George Sherman (July 14, 1908 – March 15, 1991) was an American film director and producer of low-budget Western films.
George Sherman was born in New York City on July 14, 1908. At age 14 he sailed aboard the SS Mongolia to Los Angeles, California, where he found work in the mail room at Warner Bros. studios. In 1937, after working as an assistant director, he directed his first film, Wild Horse Rodeo for Republic Pictures. Sherman would go on to direct scores of low-budget Western films for Republic from 1938-44.
In the late 1930s Sherman directed cowboy singer Gene Autry in six films, including Rhythm of the Saddle (1938), Mexicali Rose (1939), Colorado Sunset (1939), Rovin' Tumbleweeds (1939), and South of the Border (1939). In 1938 he directed John Wayne in Pals of the Saddle, their first of ten film collaborations. Over the next 30 years Sherman directed Wayne in Overland Stage Raiders (1938), Santa Fe Stampede (1938), Red River Range (1938), The Night Riders (1939), Three Texas Steers (1939), Wyoming Outlaw (1939), New Frontier (1939), and Big Jake (1971), Sherman's last and most successful feature film as a director. Sherman also produced Wayne's 1961 film The Comancheros.
After his contract ended with Republic Pictures, Sherman directed films for Columbia Pictures from 1945-48, and then for Universal Pictures from 1948-56. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s Sherman continued to direct mainly low-budget Western films, including Comanche Territory (1950), The Sleeping City (1950), and The Battle at Apache Pass (1952). Occasionally he would direct non-western action films, horror films and film noirs popular during that time. In 1949 he directed Sword in the Desert, a precursor to Otto Preminger's 1960 epic film Exodus. Beginning in 1959 Sherman started directing episodes for successful television series such as Rawhide, Naked City, Route 66, Daniel Boone, and Gentle Ben. He retired from filmmaking in 1978.
In 1962 Sherman received the Bronze Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for producing The Comancheros. In 1988 he received the Golden Boot Award for his significant contributions to the Western film genre. Sherman died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on March 15, 1991, at the age of 82.