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Subject: ARCHIVE: March 4, 1945 ~Noted Hollywood director began his way up through the RKO ranks as asst.director, but soon directing musical hits, best known for Astaire-Rogers musicals "The Gay Divorcee", "Top Hat" (1935), "Follow the Fleet" (1936), "Shall We Dance" (1937), and "Carefree" (1938). But a week into directing "Blue Skies", died playing cards with his wife. He was 44. ...

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Date Posted: Sunday, March 04, 12:48:15pm

Mark Sandrich
[ Mark Rex Goldstein ]
(October 26, 1900 March 4, 1945)

Early Life ...

Sandrich was born in New York City, to a Jewish family. His sister was Ruth Harriet Louise. He was an engineering student at Columbia University when he accidentally fell into the film business. While visiting a friend on a film set, he saw that the director had a problem setting up a shot; Sandrich offered his advice. It worked. He entered into the movies in the prop department.

Shorts Director ...
Sandrich became a director in 1927, making comedy shorts. His first feature was Runaway Girls, in 1928. In an exciting time in the film business with the arrival of sound, Mark briefly returned to shorts. In 1933, he directed the Academy Award-winning short, So This Is Harris! This stroke of luck brought Mark's return to feature films.

Feature Films ...
Sandrich returned to directing features with Melody Cruise (1933). He followed it with Cupid in the Rough (1933) and two starring the team of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, Hips, Hips, Hooray! (1933) and Cockeyed Cavaliers (1934).

Astaire and Rogers ...
Sandrich did some uncredited second unit with Flying Down to Rio (1933), a musical featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers .

In 1934, Sandrich was given the job of directing the first proper Astaire-Rogers musical, The Gay Divorcee, which proved a tremendous success.

The following year, he directed Top Hat (1935), another Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musical. He continued working with the team on Follow the Fleet (1936).

After directing Katharine Hepburn in A Woman Rebels (1936) he returned to Astaire and Rogers for Shall We Dance (1937), and Carefree (1938).

Paramount ...
In 1939, Sandrich left RKO for Paramount, which offered him a chance to be not only director, but a producer as well.
Sandrich's first film for Paramount was just as director: the Jack Benny vehicle, Man About Town (1939). He then turned producer as well as director and made two more with Benny, Buck Benny Rides Again (1940) and Love Thy Neighbor (1940). He also did the romantic comedy Skylark (1941), starring Claudette Colbert and Ray Milland.

While all of these films made profits for the studio, it is Holiday Inn in 1942 starring Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, with music by Irving Berlin, that is most remembered today. Holiday Inn introduced the song "White Christmas" performed by big band crooner and radio singing star Bing Crosby. "White Christmas" remains the best-selling single of all time.

Another screen success, So Proudly We Hail! was a Sandrich-produced and directed adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. It was extremely popular and featured a pair of performers Adrian Booth and George Reeves whom Sandrich had intended to bring to stardom after the war.

His last completed films were I Love a Soldier (1944)
and Here Come the Waves (1944) both with Sonny Tufts. ...

Death ...
In 1945 Sandrich was in pre-production on a follow-up to Holiday Inn called Blue Skies, starring Bing Crosby and featuring Irving Berlin's music. At the same time, Mark Sandrich was serving as president of the Directors Guild.
Insisting that he could complete all of his assignments, and feeling pressure to be an involved and loving family man, Mark Sandrich died suddenly of heart attack at the age of 44.

At the time of his death, Mark Sandrich was considered to be one of the most trusted and influential directors in Hollywood. He was respected by his colleagues in front of and behind the cameras, as well as studio management. Besides his wife Freda, he was survived by his sons Mark Sandrich Jr. and Jay Sandrich, who both have gone on to careers as directors in film and television. His interment was at Home of Peace Cemetery. ...

Links ...

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Subject Author Date
I'm sorry, the name of director inadvertently omitted from thread. ...It was musical diector Mark Sandrich. My apologies. (NT)My bad.Sunday, March 04, 02:53:01pm

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