Frank Lloyd

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Frank Lloyd
Frank Lloyd, Boxoffice Barometer, 1939.jpg
Lloyd c.1939
Frank William George Lloyd [1]

2 February 1886
Glasgow, Scotland
Died10 August 1960 (aged 74)
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
  • Film director
  • actor
  • scriptwriter
  • film producer
Years active1913–1955
Spouse(s)Alma (died 1952)
Virginia Kellogg (1957-his death)

Frank William George Lloyd (2 February 1886 10 August 1960) was a British-born American film director, actor, scriptwriter, and producer. He was among the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, [2] and was its president from 1934 to 1935.


He is Scotland's first Academy Award winner and is unique in film history, having received three Oscar nominations in 1929 for his work on a silent film ( The Divine Lady ), a part-talkie ( Weary River ) and a full talkie ( Drag ). He won for The Divine Lady. He was nominated and won again in 1933 for his adaptation of Noël Coward's Cavalcade and received a further Best Director nomination in 1935 for perhaps his most successful film, Mutiny on the Bounty .

In 1957, he was awarded the George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film. [3]

On 8 February 1960, Lloyd received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the motion pictures industry, at 6667 Hollywood Boulevard. [4] [5]

Early life and career

Lloyd was born in Cambuslang, on the outskirts of Glasgow, the youngest of seven children. His mother Jane was Scottish and his father Edmund was Welsh, a mechanical engineer. [1] The family travelled the country until his father was injured and gave up engineering. They settled in Shepherd's Bush, London, where the family ran a pub. Lloyd worked in a shoe shop, sang in choral groups and joined a vaudeville group.

In 1909 he emigrated to Canada where he worked on a ranch in Alberta for a year. He also erected poles and wrote for a telephone company, then joined a travelling show as an actor and singer. [6] The show wound up in Los Angeles in 1913 and Lloyd decided to stay there and act in Hollywood films. [7]

Film director


He began directing shorts for Paramount and moved to longer running films: The Gentleman from Indiana (1915), Jane (1915), The Reform Candidate (1916), The Tongues of Men (1916), The Call of the Cumberlands (1916), Madame la Presidente (1916) with Anna Held, The Code of Marcia Gray (1916), David Garrick (1916 film) (1916), The Making of Maddalena (1916), An International Marriage (1916), and The Stronger Love (1916). The Intrigue (1916) was produced through Pallas Films and released through Paramount. Lloyd's biographer argued his early films "are not 'masterpieces,' but they are on a par with films from other secondary directors of the period. In other words, they are not comparable to those directed by D.W. Griffith, but are as good as those directed by Allan Dwan." [8]


Lloyd directed Sins of Her Parent (1916) at Fox, and The World and the Woman (1916) with Jeanne Eagles for Tranhouser. Back at Fox he did The Kingdom of Love (1917), and a series of films starring William Farnum" The Price of Silence (1917), A Tale of Two Cities (1917) from the novel by Charles Dickens, American Methods (1917), When a Man Sees Red (1917), Les Misérables (1917), The Heart of a Lion (1917), True Blue (1918), Riders of the Purple Sage (1918) from the novel by Zane Grey and its sequel The Rainbow Trail (1918), For Freedom (1918), and The Man Hunter (1919). Without Farnum, Lloyd directed The Blindness of Divorce (1918).


At Goldwyn he made Pitfalls of a Big City (1919), The World and Its Woman (1919), The Loves of Letty (1919), The Woman in Room 13 (1920), The Silver Horde (1920 film) (1920), Madame X (1920) with Pauline Frederick, The Great Lover (1920), A Tale of Two Worlds (1921), Roads of Destiny (1921) with Frederick, A Voice in the Dark (1921), The Invisible Power (1921), The Grim Comedian (1921), and The Man from Lost River (1921) plus The Sin Flood (1922) with Richard Dix.

First National

Lloyd directed some films for First National with Norma Talmadge: The Eternal Flame (1921), The Voice from the Minaret (1922), Within the Law (1923) and Ashes of Vengeance (1923).

Also for that studio was Oliver Twist (1922) with Lon Chaney and Jackie Coogan, and Black Oxen (1924).

He had his own company at First National, Frank Lloyd Productions. They made The Sea Hawk (1924), a swashbuckler with Milton Sills, then The Silent Watcher (1924), Her Husband's Secret (1925), Winds of Chance (1925), The Splendid Road (1926), and The Wise Guy (1926).


At Paramount Lloyd made The Eagle of the Sea (1926), Children of Divorce (1927 film) (1927), Adoration (1928) with Billie Dove, The Divine Lady (1929) with Corinne Griffith, and Dark Streets (1929). Lloyd won the Academy Award for Best director for The Divine Lady.

There were several films starring Richard Barthemless: Weary River (1929), Drag (1929), Young Nowheres (1930), Son of the Gods (1930), and The Lash (1930). He was Oscar nominated for Best Director for Drag and Weary River.

There was also The Way of All Men (1930), a remake of Lloyds' own The Sin Flood, The Right of Way (1931), and East Lynne (1931). [9]

For Howard Hughes, Lloyd did The Age for Love (1931). [10] Back at Fox he made A Passport to Hell (1932) then Cavalcade (1933), which won Lloyd the Oscar for Best Director.

