Thornton Freeland was a barnstorming stage actor from boyhood. Not yet out of his teens, Freeland joined the Brooklyn-based Vitagraph studios in 1916, matriculating from go-fer to cinematographer to production manager over the next decade. In 1929, Freeland directed his first film, Three Live Ghosts. Few of his American directorial efforts are the stuff of which cults and legends are made of, with the spectacular exception of Flying Down to Rio (1933), wherein Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were teamed for the first time. Freeland moved to Great Britain in 1935, where he directed such frothy fare as Over the Moon (1938) and The Gang's All Here (1939). Many of Freeland's British films featured his wife, actress June Clyde. When war broke out, Thornton Freeland returned to Hollywood; after VE Day, Freeland was back working in England, where he remained long after his retirement in 1949.