Victor Schertzinger

Active - 1916 - 1942  |   Born - Apr 8, 1880   |   Died - Oct 26, 1941   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Musical

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American composer/director Victor Schertzinger was trained for a musical career at Brown University and the University of Brussels. He toured the world as a concert violinist, then distinguished himself as a symphony conductor. His first brush with the film world came when he was commissioned to compose the orchestral accompaniment for the Thomas Ince film Civilization (1916). Still under the employ of Ince, Schertzinger became principal director of the popular Charles Ray films, establishing a rapport with the mercurial Ray that few of the star's collaborators would ever achieve. He remained a top director during the silent era, but when talkies came Schertzinger returned to composing, turning out hit tunes for such early talkie musicals as The Love Parade (1929) and Paramount on Parade (1930). Most closely associated with Paramount studios, Schertzinger freelanced during the '30s, directing such diverse projects as the independently produced Jimmy Cagney musical Something to Sing About (1937) and the British-filmed The Mikado (1939). At the time of Victor Schertzinger's sudden death in 1941, he was the principal director of the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope Road pictures, in which he wisely gave the stars the go-ahead to adlib to their heart's content while he concentrated on keeping the story moving.

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