Nathan Juran began his film career as an art director, eventually winning an Oscar for his work on How Green Was My Valley (1941). He was art director on Winchester ’73 (1950), and was directing Westerns for Universal-International — Law And Order, Tumbleweed (both 1953) and more — a couple years later. But the bulk of his feature work was in science fiction — including The Deadly Mantis (1957), 20 Million Miles To Earth (1957) and The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad (1958). Later, he did a lot of TV. In fact, one of his episodes of Daniel Boone just wrapped up on RTV.
Interviewed for Starlog in 1989, and for the Audie Murphy biography No Name On The Bullet, he described making B pictures:
Nathan Juran (in Starlog): “I approached the picture business as a business. I always did pictures for the money, and for the creative challenges. I wasn’t a born director. I was just a technician who could transfer the script from the page to the stage and could get it shot on schedule and on budget. I never became caught up in the ‘romance’ of the movies.”
Nathan Juran (for No Name On The Bullet): “The terrible thing is that when you make these sort of B pictures it’s a terrible struggle because you get a B class director and you get second-rate actors and you get lousy music, and you get a cutter that’s on his way down… What you really need is a good star, or a hell of a story, but you get poor writing and you get poor everything. Costuming is whatever they had on the shelf and the sets are somebody else’s old sets, and it’s pretty tough.”
“You never reshot anything. When you finished it, that was it. Also you didn’t dare take too many takes of any particular shot because you didn’t have time, it would be at the expense of the show.”