Five Favorite Films with Roger Corman

Summary

Movies as we know them just wouldn't be the same without Roger Corman. Sure, filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, James Cameron and Joe Dante probably would have found their way into the game eventually, but the fact remains that they all got their start under the tutelage of Corman and his low-budget genre factory -- a tireless B-picture production line that also gave early breaks to unknown young actors like Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone and Jack Nicholson. Perhaps more significantly, Corman was one of the pioneers of the independent movie model, cranking out scores of exploitation and genre films (and distributing foreign titles by Truffaut, Bergman, Fellini and Kurosawa) that turned profits even as they flaunted the traditional studio system. (Not to be discounted: he also directed a handful of genuinely fine movies, like the Edgar Allan Poe adaptation The Masque of the Red Death.) This week, Corman is celebrated in Alex Stapleton's documentary Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, a career-spanning look at his work that gathers together exultant testimonials from many of his most famous pupils. We caught up with Corman earlier this week for a chat about his career and his "graduates," his thoughts on independent film, and how the Lucas/Spielberg blockbusters spelled doom for genre pictures. First, here are Corman's five favorite films. Back to Article

Comments

GATSU

Daniel Zelter

He had me until Avatar. You just know Roger only mentioned it 'cus Jimmy name-dropped Piranha 2 on CBS. But I still dig the former director's work.

Dec 15 - 05:07 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Make no mistake, Dave, I think Corman and Wood were both largely (in Wood's case, exclusively) involved with only horrible movies. That said, they are both legends of the movie industry, even if their work was far from high calibur. And as this article notes, Corman is also responsible for bringing over a lot of foreign films that people would not have been exposed to other wise, so he should definitely be commended for that.

Dec 15 - 05:21 PM

JC Martel

JC Martel

I won't even comment on Avatar.

Dec 15 - 05:32 PM

Jason H.

Jason Huang

is that a good thing or bad thing?

Dec 15 - 06:42 PM

JC Martel

JC Martel

It's a good thing for Avatar.

Dec 16 - 11:27 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Cormon just as may have introduced some critically acclaimed directors from the likes of Kurosawa, Traffault and Bergman but the thing is if Cormon didn't there always be someone else who would and I don't think I saw any foreign films was a result of Cormon. I mean if he's really a film legend, it'd have to mean that 'you' as a movie viewer have to like some of the films he's involved in and not what he introduced something that's already been made, I mean the same argument can be said about the Weinsteins and Tarantino, that although they weren't part of the movie process in the making of the film, they don't mind making money out of them by releasing them to the States as well! And that although this documentary about Cormon looks rather entertaining, he's far from being a film legend considering how many critically acclaim directors their are who were successful as a result of not working for him or to be a part of his film making at all!

Dec 15 - 05:45 PM

Jason H.

Jason Huang

is that a good thing or bad thing?

Dec 15 - 06:42 PM

JC Martel

JC Martel

It's a good thing for Avatar.

Dec 16 - 11:27 AM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

I disagree. Corman did have a lot of classic "B" films that are original and creative. Dillinger, Battle Beyond the Stars, Piranha just to name a handful.

Dec 15 - 06:45 PM

Dave J

Dave J

But out of everything you've seen Cormon was given credited to, what would you say be the percentage that you liked of his and at the same time earn the same notoriety as Scorsese, Kubrick and Coppola, because I bet there's probably more films that're like other horror films that's similar to "After Dark Horrorfest" or "Ghost House" and those are as memorable as most horror films coming out with Cormon's name attached to them!

Dec 16 - 04:14 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

Citizen Kane was not a big budget film.

Dec 15 - 06:46 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I thought it was an expensive film because he Orson Welles was always behind schedule costing the studio more money, the sooner it was made the less it would cost the studio!

Dec 16 - 02:29 PM

Kilgore

Glen Morgan

Here is a list of Roger Corman's favorite vegetables:

1. Potato
2. Carrot
3. Squash
4. Cauliflower
5. Floor wax

Dec 15 - 09:15 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

Watch Lawrence on the biggest possible screen you can find.

