Born in Austria, Nathan Juran worked as an architect before he became an art director at age 30. He received an Oscar for How Green was My Valley, and also worked on such notable pictures as The Razor's Edge, Body and Soul, and Kiss the Blood Off My Hands. In the early '50s, Juran became a director, specializing principally in action and fantasy films, as well as science fiction titles, which he frequently did under the pseudonym Nathan Hertz. His first notable film as a director was the 1956 science fiction classic 20 Million Miles to Earth, which was designed by special effects master Ray Harryhausen. He was particularly successful, because of his art director's background, at integrating action and special effects sequences, and Juran went on to direct The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and The First Men in the Moon, also produced and designed by Harryhausen, and, as Nathan Hertz, made the low budget sci-fi outings Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and The Brain from Planet Arous.