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 Posted:   May 11, 2024 - 8:27 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Roger Corman, Pioneering Independent Producer and King of B Movies, Dies at 98

https://variety.com/2024/film/news/roger-corman-dead-producer-independent-b-movie-1235999591/

 
 
 Posted:   May 11, 2024 - 8:31 PM   
 By:   dragon53   (Member)

Ironically, I wrote the Movie TV Trivia on Corman on May 9 (the day he died and before his death was announced) and posted it on May 10.

I used to watch his movies on Saturday mornings when he was a kid, but I didn't who Corman was at the time.

RIP

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2024 - 8:40 PM   
 By:   Amer Zahid   (Member)

He was certainly the groomer of various talented to be legendary film makers and composers.


 
 Posted:   May 11, 2024 - 10:20 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

What a great life lived. He looked so good on his Q&A recently with Joe Bob Briggs. There with his wife, still seeming vibrant and in love with life and friendship and passion for his industry. Roger Corman will be missed, especially by his family and friends, but he will never, ever be forgotten.

 
 
 Posted:   May 11, 2024 - 11:40 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Roger Corman made his film debut as co-producer and co-author of the story for HIGHWAY DRAGNET. Richard Conte stars as “Jim Henry,” a Korean War Marine on the lam after a love-hate first chance meeting with bar girl and ex-model “Terry Smith” (Mary Beth Hughes) in a Vegas casino. He beds her and departs early the next morning, but later she is found dead. He evades the police and thumbs a ride with female fashion photographer “H.G. Cummings” (Joan Bennett) and her lithe young model “Susan Wilton” (Wanda Hendrix). Hence the highway dragnet begins.

Nathan Juran directed the 1954 film, which has an uncredited and unreleased score by Edward J. Kay.

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2024 - 2:11 AM   
 By:   Hurdy Gurdy   (Member)

Wow!
This retrospective could take quite some time!!

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2024 - 2:50 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

I've always enjoyed Roger Corman's audio commentaries on DVDs. His interesting and detailed commentary tracks were amongst the very best.

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2024 - 2:56 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

Wow!
This retrospective could take quite some time!!


Surely best to concentrate on films he directed?

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2024 - 3:47 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

My comments from the other side of the board...

Indeed, he seemed to encourage a hands on approach and if nothing else launched many talented careers. Gotta respect a guy who gives up and comers a chance to cut their teeth and prove themselves in a tough business. Hollywood today is practically inbred. Truth be told growing up I though his films were nothing more than ripoffs and schlock, but I have a lot more admiration for his catalogue of films today. RIP to a legend in the field of film making.

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2024 - 6:22 AM   
 By:   Bill Carson, Earl of Poncey   (Member)


98 is some age.

Funnily enough i rewatched death race 2000 last week. As a teenager when i sneaked in the cinema to see it, I thought this was great albeit a bit clunky. Lol.

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2024 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   drop_forge   (Member)

I genuinely thought the man was an immortal. RIP, legend.

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2024 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   Magnus Opum   (Member)

I genuinely thought the man was an immortal. RIP, legend.

Conversely, I thought he had died years ago. R.I.P. again.

 
 
 Posted:   May 15, 2024 - 3:14 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

“Julie Blair” (Anne Kimbell), an American on vacation in Mexico, spots a giant, one-eyed amoeba rising from the ocean, but when she tries to tell the authorities about this MONSTER FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR, no one believes her. She finally teams up with marine biologist “Steve Dunning” (Stuart Wade) in an attempt to destroy it.

Roger Corman produced the 1954 film, and received his first poster credit. Corman got the idea for the movie while reading a Los Angeles Times article about a one-man submarine manufactured by Aerojet General. He phoned them and asked if he could use it in a film, telling them that he couldn't pay them but they'd get free publicity. According to Corman, they were delighted.

Corman also had an uncredited bit part in the film as “Tommy.” Wyott Ordung directed the picture, which had an unreleased score by André Brummer.

