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Frend started his career at British International Pictures in 1931, and after editing Hitchcock's Waltzes from Vienna (1934) moved to Gaumont British Pictures in 1933 where he worked as an editor on Alfred Hitchcock's movies Secret Agent (1936), Sabotage (1936) and Young and Innocent (1937).
For several years, Frend was based at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's British facilities at Elstree, where he edited MGM's A Yank at Oxford (1938), The Citadel (1938) and Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939). Frend graduated to director in 1942, with a series of above-average propaganda pictures and documentaries. After the war, he undertook several prestigious assignments including Scott of the Antarctic (1948) and The Cruel Sea (1953).
Frend directed several episodes of The Sentimental Agent with last credit as principal director was 1967's The Sky Bike. He closed his career as one of the second-unit directors for David Lean's Ryan's Daughter (1970).
He died in London 8 January 1977 aged 67.
- 1942: The Big Blockade
- 1943: The Foreman Went to France
- 1943: San Demetrio London
- 1945: The Return of the Vikings
- 1945: Johnny Frenchman
- 1947: The Loves of Joanna Godden
- 1948: Scott of the Antarctic
- 1949: A Run for Your Money
- 1950: The Magnet
- 1953: The Cruel Sea
- 1954: Lease of Life
- 1956: The Long Arm
- 1957: Barnacle Bill
- 1960: Cone of Silence
- 1961: Girl on Approval
- 1963: Torpedo Bay
- 1967: The Sky Bike
- Hunt, Martin. "Frend, Charles (1909-1977)". BFI ScreenOnline. Reference Guide to British and Irish Film Directors. British Film Institute. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
- "6th Berlin International Film Festival: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2009-12-27.
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