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New York actor who went to Hollywood in the early 1940s and, after making a series of skillful and enjoyable B-films ("Dr. Broadway" 1942, "The Great Flamarion" 1945), eventually emerged as one of the leading directors of his day. Beginning with "Desperate" (1947), Mann directed a cycle of taut films noirs that displayed an immaculate visual style and introduced one of the director's favorite themes: the intelligent, thoughtful man who is driven to violence. Of these films, "T-Men," "Raw Deal" (both 1948) and "Border Incident" (1949) stand out.
Mann then turned to Westerns, making a number of films that are often cited as among the genre's highest achievements. Classics such as "Winchester '73" (1950), "Bend of the River" and "The Naked Spur" (both 1952) are noted for their well-crafted screenplays (often by Borden Chase), effective use of landscape and gritty violence. Starring in all three of these was James Stewart, who also appeared in several of the director's non-Western movies, notably "The Glenn Miller Story" (1953).
Mann's final films were sprawling, big-budget productions such as "El Cid" (1961) and "The Fall of the Roman Empire" (1964), which remain among the more intelligent and absorbing period spectacles Hollywood has produced. He died during the filming of the spy thriller "A Dandy in Aspic" (1968), which was completed by the film's star, Laurence Harvey. Married to actress Sarita Montiel from 1956 to 1963.