Bek-Nazarov, Amo Ivanovich
(also, Ambartsum Ivanovich Bek-Nazarov). Born May 19 (31), 1892, in Yerevan; died Apr. 27, 1965, in Moscow. Soviet actor, director, and filmwriter. Became People’s Artist of the Armenian SSR in 1935.
Bek-Nazarov, who began acting in films in 1914, became well-known in prerevolutionary cinema for his roles as the romantic hero in melodramas and in drawing-room dramas. After the establishment of Soviet power, Bek-Nazarov took an active part in the creation of cinematography in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. In 1921 he headed the film section of the People’s Commissariat for Education in Georgia. In 1924 he completed his first work as a director: the film In the Pillory (after the novel by A. Kazbegj, The Patricide).
In 1925 he was invited by the Soviet People’s Commissariat of Armenia to head the developing national film industry of the republic. During this period he made Namus (1925, after the novel by A. Shirvanzade), Zare (1927), Khaspush (1928), and House on the Volcano (1929). These films and especially Pepo (1935), the screen version of G. Sundukian’s play, did much to give Armenian cinema its realistic direction. Bek-Nazarov’s films are truthful and striking for their national local color; they are distinguished by their emotional saturation, their spirit, and by the performances of the actors. His films also include Sevil’ (1929, after Dzha-barly’s play), Igdenbu (1930), Zangezur (1938; State Prize of the USSR, 1941), David-Bek (1944), Anait (1947), and Nasreddin in Khodzhent, or the Charmed Prince (1960, in collaboration with E. A. Karamian). He has written many of the screenplays for his films. In 1966, Bek-Nazarov’s name was added to the Armenfil’m Studio. He was awarded three orders and several medals.