Charles Frend (21 November 1909, Pulborough, Sussex – 8 January 1977, London) was an English film director and editor, best known for his films produced at Ealing Studios. He began directing in the early 1940s and is known for such films as Scott of the Antarctic (1948) and The Cruel Sea (1953).
Frend moved to Gaumont British Pictures, where he worked under producer Michael Balcon. He edited Alfred Hitchcock's Waltzes from Vienna (1934), then My Song for You (1934), Oh, Daddy! (1934), Tom Walls' Fighting Stock (1935), The Tunnel (1935), and Car of Dreams (1935).
When Michael Balcon went over to work for MGM British at Denham Film Studios, he brought Frend with him. While there, Frend edited A Yank at Oxford (1938), The Citadel (1938) and Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939).
Korda used him again for The Lion Has Wings (1939). He was hired by Gabriel Pascal for Major Barbara (1941). By now he was established as one of the leading editors in Britain but he wanted to direct.
Michael Balcon had taken over Ealing Studios and he gave Frend the chance to direct his first feature, the semi-documentary The Big Blockade (1942), which Frend also co-wrote. Frend developed as one of Ealing's key directors, along with Charles Crichton, Alexander Mackendrick and Robert Hamer.
Frend followed his first feature with The Foreman Went to France (1943) and San Demetrio London (1943); Richard Hamer finished the latter after Frend fell ill. He did a short, The Return of the Vikings (1943), then Johnny Frenchman (1945).
Frend's first non-war film was a melodrama, The Loves of Joanna Godden (1947), adapted from the novel Joanna Godden (1921) by Sheila Kaye-Smith. He followed it with Scott of the Antarctic (1948), a biopic that was hugely successful at the British box office.
Frend shifted into comedy, making A Run for Your Money (1949) and The Magnet (1950). He returned to war films with The Cruel Sea (1953), the most successful film at the British box office in 1953.
Frend did a drama with Robert Donat, Lease of Life (1954). His film The Long Arm (1956) won the Silver Bear for an Outstanding Single Achievement award at the 6th Berlin International Film Festival.
Frend moved into television, directing episodes of Interpol Calling, Schilling Playhouse and Danger Man. He returned to films with Cone of Silence (1960) for Balcon's new Bryanston Films, and Girl on Approval (1961).
His last credit as principal director was The Sky Bike (1967) for the Children's Film Foundation. He did episodes of Man in a Suitcase, and did second unit directing on Guns in the Heather and David Lean's Ryan's Daughter (1970).
Frend died in a hospital in London on 8 January 1977, aged 67, after a long illness.