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How I Made A Hundred Movies In Hollywood And Never Lost A Dime

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  436 ratings  ·  38 reviews
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 dis ...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published August 22nd 1998 by Da Capo Press (first published July 28th 1990)
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  436 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hollywoodbabylon
If you like trashy movies you have to read this great book written by a man who nobly dropped acid to make sure he replicated the experience correctly for his sleaze classic "The Trip". Lots of dirt on the great Edgar Allen Poe movies he made with Vincent Price and some cool stories about the late, great Beverly Garland, too. Highly recommended.
Jack Herbert Christal Gattanella
(Scorsese on Corman): "I had expected in Roger a Harry Cohn type, a rough, very crude person who was a genius at knowing what people wanted and how to market it. Instead I found him a very courteous and gentlemanly guy, but a very stern and tough customer who was quite polite as he explained these outrageous tactics of exploitation in cold, calm terms. It was very funny. Roger is despite himself, the most remarkable type of artist because, while not taking himself too seriously, he was able to i ...more
James Hold
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Book is good and informative to an extent. It written in a clear style with strong simple sentences, economical as per his style. Corman is known for making quick, inexpensive movies that entertain. As a writer I was hoping he'd go into more detail on exactly how he accomplished this. You get a little of his philosophy but not enough. I lost interest in the final chapters as he handed off projects to others and did less directing himself. I rate it a good book if you're interested in an uncompli ...more
Jan 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Psychotronics fans, aspiring filmmakers, film historians
Recommended to Michael by: Roger Corman
I bought this book waaay back when I was actually working in independent film, but only got around to reading it now. I'm glad it exists. In the independent film world there is a myth that independent filmmaking was introduced in the 1970s and that before that there was nothing. Roger Corman sets the record straight by talking about his own independent filmmaking experience in the 1950s and 60s, and by enumerating every famous independent filmmaker he trained (Demme, Coppola, Scorcese, Dante, Bo ...more
Garrett Cash
Roger Corman's name may not always be placed in the pantheon of directors like John Ford, Orson Welles, or Howard Hawks when discussing the greatest and most influential American directors, but I believe that he is still arguably one of the most influential and fascinating. First of all, there's his status as one of the earliest and most successful independent filmmakers in Hollywood. There's the fact that his work ranges from 50's atomic sci-fi drive in cinema, to risky statement films, gothic ...more
Oct 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Roger Corman is a fascinating personality. He directed and produced controversial movies and bent the rules for the sake of making money, but also for the sake of making a statement about the world as he viewed it.

The one trait I admired most about him was his willingness to let young people prove themselves and to learn under his guidance. It is important to remember that many of those celebrities we take for granted as being rich and famous are only that way because they were given a chance a
Jim Berkin
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Corman's autobio is pretty honest and thoroughly entertaining. He goes into a lot of detail about the nature of maverick indy filmmaking back when the technology did not exist that enables much of it today. Corman writes more like a businessman than a filmmaker, although he sometimes discusses the aesthetic quality of the films he produced & directed - but more often then not, it's about what it took to get the stuff made, marketed & distributed. In other words, it's a great window into ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Mar 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: b movie buffs
Shelves: biography, movies
Who needs expensive sets or believable special effects? Just film it fast and keep moving! It may not be good, but it won't be boring. I actually enjoy many of Corman's movies, especially the ones with Vincent Price. If you love cheesy old horror movies, or want to know where Jack Nicholson got his start, this is a fun look at the B movie industry before it went straight to video.
Clint Hoagland
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting perspective into Roger Corman's career and how it intersects with the film industry at large; to hear him tell it he's pretty much responsible for all the careers of all the interesting directors and actors of the 70s, they all got their start on Corman pictures.

I admired his economical writing style (probably due in some part to his cowriter) and the backstory for all the Corman movies (of which I am a fan) was fun and interesting. The later chapters are a little draggy after he le
Mike Glaser
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great book if you love the movies. Roger Corman has made movies with just about everyone in Hollywood and he is an amazing story teller.
Christopher Barnes
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great for aspiring directors that want to save cash and working with limited resources.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to become a film director
This book could be none other than inspiring and learned experience for anyone wanting to go into film making as a career. Roger Corman has been named the greatest independent filmmaker in the world. He has made and produced well over 500 hundred films and is responsible for the majority of the world's best film director's today.

The story of how he made a hundred movies is about a man who wanted to try out film making and see what it was like. He was a engineering graduate student from Stanford
Rick Mccray
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
What does it look like to actually live your dream? What does it feel like to have your dream job that you created for yourself? This is the story of Roger Corman, who was a director for straight to drive-in movies during the 1960's & 1970's and later went on to own a powerful movie distribution company during the 1980's. I loved this book for several reasons. It is a business book with a sneaky counter-culture undertone. He explains that he went to Stanford and planned to become an engineer ...more
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book a very long time ago, but came across my old copy in a bin of stored books, and gave it another once-over. it still stands up as a delightful look at the Hollywood industry!

