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November 12, 2009


Roger Corman created Hollywood as we know it

Roger Corman movies

Roger Corman, one of the most prolific movie makers ever, got his honorary Oscar yesterday. He's an award winner that seems unconventional for the Academy, but Corman's connections to mainstream Hollywood go deeper than I realized.

You might already know Roger Corman, King of the B's, as the guy who produced or directed hundreds of the finest American movies involving man-eating snake girls (Night of the Cobra Woman), bloodthirsty motel proprietresses (Mountaintop Motel Massacre), Peruvian cave monsters being sold as a snack food (Munchies), brain eaters (The Brain Eaters), and the Ramones (Rock 'n' Roll High School).

But did you know he also helped launch the careers of tons of respected actors and directors? Here are some of the people who owe it all to Roger Corman:

Actually, Jonathan Demme and Roger Corman have stayed pals since Corman gave him his first writing job in 1971 with Angels Hard as They Come (starring a young Scott Glenn) and his first directing job in 1974 with Caged Heat. Roger Corman appeared in small roles in Demme's Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate, and Rachel Getting Married.

He also played Congressmen in both Godfather II and Apollo 13.

At the Oscars ceremony, Peter Bogdanovich, another Corman protégé, said: "Roger Corman is responsible for the New Hollywood. He has made a tremendous impact as a director himself and made very stylish horror films and made them fast and cheap and made them look good."

Fast and cheap, no joke. Supposedly he shot Little Shop of Horrors in 2 days, and for a while there was putting out 6-7 movies every year. Corman certainly had an eye for real talent in the people he chose for his movies, though I guess when you're churning out that kind of volume, at least a few of your protégés are going to end up being the greatest actors in the world.

categories: Celebrities, Movies
posted by amy at 3:03 PM | #

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The story goes that when Howard was directing a car crash scene for Corman, he really wanted a five car pileup. Corman said no, two cars was all they could afford. Howard insisted that they had to have five cars or the moment just wouldn't carry. And Corman replied, "Listen kid, get this right and you'll never have to work for me again---two cars."

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastarrd at November 13, 2009 11:20 AM

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