Five Favorite Films with Roger Corman

The veteran independent filmmaker and undisputed king of the B-movie drops in for a chat about his career and the new documentary Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel.

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.


Battleship Potemkin (Sergei M. Eistenstein, 1925; 100% Tomatometer)

Well, if I were to pick my five favorites I would probably start with Battleship Potemkin, the great Russian silent film. To me, that is the greatest film ever made. It was probably the originator of a number of cutting techniques -- the "Odessa steps" sequence, with the baby carriage rolling own the steps at the same time the troops are marching down the steps, is still one of the most powerful montage sequences I've ever seen.




Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962; 98% Tomatometer)

If I went on to number two, there it becomes more difficult. I would say probably Lawrence of Arabia. I would say simply for the epic scope; the broad expanses and deserts, and then cutting in tight from these giant long shots to Lawrence and the other characters. And the power of Peter O'Toole's performance as Lawrence.




Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941; 100% Tomatometer)

Citizen Kane: So many people would pick that and there isn't much I could say about it. The photography is extremely good. He was using a lot of low angles, he was using covered sets; and at that time, and still, very few art directors will put a ceiling on a set because it makes it very difficult to light, but he gave it a great feeling of realism. Also, it was a brilliant script. It's well directed, well acted -- Welles himself is brilliant as Kane -- and it really stems from the script.

Did you ever meet Orson Welles?

Yes, I did meet Orson Welles. Orson and Peter Bogdanovich and I had dinner one night, and I met him a few other times. When I did The St. Valentine's Massacre at Fox I wanted classical actors for Al Capone, the leader of the South Side gang, and Bugs Moran, the leader of the North Side gang. We cast Jason Robards for Bugs Moran and I wanted Orson Welles for Al Capone. The executives at the studio said they agreed with Jason, but they said, "Roger" -- and I was fairly young at the time -- "this is your first picture for a major studio, we have to tell you nobody can work with Orson Welles. He takes over the set and does anything he wants." I told the story to Orson and Orson said, "[I'm] probably the most cooperative actor anybody ever saw! I don"t know what they're talking about. I would have been great as Capone!" [laughs]




On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954; 100% Tomatometer)

Then each one becomes more difficult as I go along. On the Waterfront -- you go straight to Marlon Brando. It was a good picture all around, a good script, and Kazan directed it brilliantly. And the shooting on location, I would assume they would have never shot in a studio -- the look of the film gives a great sense of realism, that you are there on the waterfront, you're there in cold weather, you can see the breath coming out of the actors mouths. I would say it's probably -- probably -- Marlon's best performance, although you would have to give a nod to Godfather.




Avatar (James Cameron, 2009; 83% Tomatometer)

You know, I would pick Jim Cameron's picture, Avatar, as a fifth. It's the only new picture, I think, that can be up there in that group. Jim Cameron, one of our graduates -- who started making low-budget science fiction pictures for us -- went and jumped ahead and here's Avatar, the most expensive science fiction picture ever made. Jim's a technical genius, and the fact that he single-handedly brought back 3D -- which had been up there, in and out a few times; in the '50s and then forgotten -- and he used it beautifully and sensitively. So many times when a director's working with 3D you have the shot of the arrow coming out of the screen, shooting straight at the audience, and effects like that; he deliberately stayed away from that type of effect and just showed you the 3D world. And the use of computer graphics, green screen, motion capture and so forth for the blue-skinned people on the planet -- I just thought it all came together as a brilliant film, both technically, in the way he used 3D, and in the beauty of the picture itself.

Speaking of your graduates using 3D -- have you had a chance to see Martin Scorsese's Hugo yet?

Yes, I saw Hugo and I was very impressed with it. Again, Marty used 3D sensitively and intelligently, and once more he was restrained in the use of 3D. You had a few things coming out toward you, but primarily you became immersed in the story, and Marty filmed a great story. The story of Georges Méliès, the old French director and one of the originators of film, and the story the young boy I thought was beautifully down. I think it's an excellent film.



Next, Corman talks about some of his famous graduates, the state of independent film, and how the Spielberg-Lucas blockbusters spelled doom for his genre movies.

Comments

King Crunk

King Crunk

A true film legend! Great interview and nice list, too. (Waits for the Avatar hate train to pour in)

Dec 15 - 11:36 AM

David Tanny

David Tanny

I didn't hate Avatar. It was pretty. But that's about it. I'll admit it was entertaining though. But very shallow. I enjoyed the visuals to D9 much more.

