Roger Corman reigns supreme as the godfather of independent filmmaking. Since 1954, he has produced 400-plus movies on shoestring budgets, blending action, sex, humor, and social message into hip (and profitable) entertainments. He has also demonstrated an uncanny eye for talent, launching the Hollywood careers of Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, and James Cameron, to name just a few. Thanks to a campaign supported by generations of grateful alumni, he was honored with an Oscar in 2009. It was a fitting valedictory, but Corman himself is still going strong, churning out monster mash-ups like "Sharktopus" and promoting them via today's social media. Beverly Gray served as Corman's story editor for nearly a decade.
Through far-reaching conversations with over 100 fellow Cormanites, she takes you behind the cameras for an insider's look at the man and the mogul. This third edition of Gray's now-classic unauthorized biography, first published in 2000, advances the Corman saga into the present day. Gray's work has been hailed by critics like Steven Gaydos, Executive Editor of Weekly Variety, who wrote, "Beverly Gray's terrific bio of Corman explains his colorful career both as an amazing business tale and a strange, even mournful, personal journey. A development exec for Corman for many years, Gray knows both the business side of the low-budget mogul and something of Corman's almost-forgotten high-minded soul."
What members say
A Good, Overall Biography for Roger Corman
I quite enjoyed this unofficial biography of Roger Corman. He's made some of my favorite movies over the years, and I am often squealing in delight when one I haven't seen comes on a streaming service or late night cable channel. He's a fascinating individual, and hearing quotes from the people who worked most closely with him really offered an inside point of view which sets this apart from simply a straight biography.
However, I will admit to slight disappointment in that it didn't cover his movies in as much detail as I wanted. I'm not sure what I was expecting because it's a biography, not just a movie listing with cute little facts. What WAS extremely fascinating was often the mindset behind the Corman productions. Not just the little stories about troubles or amusing tales, but why movies were chosen, how people rose in the company, how people came to direct (the story behind Cameron's rise on Battle Beyond the Stars stuck out to me in particular), and so on which really added to the book. It truly is unique.
I couldn't give the audio five stars, though it is very easy to listen to, because in the beginning the narrator was pretty rushed with hardly any pauses between sentences. That, and you can tell where they made additions or corrections as the sound quality changes here and there. Very soon after the beginning though, the narrator finds her stride and has a very pleasant voice, suited perfectly for the audio book, and the corrections are few.
Overall, if you are a Roger Corman or movie fan, I highly suggest getting this book or audio book. It was a great listen.
A balanced and entertaining insight into the myth
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the story of how Corman became the mogul he is now. Any fans of the over the top "B" movies Corman is famous for will enjoy the story.
What did you like best about this story?
The personal insights and information that Gray reveals as well as the hundreds? of quotes from others illustrated the character that is Corman well.
Which scene was your favorite?
Any of the office ones that made me nearly laugh out loud at the penny pinching brilliance and wild personality of Corman.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Not extreme in either way but amused and amazed by it.
Any additional comments?
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher. This is my honest and unbiased review.