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.