John Sturges
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John Sturges
John Sturges
John Eliot Sturges

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

John Eliot Sturges (; 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.


Sturges 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.[2]The Magnificent Seven was an inductee in the 2013 National Film Registry list.[3] 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.[4]

Escape Artist: The Life and Films of John Sturges,[5] by Glenn Lovell, former film critic for the San Jose Mercury News, was published by University of Wisconsin Press in 2008.




  1. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (December 18, 2013). "Library of Congress announces 2013 National Film Registry selections". The Washington Post (Press release). Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ "Died Today (August 18th) - Director John Sturges (The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven)". Festival Reviews. 18 August 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "Complete National Film Registry Listing". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Singh, Anjuli. "Brief Descriptions and Expanded Essays of National Film Registry Titles". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ Lovell, Glenn (December 2008). McGilligan, Patrick (ed.). Escape Artist. The Life and Films of John Sturges. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-299-22834-7.

Further reading

External links

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