Fred Niblo

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American director Fred Niblo was a vaudeville actor for two decades before setting foot in a movie studio. In his travelling-actor days, Niblo worked with some of the biggest acts in the business, including the Four Cohans; in fact, his first wife was George M. Cohan's younger sister Josephine (this marriage was alluded to in the Cohan biopic Yankee Doodle Dandy, though Niblo's second marriage to actress Enid Bennett was not). By the time he went to work at the Ince Studios in 1917, Niblo had deserted acting for directing and producing. As a film director, Niblo secured his reputation as an action specialist with a series of Douglas Fairbanks vehicles, among them The Mark of Zorro (1920) and The Three Musketeers (1921). He also guided Rudolph Valentino through his box-office hit Blood and Sand (1921), and was listed as sole director on MGM's mammoth Ben-Hur (1926) -- though in both instances, the bulk of the impressive second-unit work was done by others. Despite Niblo's track record of blockbusters and his reputation as a loyal studio "team player," he really wasn't an inspired or imaginative director; this became evident in his talkie work, including such yawners as the John Gilbert starrer Redemption (1929) and the William Haines vehicle Way Out West (1930). After faltering in a comeback attempt in England, Niblo returned to Hollywood as a journeyman actor in B-films on the order of Life with Henry (1941). Fred Niblo's credits are sometimes confused with those of his screenwriter son, Fred Niblo Jr.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Once Upon a Honeymoon Ship Captain 1942
No Score Yet Hell's Kitchen Screenwriter 1939
No Score Yet The Big Gamble Director 1931
No Score Yet Free and Easy (Easy Go) Director 1930
80% The Mysterious Lady Director 1928
No Score Yet Camille Director 1927
No Score Yet The Temptress Director 1926
100% Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ Director 1926
No Score Yet The Red Lily Screenwriter Producer Director 1924
No Score Yet Souls for Sale Actor 1923
100% Blood and Sand Producer Director 1922
100% The Three Musketeers Director 1921
88% The Mark of Zorro Director 1920
No Score Yet Sex Director 1920
No Score Yet Dangerous Hours Director 1919
No Score Yet Douglas Fairbanks: A Modern Musketeer Director 1916


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