal Sentinel
Director Rouben Mamoulian doesn’t have wide name recognition, but his influence lives on in classics such as stage versions of Porgy and Bess and Oklahoma! and the 1931 film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring Fredric March. Mamoulian, born in Armenia and raised in relative privilege in Russia, came to America via London and eventually became a naturalized citizen. His fledgling directorial efforts were strongly influenced by Stanislavsky, and from the 1920s to the late 1950s he applied his innovative ideas on Broadway and in Hollywood to both critical acclaim and disdain. Educated and urbane, Mamoulian was in most cases more interested in artistry than stardom. Luhrssen (film critic, Shepherd Express, Milwaukee; Hammer of the Gods: The Thule Society and the Birth of Nazism) hedges some of his conclusions with words like possible, might, claimed, thought, perhaps, and “by some accounts”a pattern than can become tiring. However, as Mamoulian generally stayed out of the press, it may be that ironclad statements are difficult to substantiate.
Verdict For readers interested in knowing more about neglected filmmakers, this chronological analysis of Mamoulian’s cinematic and stage contributions will be a good fit.Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX
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