by Roger with Jim Jerome Corman ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 29, 1990
The most successful independent filmmaker of all time tells what makes him tick. Corman--aided by journalist Jerome (Time, People) and by long quotes from associates such as Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Martin Scorcese, Francis Coppola, and Jonathan Demme--creates a lively self-portrait that is modest, self-assured, sometimes regretful. Aside from his personally directed and produced works--e.g., his Edgar Allan Poe films ( The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, etc.), his biker films with the real HeWs Angels, his counterculture films (The Trip, with script by Nicholson)--he is best known as president of the School of Corman. He became so successful at making movies with rock-bottom budgets on ten-day shoots that he welcomed newcomers under his wing and gave them the wherewithal to make their own -first movies for his release. He was himself an odd mixture of buttoned-down college graduate with an eye for the market and superheated organizer who whipped movies into shape without stopping for the niceties behind every shot and setup. Until 1970, Corman mainly directed and produced (40 movies in 15 years), and lost money only on his one socially conscious personal film, The Intruder. After that flop, he kept focused on satisfying the needs of the market. In 1970, he decided to take time off from directing to organize his distribution setup, and became so engaged in business deals that he had no urge to direct. Corman has finally returned to directing, on his biggest budget ever, and will soon reveal Frankenstein Unbound. The best pages herein involve Nicholson making The Terror, a scissors-and-paste film that took five directors to complete (sighs Nicholson today: ""They don't make movies like The Terror any-more""), and Shelley Winters and Robert de Niro making Bloody Mama--although the Hell's Angels flick The Wild Angels has its delirious moments. Compelling, and lots of fun.
Pub Date: May 29, 1990
Page Count: -
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1990
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