John P. McCarthy entered films circa 1916 as an actor and assistant director. McCarthy spent the 1920s as writer/director of romantic dramas and "outdoors" pictures. On at least one occasion 1930's God's Country and the Man--he functioned as producer. During the 1930s, McCarthy helmed such westerns as Headin' North (1930) and such fast-paced melodramas as Conspiracy (1939). Absent from films for a brief period in the early 1940s, John P. McCarthy returned to directing in 1942, specializing in westerns until his retirement in 1945.