After apprenticing with the likes of Preston Sturges, Mann moved into the director's seat in the 1940s. Working with cinematographer John Alton, he helmed a string of highly stylized noir films, including Border Incident (with Ricardo Montalban) and Raw Deal (with Raymond Burr).
Beginning in 1950 with Winchester '73 and culminating with The Man from Laramie in 1955, Mann collaborated with actor James Stewart on a number of Westerns that cemented his reputation as a master of the genre. Two of Mann's last pictures were of an epic nature, El Cid (1961) and The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964). He died April 29, 1967.