Lloyd then made what was his favourite film, Berkeley Square (1933), starring Leslie Howard, followed by Hoop-La (1933) the final film of Clara Bow and Servants' Entrance (1934) with Janet Gaynor. [8]

Mutiny on the Bounty and later career

Lloyd had a huge hit with Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) at MGM which earned him another Oscar nomination for Best Director.

He followed it with Under Two Flags (1936) at Fox, a French Foreign Legion tale with Ronald Colman.


At Paramount Lloyd made more historical films: Maid of Salem (1937) with Claudette Colbert, Wells Fargo (1937) with Joel McCrea, [11] If I Were King (1938) with Colman and Rulers of the Sea (1938) with Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, which was a commercial disappointment. [12] [13]


Lloyd made The Howards of Virginia (1940) at Columbia with Cary Grant. At Universal he set up his own company. He directed This Woman Is Mine (1941), and The Lady from Cheyenne (1941), [14] and his company produced Saboteur (1942) from Alfred Hitchcock, The Spoilers (1942) with John Wayne and Randolph Scott, and Invisible Agent (1942).

He was one of several directors on RKO's Forever and a Day (1943). Lloyd had a big hit with James Cagney's Blood on the Sun (1945). He was Oscar nominated for Best Director of a Documentary with The Last Bomb (1945). Lloyd also served in the air force. He retired from filmmaking in 1946, intending to live on a ranch. [8]

Final films

Lloyd's wife died in 1952 and he came out of retirement to make two films at Republic, The Shanghai Story (1954) and The Last Command (1955) a film about Jim Bowie. [15] [16] When he remarried in 1955 he retired again. [8]

Personal life

Frank Lloyd was married to actress Alma Haller from 11 July 1913, until her death on 16 March 1952. By 1955, Lloyd married Virginia Kellogg, and remained married until Lloyd's death on 10 August 1960 at age 74. Lloyd was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.


Frank Lloyd does not have a significant reputation. His biographer puts this down partly to the dismissal of Lloyd's work by Andrew Sarris (who compared the director unfavorably with Cecil B. de Mille) and "because he was what is best described as a studio director. His style is as much the style of the studio as it is his own. He did not make waves; he did not overly publicize and promote himself. What he did was for the good of the studio – not for his own ego." [8]

Selected filmography

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  1. 1 2 Pawlak, Debra Ann (12 January 2012). Bringing Up Oscar: The Story of the Men and Women Who Founded the Academy. Pegasus Books. ISBN   9781605982168.
  2. Pawlak, Debra. "The Story of the First Academy Awards". The Mediadrome. Archived from the original on 30 December 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
  3. The George Eastman Award Archived 15 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Frank Lloyd | Hollywood Walk of Fame". Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  5. "Frank Lloyd". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  6. "THE MAN BEHIND THE PICTURE Frank Lloyd Is Brilliant". Daily Standard . No. 6356. Queensland, Australia. 1 June 1933. p. 7. Retrieved 24 April 2023 via National Library of Australia.
  7. "FRANK LLOYD". The Maitland Daily Mercury . No. 21, 400. New South Wales, Australia. 15 November 1939. p. 5. Retrieved 24 April 2023 via National Library of Australia.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Soares, Andre (2010). "Frank Lloyd: Two-Time Best Director Oscar Winner Q&A - interview with Anthony Slide". Thinking Film. Archived from the original on 31 January 2023.
  9. "DIRECTOR BEST WOODSMAN". The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers' Advocate . Vol. LXV, no. 3788. New South Wales, Australia. 19 October 1931. p. 2. Retrieved 24 April 2023 via National Library of Australia.
  10. ""The Age for Love"". The Scrutineer and Berrima District Press . New South Wales, Australia. 18 January 1933. p. 2. Retrieved 24 April 2023 via National Library of Australia.
  11. "Frank Lloyd--Epic Maker". The News . Vol. XXXI, no. 4, 713. South Australia. 1 September 1938. p. 16. Retrieved 24 April 2023 via National Library of Australia.
  12. "PARAMOUNT LISTS NEW PRODUCTIONS: 1937–38 Schedule-Includes 22 'Million-Dollar' Films, the Company Announces BUDGET IS UP $10,000,000 Provides for an Unprecedented Number of Musicals-50 to 60 Features Planned Some of the Features Cartoon and Short Subjects". New York Times. 11 June 1937. p. 26.
  13. "Screen Fare". The Newcastle Sun . No. 6858. New South Wales, Australia. 8 December 1939. p. 3. Retrieved 24 April 2023 via National Library of Australia.
  14. "Loretta Young's Newest Film". The Mail (Adelaide) . Vol. 29, no. 1, 503. South Australia. 15 March 1941. p. 21. Retrieved 24 April 2023 via National Library of Australia.
  15. "Censor upset director". The Mail (Adelaide) . Vol. 44, no. 2, 214. South Australia. 13 November 1954. p. 66. Retrieved 24 April 2023 via National Library of Australia.
  16. "MOVIE NOTES". Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder . Vol. 44, no. 4157. New South Wales, Australia. 10 September 1954. p. 4. Retrieved 24 April 2023 via National Library of Australia.
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Succeeded by