Floyd Crosby was director of photography. Corman assisted by driving the equipment and camera truck. Principal photography took six days, with two additional days for the underwater scenes. The film was produced for $12,000 plus deferments. Upon completion of the film, distributor Lippert Pictures advanced Corman $60,000, thus enabling him to cover all costs and deferments and begin his next film. Floyd Crosby would go on to shoot more than 20 films for Corman, including most of the Edgar Allan Poe films in the 1960s.

Actor Jack Hayes appeared in a small role in the film. Soon after, Hayes changed his name to Jonathan Haze. He would go on to appear in several dozen Corman films.

 
 
 Posted:   May 16, 2024 - 12:21 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

John Ireland and Dorothy Malone co-starred in the 1955 crime drama THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS. Ireland plays a trucker framed for murder who breaks out of jail, takes a young woman (Malone) hostage, and enters her sports car in a cross-border road race hoping to get to Mexico before the police catch him.

Along with Edwards Sampson, Ireland also co-directed the film, which was produced by Roger Corman. Corman doubled as one of the race drivers, and got so caught up in the race that he forgot he wasn't supposed to "win" it. He wound up beating Ireland across the finish line, resulting in another take being shot, in which Ireland won the race.

The film was shot in nine days at a cost of $50,000, using the money Corman had received from Lippert Pictures for MONSTER FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR. The deal that Corman set up included having the local Jaguar dealer donate his cars as well as having scenes take place at the Monterey race track.

After weighing offers from Columbia, Allied Artists, and Republic, Corman made a deal for THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS to be picked up for distribution by a new company, American Releasing Corporation (ARC), formed by Samuel Arkoff and James H. Nicholson. Corman said, "I realized that the trap for an independent producer was that you made a picture but waited a long time to get your money back. So, you couldn't make many films. And what I wanted to do was to get an advance back immediately to make a series of films." Corman said he told ARC, "I would give them the film if they would give me all of my money back immediately as an advance against distribution and I would do the same thing on three more films, so I could set myself up as a producer. They were happy to do that because THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS enabled them to start their company. It then meant that I would be able to be a steady supplier of films for them, and they could get their company rolling." American Releasing Corp. later evolved into American International Pictures. Decades later, producer Neal H. Moritz and Universal Pictures licensed the film's title for 2001's THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS.

The film's unreleased score was by Alexander Gerens, with jazz music provided by The Chet Baker Quartette. After having to operate as a second unit cinematographer, Corman realized he wanted to direct himself: “It was after that film that I decided to become a director.”

 
 
 Posted:   May 16, 2024 - 3:40 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Roger Corman made his directorial debut with FIVE GUNS WEST, in which five convicted criminals are pardoned by the Confederacy in order to conduct a special mission in the last days of the Civil War. Corman said the story idea was his, but the structure and script were the work of R. Wright Campbell, an actor he had met through Jonathan Haze. When Campbell complained to Corman that he was being paid only $200 for his script, Corman offered him the role of “John Morgan Candy,” for which he is billed onscreen as Bob Campbell.

In order to get some practice before starting FIVE GUNS WEST, Corman shot an 8-minute short film on 16mm over one day with some actor friends. Corman said he never bothered having this film processed and edited. He later wrote in his memoirs "if a young man came to me today with similar credentials there's no way I'd hire him. I'd tell him to go out and get more training."

Corman said it rained the first day. "This wasn't possible," he recalled thinking. "My first day! I hadn't even started and I was already behind schedule! I got so worked up and tense that I pulled off the road and threw up. Then I just leaned against my car in the rain and pulled myself together. I made it to Iverson's [Ranch] and after about an hour's wait the rain stopped.”

Corman said he was "very, very nervous" during the shoot. "I had been confident about my work as producer, but as soon as I made the transition to director, I became shaky. I was so nervous I couldn't eat lunch for the first five or six days. All I could do was shoot in the morning and stare at the script and study it to find out what I was going to do in the afternoon."

