Sneha Girap (Editor)

Fred J Balshofer

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Occupation  Cinematographer
Name  Fred Balshofer

Role  Film director
Spouse  Cecil Weston (m. ?–1969)
Fred J. Balshofer httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Born  November 2, 1877 (1877-11-02) New York City
Died  June 21, 1969, Calabasas, California, United States
Resting place  Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Movies  The Isle of Love, Paradise Garden, Pidgin Island
Similar People  Harold Lockwood, Virginia Rappe, Julian Eltinge, Lester Cuneo, Tony Gaudio

The Isle Of Love | 1922 | starring Rudolph Valentino | directed by Fred J. Balshofer [Silent film]

Fred J. Balshofer (November 2, 1877 – June 21, 1969) was an American pioneer silent film director, producer, screenwriter, and cinematographer.



Born in New York City, Balshofer became interested in the photography business at an early age and eventually worked as a stereoscopic-slide photographer. Drawn to the fledgling motion picture business, from 1905 to 1908 he worked at Lubin Studios in Philadelphia.

Hired by Adam Kessel of the New York Motion Picture Company, in 1909 Fred Balshofer directed his first film called "Disinherited Son's Loyalty" on which he also served as cinematographer. That same year he directed Davy Crockett – In Hearts United, believed to be the first Davy Crockett movie ever made. Filming at the time centered mainly around facilities and locations in the Fort Lee, New Jersey area but within a few years Balshofer moved to the West Coast as General Manager of the New York Motion Picture Company, directing western films for their subsidiary, Bison Motion Pictures until Thomas H. Ince joined the studio. In early 1914 Balshofer left NYMPC and became the head of the Sterling Motion Picture Company, a subsidiary of Universal Pictures. Sterling ceased production in early 1915 and a few months later Balshofer joined Quality Pictures, a subsidiary of Metro Pictures. By 1916, Balshofer was president and general manager of the Yorke-Metro studios at 1329 Gordon St. in Hollywood. In the 1920s, he produced and directed films for his own production company.

During his career, Fred Balshofer produced and/or directed more than eighty silent films then, after an unsuccessful attempt at age fifty directing a Spanish language talkie, he spent the better part of his remaining career working as a studio executive. In 1967 he teamed up with friend and acclaimed cinematographer Arthur C. Miller to write a significant book on the film industry under the title "One Reel a Week." Published by the University of California Press, the book chronicled the early history of the motion picture industry, including the shift in location and facilities from the East Coast to Southern California and the rise of the western film genre.

Selected filmography

  • Disinherited Son's Loyalty (1908), New York Motion Picture Company.
  • Davy Crockett – In Hearts United (1908), New York Motion Picture Company. Cast includes: Charles K. French
  • An Indian Love Story (1911), Bison. Cast includes: Mona Darkfeather and Dove Ey
  • A Corner in Cotton (1916), Quality Pictures. Cast includes: Marguerite Snow and William Clifford
  • Paradise Garden (1917), Yorke Productions. Cast includes: Harold Lockwood and Vera Sisson
  • An Adventuress (1920). Cast includes: Julian Eltinge and Frederick Ko Vert
  • The Isle of Love (1922), Yorke Films/A Herald Production. Cast includes: Julian Eltinge and Virginia Rappe
  • References

    Fred J. Balshofer Wikipedia