Mark Sandrich

Mark Sandrich (born Mark Rex Goldstein; October 26, 1900 – March 4, 1945) was an American film director, writer, and producer.[1]

Mark Sandrich
Mark Rex Goldstein

October 26, 1900
New York City, United States
DiedMarch 4, 1945(1945-03-04) (aged 44)
Hollywood, United States
OccupationFilm director, film producer, screenwriter
Spouse(s)Freda W. (2 children)
ChildrenMark Sandrich Jr.
Jay Sandrich


Early life

Sandrich was born in New York City (October 26, 1900[2]), 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, and it worked. He entered the movie business in the prop department.[3]

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, he briefly returned to shorts. In 1933, he directed the Academy Award-winning short So This Is Harris!.

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 work 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.[1] He continued working with the team on Follow the Fleet (1936).[4]

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


In 1939, Sandrich left RKO for Paramount, which offered him a chance to be not only a director, but a producer as well.

Sandrich's first film for Paramount was just as director: the Jack Benny vehicle Man About Town (1939).[5] 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, Holiday Inn (1942), starring Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, with music by Irving Berlin, is most remembered today. Holiday Inn introduced the song "White Christmas" performed by Crosby. "White Christmas" remains the best-selling single of all time.[6]

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.[7]

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


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, 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, Sandrich died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 44.[8]

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. His interment was at Home of Peace Cemetery.


His sons Mark Sandrich Jr. and Jay Sandrich have gone on to careers as directors in film and television.

Select credits


  • Jerry the Giant (1926) - director
  • Napoleon, Jr. (1926) - director
  • Big Business (1926) - director
  • First Prize (1927) - director
  • Hot Soup (1927) - director
  • Hold That Bear (1927) - director
  • Careless Hubby (1927) - director
  • A Midsummer Night's Steam (1927) - director
  • Night Owls (1927) - director
  • The Movie Hound (1927) - director
  • Brave Cowards (1927) - director
  • Monty of the Mounted (1927) - director
  • Hold Fast (1927) - director
  • Shooting Wild (1927) - director
  • Some Scout (1927) - director
  • Hello Sailor (1927) - director
  • High Strung (1928) - director
  • Sword Points (1928) - director
  • A Lady Lion (1928) - director
  • A Cow's Husband (1928) - director
  • Runaway Girls (1928) - director
  • Two Gun Ginsberg (1929) - director
  • Gunboat Ginsberg (1930) - writer, director
  • General Ginsberg (1930) - writer, director
  • Hot Bridge (1930) - director
  • Barnum Was Wrong (1930) - writer, director
  • Off to Peoria (1930) - writer, director
  • Who's Got the Body? (1930) - writer, director
  • A Peep on the Deep (1930) - director
  • Society Goes Spaghetti (1930) - writer, director
  • Razored in Old Kentucky (1930) - director
  • Moonlight and Monkey Business (1930) - writer, director
  • Aunt's in the Pants (1930) - writer, director
  • Trader Ginsberg (1930) - writer, director
  • Talking Turkey (1931) - writer, director
  • The Wife o' Riley (1931) - writer, director
  • The County Seat (1931) - writer, director
  • Trouble from Abroad (1931) - writer, director
  • The Way of All Fish (1931) - writer, director
  • Cowslips (1931) - writer, director
  • False Roomers (1931) - writer, director
  • Strife of the Party (1931) - writer, director
  • Scratch-As-Catch-Can (1931) - writer, director
  • A Melon-Drama (1931) - writer, director
  • Sightseeing in New York (1931) - writer, director
  • Many a Sip (1931) - writer, director
  • A Slip at the Switch (1932) - director
  • Ex-Rooster (1932) - writer, director
  • The Millionaire Cat (1932) - director
  • The Iceman's Ball (1932) - writer, director
  • Jitters the Butler (1932) - writer, director
  • Thru Thin and Thicket, or Who's Zoo in Africa (1933) - director
  • Private Wives (1933) - writer, director
  • Hokus Focus (1933) - writer, director
  • The Druggist's Dilemma (1933) - writer, director
  • The Gay Nighties (1933) - writer, director
  • So This Is Harris! (1933) - writer, director

Feature films


  1. Sennwald, Andre (August 10, 1935). "Top Hat (1935)". The New York Times.
  2. "Mark Sandrich | American director". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  3. Funeral set today for Mark Sandrich. (1945, Mar 06). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  4. Young director makes good in musical comedy. (1936, May 01). The China Press (1925-1938) Retrieved from
  5. Mark Sandrich signs writers. (1939, Sep 04). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  6. Producer-director hears critics praise his picture. (1942, Jul 01). The Washington Post (1923-1954) Retrieved from
  7. By, T. S. (1943, Sep 12). HEROINES WITHOUT MASCARA. The New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  8. Mark Sandrich dies suddenly. (1945, Mar 05). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
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