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How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and…

How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime

by Roger Corman, Jim Jerome

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Roger Corman is the king of the low budget movies, starting in the early 50s with a budget that would embarrass any other moviemaker. He plowed in the profits to make more. The 1950s and 1960s was his most productive period as he first directed, then switched to directing. I love the anecdote Jack Nicholson provides about filming The Raven with Karloff, Price, and Lorre. ("I loved those guys.) Lorre, as he apparently often did, adlibbed bits of business with Nicholson, who played his son, a practice that made Price uncomfortable although he adjusted (one time, Price is said to have interrupted a scene to say "Just say the lines, Peter" "Don't you like it?" Lorre asked?) and made classically trained Karloff livid. Price, of course, went on to make the Edgar Alan Poe movies, a peak period for both Price and Corman. Corman recalls the opportunity to burn down a barn with all kinds of great flames and fire patterns which he liberally used in his Poe movies. Little did he realize at the time that not only would people want to see these again, but would be able to do so with VCRs and DVD players, thus getting the opportunity to spot the similarity of the fire footage used in so many of those movies. As I recall, when this book came out Corman was shooting a series of horror movies for Showtime, many original, a few of them remakes using often only the title, a number of them quite watchable. He was engaging in what was a Corman specialty: creative financing. In this case he used almost the entire Showtime budget to film the movies, but retained European theatrical rights which produced his profit. Corman reveals he did work for a big studio for awhile, but was happy to leave when he found everybody took lunches to talk about making movies without actually making movies. (They thought he was trapped in B-movie land.) Great insights into a maverick's career. Excellent stuff. ( )
  NickHowes | Apr 15, 2015 |
Roger Corman has long been famous for his exploitation movies, starting in the 1950s and continuing on until the current day. "How I made a hundred movies in Hollywood and never lost a dime" is a good read; Corman is a natural storyteller and he has plenty of anecdotes to share about the films he made and the actors who featured in them.

Also featured are vignettes by people who have worked with Corman over the years - from the legendary Dick Miller to director Jonathon Demme and producer Gale Ann Hurd. As you read them you realise just how important Corman has been to developing the talent that runs Hollywood today. ( )
  MiaCulpa | May 26, 2014 |
Roger Corman is an underground hero in the film industry, a man who made few movie of artistic merit and yet has had an incredible influence on the independent film industry, as well as cinema history in general. Though his movies were often cheap exploitation films, woodenly acted and occasionally ploddingly scripted, what really mattered was how he made them. Corman took a logical step in the 1950s that many filmmakers at the time could not even conceive: he made movies quickly, on the fly that expressed a personal vision and where often free of studio control. He was an independent filmmaker at a time when studios ruled with an iron fist. Because his films were schlock, it allowed him to slip under the system and basically make whatever he wanted to make. "How I Made..." is interesting as it shows how one man, making B-list movies with lurid titles, managed to have a subtle but profound effect on the film industry, both through giving young actors and filmmakers a start, distributing foreign films in the U.S. by directors such as Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman (which might not have otherwise made it to our shores), and by running companies that gave a working model for how to distribute films outside of the major studios. It's a necessary read for anyone interested in film history, and Corman is a pleasant narrator to boot.

(This review originally appeared on zombieunderground.net) ( )
  coffeezombie | Nov 18, 2006 |
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Corman, Rogerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jerome, Jimmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To my wife, Julie - my best friend, strongest supporter, and most valued critic. I love you.
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My career has been an anomoly in Hollywood.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0306808749, Paperback)

In these pages Roger Corman, the most successful independent filmmaker in Hollywood relates his experiences as the director and/or producer of such low-budget classics Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Raven, The Man with the X-ray Eyes, The Wild Angels, The Trip, Night Call Nurses, Bloody Mama, Piranha, and many others. He also discusses his distribution of the Bergman, Fellini, and Truffaut movies that later won Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film category. Corman alumni—John Sayles, Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, Vincent Price, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, Peter Fonda, Joe Dante, and Jonathan Demme, among others—contribute their recollections to give added perspective to Corman's often hilarious, always informative autobiography.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:07 -0400)

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