$1.1 Million Gift to UCLA Establishes Rouben Mamoulian Endowed Chair in Directing for Film and Theater
The estate of Azadia Mamoulian, widow of film and theater legend Rouben
Mamoulian, has donated $1.1 million to the UCLA School of Theater, Film
and Television to establish an endowed chair in theatrical and motion
picture directing, announced Robert Rosen, dean of the school.
Mamoulian's musical masterpiece, "Love Me Tonight" (1932), was recently
restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive and will screen at the
James Bridges Theater, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 21, as part of
their 12th Festival of Preservation. For information, call (310)
206-FILM or visit www.cinema.ucla.edu.
"To have an artist of the distinction of Rouben Mamoulian associated
with the chair is a great honor for us," Rosen said. "It is
particularly appropriate since Mamoulian moved easily between stage and
screen, just as our students are encouraged to do during their time on
The Mamoulian Chair enables the school to invite film and theater
artists of great distinction to teach at UCLA and enhance the
curriculum. During the most recent academic year, the chair funded the
residencies of veteran award-winning directors Robert Butler, Barry
Primus and Joe Sargent in the Department of Film, Television and
Digital Media. The residency of distinguished musical theater director
Jeremy Mann also was funded and resulted in a sold-out Ray Bolger
Musical Theater production of "Into the Woods."
Mamoulian's films are known for their sex and seduction, wit, lyricism,
and highly inventive filmmaking techniques. "Love Me Tonight" is an
enchanting tale of an amorous tailor (Maurice Chevalier) who woos a
lovelorn princess (Jeanette MacDonald). The film was a landmark
collaboration between Mamoulian and composers Richard Rodgers and
Lorenz Hart. They produced a technique that was revolutionary at the
time wherein the story, action and dialogue were seamlessly integrated
with irresistible songs. The Packard Humanities Institute funded the
restoration of the print.
In addition to "Love Me Tonight," the UCLA Film and Television Archive
has restored such Mamoulian classics as "Applause" (1929), "City
Streets" (1931), "The Song of Songs" (1933), "Becky Sharp" (1935), "The
Gay Desperado" (1936), "High, Wide and Handsome" (1937) and "The Mark
of Zorro" (1940).
Additional films directed by Mamoulian include "Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde" (1932), "Queen Christina" (1934), "We Live Again" (1934), "Golden
Boy" (1939), "Blood and Sand" (1941), "Rings on Her Fingers (1942),
"Summer Holiday" (1948) and "Silk Stockings" (1957).
Born and raised in Russia, Mamoulian studies law at the University of
Moscow and pursued his love of theater by taking acting courses in the
evening. He began his directing career on stage in London and New York
and received critical acclaim for his 1926 Broadway non‑musical
production of "Porgy," featuring an all-black cast. That hit led
Paramount studios to sign Mamoulian to direct the drama "Applause"
Throughout his moviemaking career, Mamoulian returned frequently to the
stage, overseeing productions of the Gershwin opera version of "Porgy
and Bess" in 1935 and "Carousel" in 1945. He won much praise as the
original director of "Oklahoma" in 1943. In later years, he turned to
writing. He died in 1987 at the age of 90.
The Mamoulian Chair is part of UCLA's Ensuring Academic Excellence
initiative, a five‑year effort aimed at generating $250 million in
private commitments specifically for the recruitment and retention of
the very best faculty and graduate students. The initiative was
launched in June 2004. Its goals include $100 million to fund 100 new
endowed chairs for faculty across campus, increasing the number to 331.
In addition, campus officials plan to increase support for an estimated
3,500 graduate students per year by raising $100 million to fund
fellowships and scholarships in the UCLA College and $50 million for
fellowships and scholarships in UCLA's 11 professional schools.
About the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television offers its students a
unique blend of scholarship and practical training, bringing together
the highest levels of professionalism with the social mission of a
public university. Its landmark integration of theater, film,
television and digital media and its outstanding faculty and facilities
nurture creative innovation, personal vision and social responsibility.
Comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in
acting, animation, critical studies, design, digital arts, directing,
production and writing. The recipients of Oscars, Emmys, Tonys and
other prestigious awards, alumni include such notable artists as
Allison Anders, Carol Burnett, Charles Burnett, Nancy Cartwright,
Francis Ford Coppola, Susan Egan, David Koepp, Frank Marshall, Greg
Nava, Alexander Payne, John Rando, Tim Robbins, Eric Roth, John
Rubinstein, Pietro Scalia, Paul Schrader, Tom Schumacher, Tom Shadyac,
Brad Silberling, Penelope Spheeris, Gore Verbinski and many more.
About the UCLA Film and Television Archive
The UCLA Film and Television Archive is internationally renowned for
its pioneering efforts to preserve and showcase not only classic films
and television, but also contemporary, innovative moving image media.
The archive also is a unique resource for media study, with one of the
largest collections of media materials in the United States — second
only to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. — and the largest
of any university in the world. Its vaults hold more than 220,000
motion picture and television titles and 27 million feet of newsreel
footage. The combined collections represent an all-encompassing
documentation of the 20th century