Frank Borzage

Director, Actor, Screenwriter
Borzage switched from acting to directing in 1916, bringing to the screen a dedication to romanticism that became his trademark. Although undoubtedly sentimental--and criticized by some for it--his films, from ... Read more »
Born: 04/22/1894 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Filmography

Director (21)

China Doll 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

The Big Fisherman 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

Screen Director's Playhouse 1955 - 1956 (Tv Show)

Director

Moonrise 1948 (Movie)

(Director)

I've Always Loved You 1946 (Movie)

(Director)

Stage Door Canteen 1942 (Movie)

(Director)

Strange Cargo 1939 (Movie)

(Director)

Mannequin 1937 (Movie)

(Director)

Three Comrades 1937 (Movie)

(Director)

Desire 1935 (Movie)

(Director)

Little Man, What Now? 1933 (Movie)

(Director)

No Greater Glory 1933 (Movie)

(Director)

A Man's Castle 1932 (Movie)

(Director)

Secrets 1932 (Movie)

(Director)

A Farewell to Arms 1931 (Movie)

(Director)

Bad Girl 1930 (Movie)

(Director)

They Had to See Paris 1928 (Movie)

(Director)

Street Angel 1927 (Movie)

(Director)

Seventh Heaven 1926 (Movie)

(Director)

Humoresque 1919 (Movie)

(Director)

Until They Get Me 1916 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (2)

China Doll 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

I've Always Loved You 1946 (Movie)

(Producer)
Actor (1)

Jeanne Eagels 1957 (Movie)

Director (Actor)

Biography

Borzage switched from acting to directing in 1916, bringing to the screen a dedication to romanticism that became his trademark. Although undoubtedly sentimental--and criticized by some for it--his films, from "Humoresque" (1920) through "Moonrise" (1948), were not only undeniably popular but, at their best, were also the moving, highly artful and visually enthralling work of an instantly recognizable filmmaker, a genuine auteur.

Borzage was a pioneer in the use of techniques, such as soft focus, that have become standards of romantic filmmaking. He was the first ever recipient of a best director Oscar, for "Seventh Heaven" (1927); he won the award again for "Bad Girl" (1931). A sensitive explorer of the pains and joys of love, and a true believer in its enduring power, Borzage made films in a surprisingly wide range of genres, from the romantic comedy to the war film. In addition to the aforementioned, he left his indelibe stamp on such distinguished films as "Lazybones" (1925), "Lucky Star" (1929), "A Farewell to Arms" (1932), "Little Man, What Now?" (1934), "Desire" (1936), "History Is Made at Night" (1937), "Three Comrades" (1938), "The Mortal Storm" (1940), and "I've Always Loved You" (1946).

Relationships

Juanita Borzage

Wife

Daniel Borzage

Brother
born in 1885 died in June 1975

Lew Borzage

Brother
born on January 30, 1898 died in December 1974

Rena Rogers

Wife
divorced in 1945

Edna Stillwell

Wife
married in 1945 divorced in 1949

Milestones

1959

Last film, "The Big Fisherman", a three-hour biblical epic based on Lloyd C Douglas' novel

1958

Returned to feature directing with "China Doll"

1949

Helmed "Moonrise"; last film for nearly a decade

1946

Steered David Niven and Ginger Rogers in the biopic of Dolly Madison, "The Magnificent Doll"

1946

Signed six-film contract with Republic Pictures

1946

Directed Republic's first Technicolor feature "I've Always Loved You"

1941

Left MGM and worked freelance until after WWII

1940

Third feature with Joan Crawford, "Strange Cargo"

1940

Last film with Sullavan, "The Mortal Storm", third in unofficial trilogy of films set in Germany

1938

Helmed "Three Comrades", starring Margaret Sullavan

1938

Made two films starring Joan Crawford, "Mannequin" and "The Shining Hour"

1936

Directed Marlene Dietrich in "Desire"

1934

First film with Margaret Sullavan, "Little Man, Now What?"

1933

Guided Mary Pickford in her final screen appearance in remake of "Secrets"

1932

Won second Oscar for directing "Bad Girl"

1932

Helmed the adaptation of "A Farewell to Arms", starring Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes

1930

Was director of "Liliom"

1929

Made first talking picture, "They Had to See Paris"

1929

Third pairing of Gaynor and Farrell, "Lucky Star"

1928

Reteamed Gaynor and Farrell in "Street Angel"

1927

Helmed "Seventh Heaven"; won first of two Best Director Academy Awards; also first award presented in this category; paired Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell on screen

1925

Early surving feature, "Lazybones", scripted by Frances Marion

1924

Made silent version of "Secrets", starring Norma Talmadge

1920

Breakthrough feature as director, "Humoresque", scripted by Frances Marion; film no longer extant

1918

Helmed nine films, most produced by Allan Dwan

1916

Directed 15 films, nearly all distributed by American Mutual Company

1915

Film directorial debut, "The Pitch o' Chance"

1914

Feature film acting debut in "The Battle of Gettysburg"

1913

Medium-length film acting debut in "The Ambassador's Envoy"

1912

Joined Thomas Ince's film company as an actor

1912

Short film acting debut in "When Lee Surrenders"

1906

Joined a traveling troupe of actors as a prop man; eventually began acting with the company and was made a leading man before age 20

1906

At age 13, worked in a silver mine to pay for a correspondence course on acting (date approximate)

Under contract with MGM, made 11 motion pictures

Directed seven films for Fox

Worked as a director for hire at various studios

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