|Born||February 10, 1898|
Hope, North Dakota, U.S.
|Died||May 22, 1987|
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
|Years active||1924–1949 (film)|
Thornton Freeland (February 10, 1898 – May 22, 1987) was an American film director who directed 26 British and American films in a career that lasted from 1924 to 1949.
He was born in Hope, North Dakota in 1898 and originally worked as an assistant director during the silent era. In 1929 he directed his first film, the comedy Three Live Ghosts . He enjoyed an early success with the Eddie Cantor Technicolor musical Whoopie! (1930) and much of his subsequent work was in musicals and comedies.
In 1933, he directed Flying Down to Rio which launched the screen partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers although it had originally been designed as a starring vehicle for the Mexican actress Dolores del Río.The following year Freeland made a film version of the long-running Broadway revue George White's Scandals .
In 1935 Freeland went to London to make the musical comedy Brewster's Millions starring Jack Buchanan.He was to work in Britain for the remainder of the decade. In 1936 he made Accused at Isleworth Studios, which was produced by and starred his fellow American Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. who had also moved to Britain at the time. A Paris-set murder mystery, the film also featured Dolores Del Rio. He directed Fairbanks again in the costume drama The Amateur Gentleman the same year.
Britain was experiencing a major boom in filmmaking at the time, and many of Freeland's projects were made with an eye to the international market. However he also directed comedies with more local appeal such as Skylarks (1936) featuring Nervo and Knox and Hold My Hand (1938) with Stanley Lupino. During his time in England Freeland worked for a variety of companies, many of which were independents which had been established during the boom. Amongst these was Capitol Films for whom he made Jericho , a drama with Paul Robeson. By 1937 the boom was over and his final films in England were made by better-established studios such as London Films and Associated British. His last film to be released in the decade was a Jack Buchanan comedy-thriller The Gang's All Here .
He returned to the United States during World War II, and made two films in Hollywood. In the late 1940s he returned to Britain to make a final three films. Following the release of the comedy Dear Mr. Prohack (1949) he retired from directing.
He was married to the American actress June Clyde.Like her husband Clyde spent much of the 1930s working in British films.
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Walter John "Jack" Buchanan was a tall (1.88m) Scottish theatre and film actor, singer, dancer, producer and director. He was known for three decades as the embodiment of the debonair man-about-town in the tradition of George Grossmith Jr., and was described by The Times as "the last of the knuts." He is best known in America for his role in the classic Hollywood musical The Band Wagon in 1953.
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Accused is a 1936 British mystery film directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Dolores del Río and Florence Desmond. It was made at Isleworth Studios by the independent Criterion Films, which Fairbanks was a co-owner of. The film's sets were designed by Edward Carrick.
Brewster's Millions is a 1935 British musical comedy film directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Jack Buchanan, Lili Damita and Nancy O'Neil. It is based on the 1902 novel and subsequent 1906 play, with the action relocated from the United States to Britain.
Dear Mr. Prohack is a 1949 British comedy film directed by Thornton Freeland. It is a modern-day version of Arnold Bennett's 1922 novel, Mr Prohack, as adapted in the play by Edward Knoblock. It stars Cecil Parker, Glynis Johns and Dirk Bogarde.
The Gang's All Here is a 1939 British, black-and-white, comedy-mystery, directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Jack Buchanan. It was produced by Associated British Picture Corporation. Subsequently, the film was released in the U.S. in 1943 with the title The Amazing Mr. Forrest.
Paradise for Two is a 1937 British musical comedy film directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Jack Hulbert, Patricia Ellis and Arthur Riscoe. It was released in the U.S. with the alternative title Gaiety Girls. A chorus girl is mistaken for a millionaire's girlfriend.
Skylarks is a 1936 British comedy film directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Jimmy Nervo, Teddy Knox and Nancy Burne. Nervo and Knox were a comic team, who became associated with the larger Crazy Gang grouping with whom they subsequently appeared in several films. It is a partially lost film, with only a short soundless fragment surviving. The team's earlier film It's in the Bag, their 1936 sound debut, does still survive.
Thomas Percival Montague Mackey, better known as Percival Mackey, was a British pianist, composer and bandleader. He is particularly known for his work as a composer and musical director for films during the 1930s and 1940s.
Edward Killy was an American director, assistant director and production manager in films and television. He was one of the few individuals to be nominated for the short-lived Academy Award for Best Assistant Director. During his 30-year career he worked on over 75 films and television shows.
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