Roger Corman has been a bit of a rogue, a maverick, in Hollywood, producing movies inexpensively (some might say cheaply)and yet always moderately successfully.

Corman is not out to produce the next blockbuster. He is out to do what the industry was initially geared for -- to provide entertainment. It is often
Roger Corman is a rather remarkable fellow among the many remarkable people who make movies in Hollywood. His influence extends well beyond the 55 movies he directed and the 385 he produced. This is because he mentored young actors like Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda and young directors like Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich, Francis Ford Coppola and Ron Howard. All of these people (and a number of others) wrote personal reflections about their days working with Corman, which are included in th ...more
Mar 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
I've made some short films in my time. It's nice to know that you could make a feature with pretty much the same production value. :)
This is full of funny stories, some surprising and some a little shocking. Corman's disdain for the studios and their phony accounting was a great lesson in Hollywood corruption.
My favorite story is the following: An actor/crew member named Beach was helping out on the set of a monster movie. Roger says, "Beach, we need a monster."
"Yeah, Roger. I've heard this WE
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Roger Corman has long been one of my personal/artistic heroes. I'm glad I finally got around to reading his book. It's clear that he has a lot of respect for his collaborators (and that those quoted in the book, a long list of Names You Will Recognise, have perhaps even more respect for him) and for the craft of filmmaking. I honestly believe the man is an absolute genius. The 'Corman School' ethos is one of efficiency, honesty, and creative freedom on a level that major studio productions, even ...more
Bill Wallace
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Now that was entertaining! Corman is probably the most influential American filmmaker since D.W. Griffith, by his own considerable body of eccentric direction and production and by virtue of providing the launchpad for many of the major talents of late 20th Century movie making. This book is a series of anecdotes, more or less sequential, by Corman and many of the people who worked for him. The effect is closer to reading segments of interviews than to reading an actual memoir but it still paint ...more
Aki Umemoto
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting read, doesn't go into great detail about any one movie. Basically a cursory review of his career, rather matter of fact and not a lot of anecdotes. More telling are the quotes from his associates and friends. He does go into some detail on the making of "The Intruder", his one personal picture which was also a flop. Wish he gotten more in depth on the making of "Little Shop of Horrors" or my personal favorite, "Attack of the Crab Monsters". He still remains a pioneer in the independe ...more
Simon Peters
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you're interested in the process, and the business, of making films, then this is a book for you. Corman has worked with many of the great names of modern cinema before they made it.Scorcese, Jack Nicholson, Coppola, Bogdanovich, Jonathan Demme, etc., etc. They contribute testimony to the extent Corman's pragmatic approach to the monster task of making a film informed and educated them in their own careers. Some amusing anecdotes, and masses of information about many many films you may never ...more
Jason Coffman
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The Roger Corman book is basically exactly what you'd expect. Packed with hugely entertaining tales of his days in low-budget filmmaking working around the world with people who would go on to the big time! My main complaint is that the book is too short! Corman is such an entertaining raconteur that he could have easily added a few hundred more pages. Great stuff!
Brenda Osborne
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book. Roger Corman found a niche and filled it. He let people with no experience direct movies; people like Martin Scorcese, Ron Howard, james Cameron, Jonathon Demme just to name a few. Most of his movies were made for under 1,000,000 in as little as two days and made tons of money. If you have a soft spot for B movies, you will enjoy this book.
Heather Anderson
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hmmm, our library's copy had a different cover (Roger Corman poses within a giant monster's claw!!). This book is great and Roger Corman is the Man. True DIY success story. I totally admire what he has done, as well as the actors and others who worked with him. A densely packed short read that is a rollercoaster of adventure. It has soome really funny parts, too.
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
"...the elitist-artist and the hustler-maverick...sum up my view of Hollywood and the culture of film. It's a compromised art form. It's a 50/50 split, art and commerece. Maybe that's why Americans are so good at it."
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
The book starts off great but when Roger reaches the part where he is no longer directing his own films, it looses steam a little. I loved the additions from all the big names he'd given a start too though.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! Just as good as when I read it the first time.
Sep 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
So this is what smug people think about themselves...
Matthew leprore
Dec 03, 2007 rated it liked it
interesting and ultimately depressing look at making movies.
Vin Forte
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
A breezy account of the most DIY director to ever slapdash his way through Hollywood. A very colorful, campy, and crafty read.
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think I've read this one twice already. Corman is a God.
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