Dec 15 - 09:32 PM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

Wow at the sudden shift in tone between the first four films and number five. That pick just doesn't fit in with the other four.

Dec 16 - 12:27 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I disagree as well. Corman made several handsome Poe productions with Vincent Price, "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Bucket of Blood" are far more inventive and charming than Wood's simple (however amusing) ineptitude. And he did shepard a number of quality filmmakers through his ranks: Coppola, Bogdanovich, Robert DeNiro, Jonathan Demme, Paul Bartel, Joe Dante, John Sayles, not to mention Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, Ron Howard and James Cameron mentioned in the article. (And Jack Hill and Monte Hellman have cult followings of their own) At worst, he was still a vaulable teacher about budget and discipline. At best, he was far more influential than his shlocky peers like William Castle, Herschell Gordan Lewis, or Russ Myers (who are also, more or less, 'legends' in their own way).

Dec 16 - 05:51 AM

Dave J

Dave J

But what you're saying is that he can be a great teacher and that's not the same as that his films are inspirational, Cormon films can inspire bigger budgeted and better versions of his films but that is probably how far it would go. And out of all the names you've mentioned, they're far from being in the 'best' they had ever been in or partake in throughout their career, as a matter of fact all the directors/ actors you've dotted down are probably involved in the least favorite or at least close to the bottom of the list anyway whether it's Sly, Bogdanovich to Coppola!

Dec 16 - 02:41 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

But those same directors (maybe not Sly, I haven't seen him discuss Corman) will tell you that they respect Corman, and that respect is exactly what makes him a legend.

Dec 18 - 05:59 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Anyone can always respect his/her predecessor but is not the same as film legend- I mean you can call Cormon a film legend, but only behind 100 other directors you can name and even that's not saying much either!

Dec 19 - 03:15 PM

I am not drunk

Nicolas Sara

If a true film legend tells you Avatar is a great movie, maybe you're the one who's wrong about it.

Just a thought.

Dec 16 - 05:54 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Well, James Cameron is certainly a 'true film legend' (Terminator, Aliens, Abyss, Terminator 2 are sufficent classics to qualify), and he made the damn thing. Maybe you're just being superficial about it. Go get yourself a Man's drink!

Dec 16 - 06:49 AM

CFM

'schak Attack

I agree with the drunk.

Dec 16 - 09:02 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

So...you agree with me? But it's too early yet...wait...you know he's NOT drunk, right? Are you drunk? Can I just agree with the first drunk guy I see?

Dec 16 - 11:17 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Was this from Friday? I must have lied, I was totally drunk when I wrote that.

Dec 18 - 06:03 AM

nongshim

Kathryne C

or maybe people have different opinions
whoa
crazy idea

Dec 16 - 10:27 AM

thedownstar

ryan brown

humming along nicely, until the vacuous thud of Avatar

Dec 16 - 05:58 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Well, James Cameron is certainly a 'true film legend' (Terminator, Aliens, Abyss, Terminator 2 are sufficent classics to qualify), and he made the damn thing. Maybe you're just being superficial about it. Go get yourself a Man's drink!

Dec 16 - 06:49 AM

King  S.

King Simba

I sorta agree with you Dave. The guy helped give a window of opportunity to so many great filmakers and actors in hollywood but at the same time it's nice to see how far genres like science fiction and fantasy have gone since the Roger Corman era (heck, the academy had to expand their best pic nominations to ten just to avoid all the controversy of not including such films at the oscars)

Dec 16 - 07:01 AM

CFM

'schak Attack

I agree with the drunk.

Dec 16 - 09:02 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

So...you agree with me? But it's too early yet...wait...you know he's NOT drunk, right? Are you drunk? Can I just agree with the first drunk guy I see?

Dec 16 - 11:17 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Was this from Friday? I must have lied, I was totally drunk when I wrote that.

Dec 18 - 06:03 AM

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