Dec 15 - 12:01 PM

railroad wino

Spencer Bennett

Thinking about it I think Avatar would have been a much deeper film had Cameron had some help with dialogue. A lot of the lines were cringe-worthy.

Dec 15 - 12:43 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

The dialogue in the Terminator movies really wasn't great either, and Aliens as well. But for some reason they work in those movies. Especially Aliens. But with Avatar(it's been a while since I saw Titanic, so I can't say about the dialogue)the dialogue was just terrible. It made even Sigourney Weaver seem like a bad actress!

Dec 15 - 02:24 PM

Fry Samy

Fry Samy

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Feb 26 - 08:09 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'll spare you. Constructively, I'll just say that the extended cut adds some helpful exposition at the beginning, and I wish there was a stronger 2nd Act (which is code for 'character development'). Overall, I was disappointed in the 3D. I'm one of the unfortunates who finds the motion blurring and some of the foreground images as slightly transparent or strobey. But I didn't hate it the way a lot of people did. I admire the overall environmental allegory.

Dec 15 - 02:22 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

Some character development would have been a lot better. I agree. But One thing I did like was the pacing of the film. Despite being nearly 3 hours, it flew by pretty fast. Again, I didn't hate it like a lot of people, but found it's flaws damaging enough to not call it a great film.

Dec 15 - 02:50 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"A true film legend" I don't know what planet your from but are we looking at the same person here- Cormon's the king of low buget films next to Ed Wood except that he involves nudity and gore in some of the most cheesiest fashion! I saw this guy on Donahue once and he believes in the three B's- 'blood, beasts and breasts'! And there's a reason why acting talents of Sly Stallone and Jack Nicholson wouldn't do another movie with him and the reasons are very obvious! If there was no Ed Wood, he'd be next on the cheesiest films list!

Dec 15 - 03:15 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

The difference between Corman and Ed Wood is that Wood was honestly trying to make good movies with what he had, he was just so paranoid about overspending and getting the most bang for his buck that it all came off very fake and cheesy. Wood was sort of disillusioned; he had heart and tried to make good films, but just was not a good filmmaker or storyteller. Corman on the other hand, knew he was making schlock. That schlock made money, though, and that is why he cornered the B-movie market. One of his great quotes (I don't remember who he said it to, might have been James Cameron) is, "If you do a good job on this movie for me, you'll never have to work for me again!" He obviously really did have a good taste, and kept an eye out for great talent like Scorsese and Cameron. I called him a legend because he has done a lot for the film industry, whether you see it as good or bad is sort of irrelevant (no offense). Going back to Ed Wood, he is a film legend, too. His films were awful, but that made him a cinema icon in a bit of irony.

Dec 15 - 03:45 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I too remembered Cormon making that quote as well, and I think it was to James Cameron as well, except that Cameron is the opposite of Cormon and by watching Cormon movies overall are a waste of time. I mean I've seen some low budget films as well and they'd always have something to offer which is the opposite of watching most of what Cormon was involved in! As I had mentioned, one can get more from listening to Cormon than it would be to watch any of his films which is the same for Ed Wood! That although they're both fascinating people, their movies are generally bad as people describe them to be!

Dec 15 - 03:59 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

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

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

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

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

Dave J

Dave J

I do think that he's more interesting to listen to and would probably get more than by watching most out of everything that he was involved in!

Dec 15 - 03:30 PM

Diego C.

Diego Crespo

Avatar is a beautifully shot film with outstanding special effects. It's the perfect movie to show off a new HD tv but other than that it was predictable and had pretty bland dialogue. And I never really cared about the giant smurfs. It's good and delivers what the trailer promised, but that's about it.

Dec 16 - 04:32 PM

Diego C.

Diego Crespo

Avatar is a beautifully shot film with outstanding special effects. It's the perfect movie to show off a new HD tv but other than that it was predictable and had pretty bland dialogue. And I never really cared about the giant smurfs. It's good and delivers what the trailer promised, but that's about it.

Dec 16 - 04:32 PM

Diego C.

Diego Crespo

Avatar is a beautifully shot film with outstanding special effects. It's the perfect movie to show off a new HD tv but other than that it was predictable and had pretty bland dialogue. And I never really cared about the giant smurfs. It's good and delivers what the trailer promised, but that's about it.

Dec 16 - 04:32 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

I didn't hate Avatar. It was pretty. But that's about it. I'll admit it was entertaining though. But very shallow. I enjoyed the visuals to D9 much more.

