Oscar Directors: Schertzinger, Victor–Background, Career, Awards, Filmography

August 23, 2020

Victor Schertzinger Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance: Yes; musical parents

Social Class:

Nationality: of Dutch origins



First Film:

First Oscar Nomination: One Night of Love, 1934; age

Other Nominations: No

Genre (specialties): Musical films


Last Film: The Fleet’s In, 1942, posthumously


Career Output:

Career Span:




Death: 1941; age 53 (sudden death)


Victor L. Schertzinger (April 8, 1888–October 26, 1941) was an American composer, film director, film producer, and screenwriter. His films include Paramount on Parade (co-director, 1930), Something to Sing About (1937) with James Cagney, and the first two “Road” pictures Road to Singapore (1940) and Road to Zanzibar (1941).

His two best-known songs are “I Remember You” and “Tangerine,” both with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and both featured in Schertzinger’s final film, “The Fleet’s In” (1942).

Schertzinger was born in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, the child of musical parents of Pennsylvania Dutch descent, and attracted attention as a violin prodigy at the age of four. At 8, he appeared as violinist with several orchestras, including the Victor Herbert Orchestra and the John Philip Sousa band. In his teens, he attended the Brown Preparatory School in Philadelphia, and gave violin performances while touring America and Europe.

Schertzinger studied music at the University of Brussels. He continued to distinguish himself as a concert violinist, and then as a symphony conductor. He also worked as a songwriter, adding three songs with lyrics by producer Oliver Morosco to L. Frank Baum and Louis F. Gottschalk’s musical, The Tik-Tok Man of Oz (1914). His first brush with the film industry came in 1916, when Thomas Ince commissioned him to compose the orchestral accompaniment for his great silent film Civilization. Remaining under Ince’s employment, Schertzinger became principal director of the popular Charles Ray films, establishing a rapport with the mercurial Ray that few of the star’s other collaborators would ever achieve.[4]

After the introduction of sound, Schertzinger continued to direct films but also began to compose songs for them, and in some instances writing scripts or producing as well. Though closely associated with Paramount Pictures, Schertzinger actually spent the thirties as a freelancer. Some of his best films, such as One Night of Love (1934) and The Mikado (1939) exploited his vast knowledge of the world of music.

Schertzinger married Julia E. Nicklin, to whom he remained married until his death. They had two daughters, Patricia and Paula, in the early 1920s.

Schertzinger died unexpectedly from a heart attack in Hollywood at the age of 53, having just finished work on The Fleet’s In (1942). He had directed 89 films, and had composed music for more than 50 films.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame contains a star for Schertzinger at 1611 Vine Street

Violin prodigy who performed with John Philip Sousa and later became a film director and composer. He pioneered the use of original film music for films, and his film ‘One Night of Love’ won best musical score and sound recording Oscars in 1934. He composed the pop standard ‘Tangerine.’ Among many films he directed were two of the Hope and Crosby ‘Road’ movies. He was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His childhood home was here.[2]
Schertzinger’s two best-known songs, “I Remember You” and “Tangerine”, continue to appear in the soundtracks of new films.

Schertzinger also appears as a recurring character in the Epic Short Story The Organ of Love.[7]

The Conqueror (1916) (composer only)
Civilization (1916) (composer only)
The Pinch Hitter (1917)
The Millionaire Vagrant (1917)
The Clodhopper (1917)
Sudden Jim (1917)
The Son of His Father (1917)
His Mother’s Boy (1917)
The Hired Man (1918)
The Family Skeleton (1918)
Playing the Game (1918)
His Own Home Town (1918)
The Claws of the Hun (1918)
A Nine O’Clock Town (1918) (also story)
Coals of Fire (1918)
Quicksand (1918)
String Beans (1918)
Hard Boiled (1919)
Extravagance (1919)
The Sheriff’s Son (1919)
The Homebreaker (1919)
The Lady of Red Butte (1919)
When Doctors Disagree (1919)
Other Men’s Wives (1919)
Upstairs (1919)
The Peace of Roaring River (1919) (unconfirmed)
Jinx (1919) with Mabel Normand
Pinto (1920) (also writer)
The Blooming Angel (1920)
The Slim Princess (1920)
What Happened to Rosa (1920)
The Concert (1921)
Made in Heaven (1921)
Beating the Game (1921)
Head Over Heels (1922)
The Bootlegger’s Daughter (1922)
Mr. Barnes of New York (1922)
The Kingdom Within (1922)
Dollar Devils (1923)
Refuge (1923)
The Lonely Road (1923)
The Man Next Door (1923)
The Scarlet Lily (1923)
Long Live the King (1923)
The Man Life Passed By (1923) (also writer)
Chastity (1923)
A Boy of Flanders (1924)
Bread (1924)
Flaming Love (1925)
Man and Maid (1925)

Advertisement (1919)

When Doctors Disagree, 1919
The Wheel (1925)
Thunder Mountain (1925)
The Golden Strain (1925)
Siberia (1926)
The Lily (1926)
The Return of Peter Grimm (1926)
Stage Madness (1927)
The Heart of Salome (1927)
The Secret Studio (1927)
The Showdown (1928)
Forgotten Faces (1928)
Outcast (1928) (composer only)
Redskin (1929)
Nothing But the Truth (1929)
The Wheel of Life (1929)
Fashions in Love (1929) (also composer)
The Laughing Lady (1929)
The Love Parade (1929) (composer only)
Betrayal (1929) (story only)
The Climax (1930) (composer only)
Shadow of the Law (1930) (composer only, uncredited)
Paramount on Parade (1930) (co-directed)
Safety in Numbers (1930)
Heads Up (1930) (also composer)
The Woman Between (1931)
Caught Plastered (1931) (composer only)
Friends and Lovers (1931) (also composer)
Strange Justice (1932) (also composer)
Uptown New York (1932)
The Constant Woman (1933) (also producer)
Cocktail Hour (1933) (also producer)
My Woman (1933) (also composer)
Beloved (1934) (also composer)
One Night of Love (1934) (Academy Award nomination for Best Direction)
Let’s Live Tonight (1935)
Love Me Forever (1935) (also writer, composer)
The Lone Wolf Returns (1935) (composer only, uncredited)
The Return of Peter Grimm (1935) (uncredited)
Don’t Gamble with Love (1936) (composer only)
The Music Goes ‘Round (1936) (also composer)
You May Be Next (1936) (composer only, uncredited)
The Devil’s Playground (1937) (composer only, uncredited)
Something to Sing About (1937) (also writer, producer, composer)
The Mikado (1939)
Road to Singapore (1940)
Rhythm on the River (1940) (also composer)
Road to Zanzibar (1941)
Kiss the Boys Goodbye (1941)
Birth of the Blues (1941)
The Fleet’s In (1942)