Corman again worked with cinematographer Floyd Crosby. "He needed a lot less coaching than a lot of other young directors," said Crosby. "He knew what he wanted, he worked fast, and it was fun. Suddenly we were a team.” Corman said Floyd "worked fast, which is important to me, and yet his stuff was always good. No matter how fast I moved, Floyd kept right up, and he could light a setup in 10–15 minutes flat, or even faster if need be, and we'd go. That's unusual—lots of people are fast, but you don't want to see the results. With Floyd, you didn't have that problem. Plus, he knew how to set up these really complicated dolly shots quickly. He was the best, and working with him was always a pleasure, professionally and personally.”

Producer Corman reportedly went over budget making the film. Under the deal with ARC, Corman was responsible for all budget overages. To complete FIVE GUNS WEST, Corman used funds from the budget of one of his upcoming projects, a science fiction film then called “The Unseen.” This meant that Corman would have to make the latter movie for less than $30,000.

However, Corman said FIVE GUNS WEST "was a breakthrough for me. With almost no training or preparation whatsoever, I was literally learning how to direct on the job. It took me four or five of these training pictures to learn what a film school student knows when he graduates."

Buddy Bregman scored the 1955 western, which cost between $60,000 and $75,000 to shoot. The picture grossed $350,000.

 
 
 Posted:   May 17, 2024 - 12:23 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE BEAST WITH A MILLION EYES concerns a space alien that is able to see through the eyes of a large number of animals and people that it can also mentally control, part of its plan to conquer the Earth. Reportedly the film was based on a script called “The Unseen” by Tom Filer. Roger Corman was attracted to the project because in the original draft of the script, the monster was invisible, which meant the film could be done cheaply.

In April 1955, it was announced that the film would be the first for Pacemaker Productions, a new company formed by Roger Corman. By that stage, the film had been renamed THE BEAST WITH A MILLION EYES by Corman's distributor James H. Nicholson, who came up with the title and some key ad art, and pre-sold the movie to exhibitors. To circumvent union rules, it would be produced and directed by David Kamarsky, Corman's former aide, while Corman would executive produce.

The film was the third of a three-picture deal Corman had with the American Releasing Company. Reportedly, cost over-runs on FIVE GUNS WEST meant only about $29,000 remained to make the science fiction film for Pacemaker Productions.

After one day's filming, the union threatened to shut down the production unless everyone signed with the Guild. With production running overtime, Roger Corman took over the film's directing chores and replaced the cinematographer with Floyd Crosby; but Corman took no official screen credit.

When the company vice-president Samuel Z. Arkoff received THE BEAST WITH A MILLION EYES he was unhappy that it did not even feature "the beast" that was implicit in the title. Special effects man Paul Blaisdell was hired to create a three-foot-tall spaceship (with a "beast" alien) for a meager $200. The "monster" ended up being a teakettle with a lot of holes in it.

The tiny budget meant that music, credited to "John Bickford," is actually a collection of public-domain record library cues by classical composers Richard Wagner, Dimitri Shostakovich, Giuseppe Verdi, Sergei Prokofiev, and others, used to avoid the cost of an original score or copyrighted cues.

The film managed to gross $100,000 at the box office.

 
 
 Posted:   May 17, 2024 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Dick Miller made his feature film acting debut and his first of scores of appearances in Roger Corman-produced-and-directed films in the 1955 western APACHE WOMAN. In the film, a government agent (Lloyd Bridges) is sent to a western town to investigate attacks that the townspeople say are being committed by rampaging Apaches. Miller's credited role was as an Apache named "Tall Tree." But Miller said that he filled in as different Indians, and also played a cowboy in the movie, and wound up shooting at himself.

Corman later said he found the experience interesting because it was one of the few films he directed where he had not developed the script himself. Nonetheless he enjoyed the film, particularly working with Lloyd Bridges and Joan Taylor. Corman noted that the film was "...the first time that I tried to deal with the subject of racial prejudice within the framework of a commercial movie." The picture was shot in two weeks, mostly at the Iverson Ranch in the San Fernando Valley, where Corman had previously made FIVE GUNS WEST.