Dec 15 - 12:01 PM

railroad wino

Spencer Bennett

Thinking about it I think Avatar would have been a much deeper film had Cameron had some help with dialogue. A lot of the lines were cringe-worthy.

Dec 15 - 12:43 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

The dialogue in the Terminator movies really wasn't great either, and Aliens as well. But for some reason they work in those movies. Especially Aliens. But with Avatar(it's been a while since I saw Titanic, so I can't say about the dialogue)the dialogue was just terrible. It made even Sigourney Weaver seem like a bad actress!

Dec 15 - 02:24 PM

Fry Samy

Fry Samy

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Feb 26 - 08:09 AM

David Tanny

David Tanny

I love Lawrence of Arabia. One of the best film scores ever. I have to agree with what he said about Avatar, about it not being the gimmicky 3D everyone was used to. But unfortunately, it led to a string of bad 3D films. But I am disappointing in James Cameron for making more Avatar movies. I wish he would go back to dark, violent, and edgy sci-fi.

Dec 15 - 12:05 PM

H. Guy

Josh Price

I guess I didn't realize it before, but I am surprised to see that Corman quit directing in the early 70's. One of my favorites that I thought he had directed was Death Race 2000.

Dec 15 - 12:39 PM

railroad wino

Spencer Bennett

Thinking about it I think Avatar would have been a much deeper film had Cameron had some help with dialogue. A lot of the lines were cringe-worthy.

Dec 15 - 12:43 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

The dialogue in the Terminator movies really wasn't great either, and Aliens as well. But for some reason they work in those movies. Especially Aliens. But with Avatar(it's been a while since I saw Titanic, so I can't say about the dialogue)the dialogue was just terrible. It made even Sigourney Weaver seem like a bad actress!

Dec 15 - 02:24 PM

Fry Samy

Fry Samy

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Feb 26 - 08:09 AM

Movie Monster

Bentley Lyles

I thought #1 would be some Kubrick film or something like that. I was in for a surprise. I have seen #3 and #1 and plan to see Lawrence of Arabia soon. Wow! I need to catch up with a LOOOOOOT of classics.

Dec 15 - 01:24 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

Watch Lawrence on the biggest possible screen you can find.

Dec 15 - 09:32 PM

Chris M.

Chris May

avatar? is this a joke

Dec 15 - 02:15 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I can't wait to see this documentary. I'm already familiar with a few stories, but it should be very engaging. I also agree with him that "Masque of the Red Death" is his best-looking film - his Poe adaptations are his best films generally. (Overall, my personal favorite of Corman's is "A Bucket of Blood") I know for a fact that he's directed one film since the 70s (Frankenstein Unbound). It's also funny that he picked "Avatar" for pretty much the same reasons he was threatened by "Jaws" and "Star Wars". As for his picks, they're pretty much all classics. He's right about Brando. Eisenstein was a major influence on both Kubrick and Welles. And I was confused, and had to look up "St Valentine" because I could've swore Jason Robards was Capone (and he was), but I think Corman's original plan was superior (even though Orson is clearly lying through his teeth about his "co-operation".)

Dec 15 - 02:15 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I think it's very ironic that he named big budgeted films like Avatar or Citizen Kane since a great portion of Cormon's films are very low budget and very cheesy- you'd think he'd say something like Texas Chainsaw or the Blair Witch Project something that is very low budget making alot of money! I guess he really liked watching those films but are not really part of his influences!

Dec 15 - 02:20 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

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'll spare you. Constructively, I'll just say that the extended cut adds some helpful exposition at the beginning, and I wish there was a stronger 2nd Act (which is code for 'character development'). Overall, I was disappointed in the 3D. I'm one of the unfortunates who finds the motion blurring and some of the foreground images as slightly transparent or strobey. But I didn't hate it the way a lot of people did. I admire the overall environmental allegory.

Dec 15 - 02:22 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

Some character development would have been a lot better. I agree. But One thing I did like was the pacing of the film. Despite being nearly 3 hours, it flew by pretty fast. Again, I didn't hate it like a lot of people, but found it's flaws damaging enough to not call it a great film.

Dec 15 - 02:50 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

The dialogue in the Terminator movies really wasn't great either, and Aliens as well. But for some reason they work in those movies. Especially Aliens. But with Avatar(it's been a while since I saw Titanic, so I can't say about the dialogue)the dialogue was just terrible. It made even Sigourney Weaver seem like a bad actress!

Dec 15 - 02:24 PM

Dan O.

Dan OConnell

Hugo>Avatar

Dec 15 - 02:44 PM

Unbreakable Samurai

Unbreakable Samurai

100% agree with that!

