Mark Sandrich


Director
Mark Sandrich

About

Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
August 26, 1900
Died
March 04, 1945

Biography

Trained as a physicist, Sandrich began his career as a prop man in 1922 and five years later emerged as a director of comedy shorts, notably Lupino Lane two-reelers. Sandrich directed his first feature in 1928, but lacking enough experience to handle the technical demands accompanying the advent of sound, he was again consigned to shorts; his highly-regarded, Oscar-winning musical short,...

Photos & Videos

Top Hat - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Follow the Fleet - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Shall We Dance - Behind-the-Scenes Pan Photo

Family & Companions

Freda Sandrich
Wife

Biography

Trained as a physicist, Sandrich began his career as a prop man in 1922 and five years later emerged as a director of comedy shorts, notably Lupino Lane two-reelers. Sandrich directed his first feature in 1928, but lacking enough experience to handle the technical demands accompanying the advent of sound, he was again consigned to shorts; his highly-regarded, Oscar-winning musical short, "So This is Harris" (1932), which was very playful with both its editing and its soundtrack, enabled him to make another go at features, which he continued to turn out until 1944.

Sandrich's best-known films are the five entries in the memorable Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers series of musicals he made at RKO in the 30s, including "The Gay Divorcee" (1934), "Top Hat" (1935)," "Follow the Fleet" (1936), "Shall We Dance" (1937) and "Carefree" (1938). Later Sandrich moved to Paramount, where he helmed several comedy vehicles for Jack Benny but continued to make musicals as well. He also started to produce as well as direct his own films; his best-known work from this period was the Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire music-fest, "Holiday Inn" (1942).

Life Events

1928

Directorial debut "Runaway Girls"

1933

Began directing films at RKO

1934

First film for the team of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, "The Gay Divorcee"

1938

Last film with Rogers and Astaire, "Carefree"

1939

Left RKO for Paramount; directed the first of three films starring Jack Benny, "Man About Town"

1940

Began producing as well as directing his films at Paramount with "Buck Benny Rides Again"

1944

Last completed films, "I Love a Soldier" and "Here Come the Waves", both of which he produced and directed for Paramount

1946

Had just begun directing "Blue Skies", starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, but died during production; film was ultimately directed by Stuart Heisler

Photo Collections

Top Hat - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of RKO's Top Hat (1935), starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and directed by Mark Sandrich.
Follow the Fleet - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Follow the Fleet (1936), starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Shall We Dance - Behind-the-Scenes Pan Photo
Here is a photo taken behind-the-scenes during production of RKO's Shall We Dance (1937). The photo is a unique panoramic shot of the soundstage with cast and crew (so use the ZOOM function for a closer look).
Shall We Dance - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of RKO's Shall We Dance (1937), starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and directed by Mark Sandrich.

Videos

Movie Clip

Hips, Hips, Hooray! (1934) - Keep Romance Alive Some parody and invention in the opening from director Mark Sandrich (and writers Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby and Edward Kaufman), plus RKO ingenues, but mostly a quick route to singing star Ruth Etting, with a tune also by Kalmar and Ruby, opening the Bert Wheeler-Robert Woolsey comedy team vehicle Hips, Hips, Hooray!, 1934.
Hips, Hips, Hooray! (1934) - You Can Eat The Lipstick Fetching window model Daisy (Dorothy Lee) is getting no traction with cosmetic sales, with some neat shooting by director Mark Sandrich, when we meet stars Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey (“Dr. Dudley” and sidekick) stealing her audience, early in RKO’s Hips, Hips, Hooray!, 1934.
Hips, Hips, Hooray! (1934) - Meet That Man And Merge Shady lipstick salesmen Dr. Dudley and Andy (the RKO comedy team, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey) have hijacked an office hoping they, with ally Daisy (Dorothy Lee), can trick her better-financed boss (Thelma Todd as Miss Frisby) into a merger, in Hips, Hips, Hooray!, 1934.
Holiday Inn (1942) - Be Careful, It's My Heart Jim (Bing Crosby) at his chic holiday-only nightspot unveils his Valentine for Linda (Marjorie Reynolds), only to be usurped by ex-partner and romantic rival Ted (Fred Astaire), with an Irving Berlin tune that was initially a bigger hit than White Christmas, in Holiday Inn, 1942.
Skylark (1941) - Show Me The Moon Sulking hostess Lydia (Claudette Colbert) who, following an insult, has just sent a plate of adulterated food to Myrtle (Binnie Barnes), the snooty wife of her ad-man husband's top client, is approached by suave Jim (Brian Aherne), himself that client's lawyer, in Skylark, 1941.
Skylark (1941) - If You Have To Close A Deal From the opening scene we know that Lydia (Claudette Colbert) has put way more effort than ad-executive husband Tony (Ray Milland) into her gift for their 5th anniversary, as she consults with butler Theodore (Ernest Cossart), in producer-director Mark Sandrich's Skylark, 1941.
Holiday Inn (1942) - You're Easy To Dance With Another Irving Berlin original for the film, Fred Astaire as Ted dances with Virginia Dale as Lila, in their popular New York night club act on Christmas Eve, in Holiday Inn, 1942, also starring Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds.
Holiday Inn (1942) - I'll Capture Your Heart Singing The opening scenes have established that Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale) is torn between singer Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) and dancer Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), on what’s supposed to be the final appearance for their threesome, occasioning the fist Irving Berlin tune, in Holiday Inn, 1942.
Holiday Inn (1942) - White Christmas The first movie placement of what is widely seen as the best-selling single of all time, by Irving Berlin, here as a duet by night-club/innkeeper Bing Crosby, with Marjorie Reynolds, (her vocal dubbed by Martha Mears), as her audition, but not the recording on the record, in Holiday Inn, 1942.
Carefree (1938) - We All Try To Escape Reality Utterly in the groove from the opening joke, Mark Sandrich directs Ralph Bellamy as Steve, Jack Carson as orderly Connors and Fred Astaire as shrink Tony Flagg, the gal they discuss of course Ginger Rogers, in the second-to-last RKO Fred & Ginger feature, Carefree, 1938.
Carefree (1938) - I Used To Be Color Blind A dream sequence dance famous for the big unprecedented smooch at the end, Ginger Rogers is psychiatric patient Amanda, whose crush on Fred Astaire, as her doc Tony, is revealed, with an Irving Berlin original song, in what was planned, before budget cuts, as a color scene, in Carefree, 1938.
Carefree (1938) - Since They Turned Loch Lomond Into Swing Probably it should be no surprise that Fred Astaire, playing shrink Tony Flagg, has a terrific golf swing, until interrupted by Ginger Rogers as potential patient Amanda, which occasions Fred’s remarkable solo golf-tap piece to an Irving Berlin original instrumental, early in Carefree, 1938.

Trailer

Family

Mark Sandrich Jr
Son
Composer. Born c. 1928; died of cancer December 2, 1995; wrote Broadway musical "Ben Franklin in Paris"; formerly married to actress Vanessa Brown.
Jay Sandrich
Son
Director. Born 1932; primarily a TV comedy director.
Cathy Sandrich
Granddaughter
Casting agent. Married personal manager Brad Gelfond on June 11, 2000; gave birth to son Lucas on May 8, 2001.

Companions

Freda Sandrich
Wife

Bibliography