John Sturges

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Not to be confused with John Sturgess or Preston Sturges.
John Sturges
Born John Eliot Sturges
(1910-01-03)January 3, 1910
Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died August 18, 1992(1992-08-18) (aged 82)
San Luis Obispo, California, United States
Occupation Film director

John Eliot Sturges (/ˈstɜːrɪs/; January 3, 1910 – August 18, 1992) was an American film director. His movies include Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963), and Ice Station Zebra (1968). In 2013, The Magnificent Seven was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[1] He was not related to director Preston Sturges.


He started his career in Hollywood as an editor in 1932. During World War II, he directed documentaries and training films for the United States Army Air Forces. Sturges's mainstream directorial career began in 1946 with The Man Who Dared, the first of many B-movies. He made imaginative use of the widescreen CinemaScope format by placing Spencer Tracy alone against a vast desert panorama in the suspense film Bad Day at Black Rock, for which he received a Best Director Oscar nomination in 1955. Over the course of his career, Sturges developed a reputation for elevated character-based drama within the confines of genre filmmaking. He was awarded the Golden Boot Award in 1992 for his lifetime contribution to Westerns.

He once met Akira Kurosawa, who told him that he loved The Magnificent Seven (which was a remake of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai). Sturges considered this the proudest moment of his professional career.

Escape Artist: The Life and Films of John Sturges,[2] by Glenn Lovell (former film critic for the San Jose Mercury News), was published by University of Wisconsin Press in 2008.




  1. ^ "Library of Congress announces 2013 National Film Registry selections" (Press release). Washington Post. December 18, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Escape Artist at University of Wisconsin Press

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