Alexander Rou

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Alexander Rou (Rowe)
Alexander Arturovich Rou

(1906-03-08)8 March 1906
Died28 December 1973(1973-12-28) (aged 67)
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter
Years active1934–1973

Alexander Arturovich Rou (also, Rowe, from his Irish father's name) (Russian: Александр Артурович Роу, 8 March [O.S. 23 February] 1906 – 28 December 1973) was a Soviet film director, and People's Artist of the RSFSR (1968). He directed a number of children's fantasy films, based mostly on Russian folklore, that were highly popular and often imitated in the Soviet Union.[1]


He was born to an Irish father Arthur Howard[2] Rowe, (an engineer, who in 1905 came under contract to Russia to establish flour-milling) hence his unusual (for Russia) family name, and a Greek mother, known as Julia Karageorgia.[3] His father worked in Yuryevets and in 1914 returned to Ireland, leaving the family in unstable Russia.

Starting in 1930, Alexander worked at Mezhrabpomfilm as an assistant director to Yakov Protazanov on the films Marionettes (1934) and Without a Dowry (1937), as well as with other directors. From 1937, he worked at the "Soyuzdetfilm" studio, later known as the Gorky Film Studio. He directed 15 fantasy films as well as a comedy and three short documentaries.[4] Most of them were based on the Russian folklore or Russian fantasy books, such as by Nikolai Gogol, Petr Yershov, and Vitali Gubarev. They were a part of folk revival trend in the Soviet cinema, alongside films by Aleksandr Ptushko, Ivan Ivanov-Vano, Lev Atamanov, and others. Rou's movies were immensely popular in the Soviet Union and set up a tradition of fantasy films that was followed by the younger directors.

Rou died in 1973 in a Moscow hospital while working on pre-production of his final movie Finist, the brave Falcon. It was completed by Gennady Vasilyev after his death.

Selected filmography[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Rollberg (2009). Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Cinema. US: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 591–592. ISBN 978-0-8108-6072-8.
  2. ^ Biography, (russisch)
  3. ^ Sputnitskaya, Yulia. Ptushko. Rou. Master-class in Soviet Kino-fantasy. p. 162 ISBN 978-5-4475-9618-7
  4. ^ Allison, Deborah. "Great Directors: Aleksandr Rou". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved 8 February 2024.

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