A college athlete, Oscar Boetticher Jr. became a matador in Mexico in the mid 1930s. He entered the Hollywood film industry as a technical advisor on the 1941 version of Blood and Sand and then became an assistant director. Boetticher made his directing debut in 1944, and after helming a series of low-budget films, made the semi-autobiographical The Bullfighter and the Lady in 1951. He signed the film as Budd Boetticher, the name he would work under for the rest of his career. Boetticher showed real ability directing actioners and crime films, but his greatest impact was with a series of westerns starring Randolph Scott, most of which were produced by Harry Joe Brown and scripted by future director Burt Kennedy. These films, such as The Tall T and Ride Lonesome, are distinguished by their tight pacing, strong casts, and sly strains of humor. Boetticher spent most of the 1960s trying to raise money for a documentary of Mexican bullfighter Carlos Arruza. Before the shooting was completed, Arruza and most of Boetticher's crew were killed in an automobile accident. His film Arruza was completed in 1968 but not released until 1971, the same year as Boetticher's last western, A Time for Dying.