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How I Made A Hundred Movies In Hollywood And Never Lost A Dime Paperback – Unabridged, August 22, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1st Da Capo Press ed edition (August 22, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306808749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306808746
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Independent filmmaker Corman ( The Beast ; The Little Shop of Horrors ) wrongly argues here that his is not "one of the more significant careers in film history." Having helped launch directors Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich and Martin Scorsese, and actors Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern and Sylvester Stallone, he is certainly one of the motive forces in American movies today. In this revealing autobiography, written with the coauthor of Papa John , Corman tells amazing tales of shooting full-length films in mere days with budgets under $100,000, and states his conviction that cinema is a fusion of art and money--which explains, he believes, why Americans do it so well. This account of Corman's life and career includes reminiscences by those who have worked with him: performers, directors, assistant producers, writers. The book is a significant contribution to the history of American movies. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

As a screenwriter, producer, and director, Corman is responsible for making many of the most god-awful?but profitable?stinkers in cinematic history. Still, he launched the careers of many other, more talented artists, e.g., Jack Nicholson, Robert DeNiro, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Coppola, and where would Mystery Science Theater be without him? Here he reveals the secrets of his quite remarkable career in a "disarmingly modest fashion" (LJ 5/1/90). A solid volume for all film collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Sounds like a true story.
Preseva Mustafa
It was fun to read this book and rent some of the films as they were being discussed.
Joseph P. Menta, Jr.
The anecdotes are interesting and for the most part the book is well written.
James Manson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Blake Watson on July 6, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reads like one of Corman's movies plays out: fast, to the point, and when the monster's dead, the movie (or book) is over. There's not a lot of brooding, introspective material. (Mr. Corman muses some on why he never "sold out" to the majors and also why the European community has accorded him more respect, but these are fortunately brief segments.)
In the meantime the reader is treated to many of the adventures Corman and his ensemble braved to make his movies, some insights on how to squeeze the most out of a small budget, and a refreshingly forthright attitude about money and movies.
The book could stand an update, as Mr. C has been busy in the past decade, but it's still a worthwhile read as is.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joseph P. Menta, Jr. VINE VOICE on January 2, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A terrific book, loaded with great stories and anecdotes about the world of low-budget film making-- from its heyday in the 50's and 60's, to the 1980's, when the industry kind of petered out because the major studios began making the types of visceral horror, science fiction, and exploitation movies previously reserved for "quickie" independent producers like Mr. Corman. It was fun to read this book and rent some of the films as they were being discussed. Another plus: the book is peppered with informative and revealing guest essays by the likes of Francis Coppola, Joe Dante, Martin Scorcese, Jack Nicholson, and various other directors, actors, and producers who worked with and/or got their start with Roger Corman. Though most of the comments about Mr. Corman in these essays are predictably laudatory, we are also allowed to read the occasional critical or negative observation, which permits the reader to get a nicely balanced view of the subject. The book is rounded out by a great selection of photos from the dozens of movies covered.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James Manson on March 20, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Considering the book is about Roger Corman the shallowness might be understandable.
The book is a retrospective of some of his movies and a little bit of the life he spent around them. The anecdotes are interesting and for the most part the book is well written.
The main problem that I had with the book is the length and the lack of detail about the movies and the making of them. In only a couple of cases does he go into any real depth. Most of the movies are limited to a few paragraphs.
I think that I would have preferred a book with fewer movies being covered but greater depth of coverage.
All in all a good book for those that are fans of Roger's films, as I am. However don't expect any major revelations.
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Format: Paperback
Roger Corman wrote "How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime" in 1990, reflecting on a 35-year career making movies, during which he was nearly always in production. The title of the book should be taken literally. Corman tells us just how he directed or produced the low-budget independent films for which he is famous. After giving a brief account of his early life, Corman dives into his career of non-stop filmmaking, launched by "The Monster from the Ocean Floor", made for $12,000 in 1954, through directing films for American International Pictures 1955-1969, producing youth-oriented exploitation films and distributing foreign art films for his own company New World Pictures 1970-1982, and finally his focus on the home video market in the 1980s.

Corman learned the business of making movies as he went along, so he takes the reader though the financing and production of many of his movies, his mistakes, his philosophy, and his legendary efficiency. The recollections of people who worked with Corman, many of whom got their start in the unofficial "Corman School", are scattered throughout the text. These add an interesting variety of perspectives. Among those who chime in with their thoughts on working with Corman are actors Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, and Vincent Price, directors Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, John Sayles, and Francis Coppola, and Corman's wife and associate producer Julie Corman.

Corman's disdain for bureaucracy, his many methods of penny-pinching, his attempts to inject social relevance into exploitation films, his commitment to making films to suit the market (or even to suit the sets!), and his almost infallible instincts for what people want to see come across strongly.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I'm not sure of how I happened upon this biography, but I'm glad I did. I'm not particularly a Roger Corman fan, having seen perhaps three or four of his films without really noticing that Corman had a part in their making.

Corman's life is interesting. Not only was he probably the most successful independent filmaker in history, he was also mentor and first-chance for many of today's leading producers, directors, writers and stars.

Remarkably down to earth and honest, Corman admits that his life has not been totally fulfilling: like many successful people, success is never enough - there's always one more challenge down the road and more than one challenge left unexplored in the past.

Corman engages in some, but not deep, analysis of his films, explains his evolving political philosophy and provides snippets that from another author might be construed as name-dropping. But Corman was there and it's his interactions with these people he's talking about, so it's not in the least obnoxious.

Above all, the value of Corman's book may not be to film buffs, but to business people, especially small scale entrepreneurs. Corman's management methods and his approach to filmaking were true nose-to-the-grindstone. He knew his market; he studied his market; he created his product to appeal to his market and he kept costs down to a minimum in order to reduce his risk of loss.

Quite a guy and his biography is worth the couple of hours it takes to read it.

Jerry
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