APACHE WOMAN was the first film from production company Golden State, which was set up by ARC, and run by Alex Gordon. Gordon later recalled: “Corman’s set was quiet. Everything was efficient. Nobody was shouting. Everybody seemed to know what they were doing. He had the right people there, and he was directing very quietly, giving his instructions and so on. Later I was told by Lloyd Bridges and a couple of others, especially Richard Denning, that Corman wasn’t directing actors. Some of them were asking him certain questions about their interpretations, and Corman was hazy on that: ‘Just do it the way you would do it... whatever you think.’ Very rarely did he ever correct an actor: ‘No, no, that isn’t right.’”

Lance Fuller, who played the brother of ‘half-breed’ “Anne Libeau” (Joan Taylor), later said Corman "spent all his time setting up shots. He directed the composition but neglected the actors. He spent a lot of time with the script girl setting things up. I kind of went my own way on that one. Roger was okay, and we had a good relationship, but I didn’t get much direction from him. He didn't tell us what to do, so we improvised and directed ourselves." Fuller said "My highlight was a scene with Joan Taylor in the kitchen. I remember it was an outstanding scene. It was a dramatic monologue, and I directed it myself."

Ronald Stein's score for the film has not had a release. Estimates of the film’s cost range from $80,000 to $150,000, and it grossed $200,000.

 
 
 Posted:   May 18, 2024 - 2:29 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

DAY THE WORLD ENDED opens after a cataclysmic nuclear blast annihilates almost all life on earth. Five American survivors find their way to a shelter built in the bottom of a canyon: “Tony” (Mike ‘Touch’ Connors), a mobster; “Ruby” (Adele Jergens), his striptease dancer girlfriend; “Rick” (Richard Denning), a geologist who rescues a severely burned man named “Radek” (Paul Dubov); “Pete” (Raymond Hatton), an elderly prospector, and his donkey Diablo. “Jim Maddison” (Paul Birch), who built the shelter for himself and his daughter “Louise” (Lori Nelson), has provisions for only three people, and is reluctant to help the other survivors.

Executive producer Alex Gordon said Roger Corman tended not to direct actors at this stage of the career. "Lori Nelson particularly needed help [from a director]; she was used to getting it at Universal", said Gordon. "One day she was kind of saying, 'Gee, Roger won't tell me anything. I'm doing it the best I can, but he’s not directing me ...' But there was no crisis or anything."

Producer-director Corman shot the film in ten days for a total production cost of $96,000. The 1955 sci-fi/horror thriller grossed $1.1 million playing on a double bill with THE PHANTOM FROM 10,000 LEAGUES. Ronald Stein’s score is planned for a late June 2024 release by Dragon's Domain Records as part of "The Golden Age of Science Fiction: Vol. 4."

 
 
 Posted:   May 19, 2024 - 11:33 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1956's SWAMP WOMEN, undercover police officer “Lee Hampton” (Carole Matthews) infiltrates a band of three female convicts who authorities allow to escape from prison. “Vera” (Beverly Garland) is a ruthless hothead; “Billie” (Jil Jarmyn) is the most flirtatious and weakest of the three; and “Josie” (Mari Windsor) is the stable leader of the group. The escape is part of a larger plot to uncover a cache of diamonds hidden deep within the swamps of Louisiana. Mike Connors plays wildcat oilman "Bob Matthews," who enjoys the Mardi Gras with "Marie" (Susan Cummings), an aggressive young woman who wants to come with him when he looks for oil in the Louisiana bayous. It was Connors' third film for director Roger Corman.

Corman and his production partner James Nicholson were completing a long road trip searching for backers for their movies, often from drive-in theater owners, when they met the Woolner brothers—Lawrence, Bernard, and David—who had opened New Orleans' first drive-in theaters. Looking to get into the production business, the brothers agreed to help finance SWAMP WOMEN for Corman, who returned to Louisiana with his cast and crew for the production.

Willis Holman provided the unreleased score for this adventure film.

 
 Posted:   May 20, 2024 - 7:53 PM   
 By:   DOGBELLE   (Member)

Roger Corman R.I.P.
in his world
it means - Roger Coran will shortly " return in person"

 
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