Roger Corman


Roger William Corman (April 5, 1926) is an American director, producer, and actor. He has been called “The Pope of Pop Cinema” and is known as a trailblazer in the world of independent film. Much of Corman’s work has an established critical reputation, such as his cycle of low-budget cult films adapted from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, most of them starring Vincent Price. Other notable films he directed include The Intruder (1964), with William Shatner; and Bloody Mama (1970), with Shelley Winters, Bruce Dern, Don Stroud, Diane Varsi, Robert De Niro, Robert Walden, Pat Hingle.

In 1964, Corman — admired by members of the French New Wave and Cahiers du cinéma–became the youngest filmmaker to have a retrospective at the Cinémathèque Française, as well as in the British Film Institute and the Museum of Modern Art. He was the co-founder of New World Pictures, the founder of New Concorde and is a longtime member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2009, he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award “for his rich engendering of films and filmmakers.”

Corman mentored and gave a start to many young film directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, John Sayles, Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante, and James Cameron, and was highly influential in the New Hollywood filmmaking movement of the 1960s and 1970s. He also helped to launch the careers of actors like Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern, Sylvester Stallone, and Diane Ladd. In addition to Price, Corman also worked with such horror legends as Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone, and Lon Chaney Jr.

Corman has occasionally taken minor acting roles in the films of directors who started with him, including The Godfather Part II (1974), with Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, John Cazale, Talia Shire, and De Niro; The Silence of the Lambs (1991), with Jodie Foster Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, and Ted Levine; Philadelphia (1993), with Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Antonio Banderas, and Joanne Woodward; Apollo 13 (1995), with Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris, Gary Sinise, and Kathleen Quinlan; and The Manchurian Candidate (2004), with Washington, Meryl Streep, Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, Kimberly Elise, and Levine.

A documentary about Corman’s life and career entitled Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, directed by Alex Stapleton, premiered at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals in 2011. The film’s TV rights were picked up by A&E IndieFilms after a well-received screening at Sundance. The last film he directed was Frankenstein Unbound (1990), with John Hurt, Raul Julia, Bridget Fonda, Jason Patric, and Nick Brimble, which was also his first directing credit in almost 20 years.

Each review will be linked to the title below. [Because Corman has 400+ producing credits, I’m only gonna some where I feel necessary, but still list all the films he directed. While also rather long (50+), it’s still nowhere near the number of films he’s produced or executive produced!]

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Five Guns West (1955)
  • The Beast with a Million Eyes (1955) – directed by David Kramarsky – uncredited co-director along with Lou Place
  • Apache Woman (1955)
  • Day the World Ended (1955)
  • Swamp Women (1956)
  • Gunslinger (1956)
  • The Oklahoma Woman (1956)
  • It Conquered the World (1956)
  • Naked Paradise (1957)
  • Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)
  • Not of This Earth (1957)
  • The Undead (1957)
  • Rock All Night (1957)
  • Teenage Doll (1957)
  • Sorority Girl (1957)
  • Carnival Rock (1957)
  • The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1957)
  • Stakeout on Dope Street (1958) – directed by Irvin Kershner – uncredited co-producer
  • War of the Satellites (1958)
  • Machine-Gun Kelly (1958)
  • Teenage Cave Man (1958)
  • She Gods of Shark Reef (1958)
  • I Mobster (1959)
  • The Wasp Woman (1959)
  • A Bucket of Blood (1959)
  • Ski Troop Attack (1960)
  • House of Usher (1960)
  • Last Woman on Earth (1960)
  • The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
  • Atlas (1961)
  • Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)
  • The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
  • Premature Burial (1962)
  • The Intruder (1962)
  • Tales of Terror (1962)
  • Tower of London (1962)
  • The Raven (1963)
  • The Young Racers (1963)
  • The Terror (1963) – uncredited directing by Francis Ford Coppola, Jack Hale, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill, Dennis Jakob, & Jack Nicholson
  • The Haunted Palace (1963)
  • X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)
  • Dementia 13 (1963) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola – producer
  • The Masque of Red Death (1964)
  • The Secret Invasion (1964)
  • The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)
  • The Wild Angels (1966)
  • The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967)
  • A Time for Killing (1967) – directed by Phil Karlson – uncredited co-director
  • The Trip (1967)
  • The Wild Racers (1968) – directed by Daniel Haller – uncredited co-director
  • Targets (1968) – directed by Peter Bogdanovich – uncredited executive producer
  • Target: Harry (1969) – credited as Henry Neill
  • De Sade (1969) – directed by Cy Endfield – uncredited director along with Gordon Hessler
  • Bloody Mama (1970)
  • Gas-s-s-s (aka Gas! or It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It) (1970)
  • Von Richthofen and Brown (1971)
  • Sweet Kill (1972) – directed by Curtis Hanson – uncredited executive producer
  • Boxcar Bertha (1972) – directed by Martin Scorsese
  • Caged Heat (1974) – directed by Jonathan Demme – uncredited producer
  • Dirty Duck (1974) – directed by Charles Swenson – uncredited producer
  • Fighting Mad (1976) – directed by Jonathan Demme – producer
  • Grand Theft Auto (1977) – directed by Ron Howard – executive producer
  • Deathsport (1978) – uncredited co-director – credit went to Nicholas Niciphor (as Henry Suso) & Allan Arkush
  • Piranha (1978) – directed by Joe Dante – executive producer
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Highschool (1979) – directed by Allan Arkush & Joe Dante (uncredited) – executive producer
  • Saint Jack (1979) – directed by Peter Bogdanovich – producer
  • Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) -uncredited co-director – credit went Jimmy T. Murakami
  • Suburbia (1983) – directed by Penelope Spheeris – uncredited producer
  • Frankenstein Unbound (1990) – also co-writer
  • Searchers 2.0 (2007) – directed by Alex Cox – executive producer
  • Death Race (2008) – directed by Paul W.S. Anderson – executive producer

Other notable New Hollywood filmmakers: