Born in Tokyo, Japan, he attended Waseda University but left before graduating due to his involvement in a left-wing theater troupe. He joined P.C.L. (a precursor to Toho) in 1933 and began working as an assistant director to Kajirō Yamamoto alongside his longtime friend, acclaimed Japanese filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa. He made his feature film directing debut in 1947 with Snow Trail, which was written by Kurosawa. Snow Trail starred Toshirō Mifune in his film debut and actress Setsuko Wakayama. It helped establish Taniguchi's reputation for action film.
Taniguchi and Wakayama married in 1949 (he had earlier been married to the screenwriter Yōko Mizuki), but the couple divorced in 1956. Taniguchi married his third wife, actress Kaoru Yachigusa, in 1957. Yachigusa and Taniguchi remained together for over fifty years until his death in 2007.
Taniguchi was the screenwriter for the 1949 film, The Quiet Duel, which Kurosawa directed and which also starred Mifune. His most acclaimed film as a director was Escape at Dawn, a controversial anti-war work from 1950 about a Japanese soldier and a "comfort woman" that got into trouble with Occupation era censors. Taniguchi continued to direct movies throughout the 1950s and 1960s, but the quality of his work declined. His films from the time period include Man Against Man, The Gambling Samurai, Man In The Storm and The Lost World of Sinbad. His 1965 film International Secret Police: Key of Keys has been famously re-dubbed and re-released as What's Up, Tiger Lily? by Woody Allen. He was chosen as the supervising director of the official documentary of Expo '70.
- Snow Trail (銀嶺の果て, Ginrei no hate) (1947)
- Escape at Dawn (暁の脱走, Akatsuki no dassō) (1950)
- Rangiku monogatari (乱菊物語) (1956)
- International Secret Police: Key of Keys (国際秘密警察 鍵の鍵, Kokusai himitsu keisatsu: Kagi no kagi) (1965)
- The Quiet Duel (静かなる決闘, Shizukanaru kettō) (1949)
- Senkichi Taniguchi at the Internet Movie Database
- Taniguchi Senkichi at the Japanese Movie Database (Japanese)
- Taniguchi Senkichi no shigoto 2010 retrospective of Taniguchi's work (in Japanese)
- Blair, Gavin J. (2007-11-01). "Director Senkichi Taniguchi dies at 95". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2007-10-05.[dead link]
- "Senkichi Taniguchi". The Times. November 16, 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- "Taniguchi Senkichi". Nihon jinmei daijiten + Plus (in Japanese). Kōdansha. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- Hirano, Kyoko (1992). Mr. Smith goes to Tokyo: the Japanese cinema under the American occupation, 1945-1952. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 1-56098-157-1.
- "Taniguchi Senkichi ga shikyo". Kyōdō Tsūshin (in Japanese). 47 News. 31 October 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2010.