John Sturges

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John Sturges
John Eliot Sturges

(1910-01-03)January 3, 1910
DiedAugust 18, 1992(1992-08-18) (aged 82)
Occupation Film director

John Eliot Sturges ( /ˈstɜːrɪs/ ; January 3, 1910 – August 18, 1992) was an American film director. His films 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 and 2018, Bad Day at Black Rock were selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". [1]



Sturges started his career in Hollywood as an editor in 1932. During World War II, Sturges directed documentaries and training films as a captain in the United States Army Air Forces. [2] Sturges's mainstream directorial career began with The Man Who Dared (1946), the first of many B movies. In the suspense film Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), he made imaginative use of the widescreen CinemaScope format by placing Spencer Tracy alone against a vast desert panorama, receiving a Best Director Oscar nomination for the film. 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. [3] The Magnificent Seven was an inductee in the 2013 National Film Registry list. [4] Sturges commented that its popularity is due in part as a springboard for several young actors, transporting the locale from Japan to Mexico, putting a twist into the career of Yul Brynner, and having part of its score used as the Marlboro cigarette commercial theme. [5]



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  1. O'Sullivan, Michael (December 18, 2013). "Library of Congress announces 2013 National Film Registry selections". The Washington Post . Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  2. John Sturges at Encyclopedia Britannica . Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  3. "Died Today (August 18th) – Director John Sturges (The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven)". Festival Reviews. August 18, 2016. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  4. "Complete National Film Registry Listing". Library of Congress . Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  5. Singh, Anjuli. "Brief Descriptions and Expanded Essays of National Film Registry Titles". Library of Congress . Retrieved March 19, 2018.

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