Feb 2 - 03:03 PM

David Tanny

David Tanny

Some character development would have been a lot better. I agree. But One thing I did like was the pacing of the film. Despite being nearly 3 hours, it flew by pretty fast. Again, I didn't hate it like a lot of people, but found it's flaws damaging enough to not call it a great film.

Dec 15 - 02:50 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"A true film legend" I don't know what planet your from but are we looking at the same person here- Cormon's the king of low buget films next to Ed Wood except that he involves nudity and gore in some of the most cheesiest fashion! I saw this guy on Donahue once and he believes in the three B's- 'blood, beasts and breasts'! And there's a reason why acting talents of Sly Stallone and Jack Nicholson wouldn't do another movie with him and the reasons are very obvious! If there was no Ed Wood, he'd be next on the cheesiest films list!

Dec 15 - 03:15 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

The difference between Corman and Ed Wood is that Wood was honestly trying to make good movies with what he had, he was just so paranoid about overspending and getting the most bang for his buck that it all came off very fake and cheesy. Wood was sort of disillusioned; he had heart and tried to make good films, but just was not a good filmmaker or storyteller. Corman on the other hand, knew he was making schlock. That schlock made money, though, and that is why he cornered the B-movie market. One of his great quotes (I don't remember who he said it to, might have been James Cameron) is, "If you do a good job on this movie for me, you'll never have to work for me again!" He obviously really did have a good taste, and kept an eye out for great talent like Scorsese and Cameron. I called him a legend because he has done a lot for the film industry, whether you see it as good or bad is sort of irrelevant (no offense). Going back to Ed Wood, he is a film legend, too. His films were awful, but that made him a cinema icon in a bit of irony.

Dec 15 - 03:45 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I too remembered Cormon making that quote as well, and I think it was to James Cameron as well, except that Cameron is the opposite of Cormon and by watching Cormon movies overall are a waste of time. I mean I've seen some low budget films as well and they'd always have something to offer which is the opposite of watching most of what Cormon was involved in! As I had mentioned, one can get more from listening to Cormon than it would be to watch any of his films which is the same for Ed Wood! That although they're both fascinating people, their movies are generally bad as people describe them to be!

Dec 15 - 03:59 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

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

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

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

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

Tyler S.

Tyler Schwab

Had me until Avatar, a truly awful mess of a movie IMO. While I find Battleship Potemkin boring, the Odessa steps sequence is undeniably powerful and innovative.

Dec 15 - 03:23 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I do think that he's more interesting to listen to and would probably get more than by watching most out of everything that he was involved in!

Dec 15 - 03:30 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

The difference between Corman and Ed Wood is that Wood was honestly trying to make good movies with what he had, he was just so paranoid about overspending and getting the most bang for his buck that it all came off very fake and cheesy. Wood was sort of disillusioned; he had heart and tried to make good films, but just was not a good filmmaker or storyteller. Corman on the other hand, knew he was making schlock. That schlock made money, though, and that is why he cornered the B-movie market. One of his great quotes (I don't remember who he said it to, might have been James Cameron) is, "If you do a good job on this movie for me, you'll never have to work for me again!" He obviously really did have a good taste, and kept an eye out for great talent like Scorsese and Cameron. I called him a legend because he has done a lot for the film industry, whether you see it as good or bad is sort of irrelevant (no offense). Going back to Ed Wood, he is a film legend, too. His films were awful, but that made him a cinema icon in a bit of irony.

Dec 15 - 03:45 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I too remembered Cormon making that quote as well, and I think it was to James Cameron as well, except that Cameron is the opposite of Cormon and by watching Cormon movies overall are a waste of time. I mean I've seen some low budget films as well and they'd always have something to offer which is the opposite of watching most of what Cormon was involved in! As I had mentioned, one can get more from listening to Cormon than it would be to watch any of his films which is the same for Ed Wood! That although they're both fascinating people, their movies are generally bad as people describe them to be!

Dec 15 - 03:59 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

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

Dave J

Dave J

I too remembered Cormon making that quote as well, and I think it was to James Cameron as well, except that Cameron is the opposite of Cormon and by watching Cormon movies overall are a waste of time. I mean I've seen some low budget films as well and they'd always have something to offer which is the opposite of watching most of what Cormon was involved in! As I had mentioned, one can get more from listening to Cormon than it would be to watch any of his films which is the same for Ed Wood! That although they're both fascinating people, their movies are generally bad as people describe them to be!

Dec 15 - 03:59 PM

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