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Roger Corman, Peter Bogdanovich, Polly Platt, Joe Dante, Jack Nicholson ... see more see more... , Eli Roth , Martin Scorsese , Peter Fonda , Jonathan Demme , William Shatner , Quentin Tarantino , Pam Grier , Ron Howard , Robert De Niro , Jonathan Kaplan , Paul W.S. Anderson , Allan Arkush , Eric Balfour , Paul Bartel , Bob Burns , David Carradine , Gene Corman , Julie Corman , Bruce Dern , Frances Doel , Jonathan Haze , George Hickenlooper , Gale Anne Hurd , Irvin Kershner , Todd McCarthy , Dick Miller , John Sayles , Tom Sherak , Penelope Spheeris , Gary J. Tunnicliffe , Mary Woronov , Jim Wynorski

Blue jeans, sock-hops and drive-in movies: the Fifties were America's age of innocence. But stalking the depths of its post-nuclear bliss, mass paranoia became fuel for Joseph McCarthy's brand of Red ... read more read more...Scare terror propaganda. Bomb shelters were a deluxe feature in every American home, government-sponsored educational reels promised an imminent nuclear threat from across the Atlantic, and Hollywood, Babylon of the western world, hung on the brink of collapse. It was here, in the last-ditch machinations of a dying juggernaut, that a mild-mannered, civil engineer's son would become the most influential force in modern moviemaking. Corman's World tracks the triumphant rise of Hollywood's most prolific writer-director-producer, the true godfather of independent filmmaking. -- (C) Official Site

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85% liked it

1,216 ratings


92% liked it

48 critics

R, 1 hr. 30 min.

Directed by: Alex Stapleton

Release Date: December 16, 2011

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DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012


Stats: 98 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (98)

  • September 18, 2014
    At last Roger Corman gets the credit he deserves. The man is a pioneer, without him cinema wouldn't be what it is today, after all, you can't have A movies with B movies! Everyone comes together to sing his praises too, and so they should, most of them owe him their careers, most... read more noticeably Jack Nicholson who actually breaks down in tears while talking of his friend, in one of the most surprising and genuinely touching moments in film I've seen for a while. It's not all B movie nonsense though, with films like The Intruder and the fact he helped directors like Fellini, Kurosawa and Bergman get their films shown in the US, he was a serious figure in the history of film making and cinema, fighting for what he believed in. Sure he missed out on some big successes but mostly it's because people have been ripping off his ideas for decades, something he seems to be doing in return, but that's Hollywood.
  • October 25, 2013
    Roger Corman is the king of low budget cinema. He is responsible for exposing film fans to many of the industry's most legendary names such as Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Ron Howard. This is a must see documentary for cinema fans, even if you're not a fan ... read moreof Corman's, just give it a shot because I think he's one of the most important figure in cinema. The film features great interview with the actors that have worked with him, directors that he's helped across the way and other directors that have been influenced by Corman's work. This is a well crafted documentary that is among the finest that I've seen in quite some time. The film takes a look at his cinematic legacy and his unique style in entertaining audiences. His films are a wonderful and his knack to entertain viewers is something special. As a fan of his work, I really enjoyed the film, and I think anyone that is interested in a forgotten part of film history might so too. The film is very entertaining and insightful and will definitely enjoy this documentary. If you enjoy documentaries, this is one worth seeing. The subject is very interesting, and is one that deserves more exposure. Over the course of his career, Roger Corman has made over 400 films ranging from a variety of genres. He is able to thrill audiences looking for something ridiculous and fun, with barely any budgets for his pictures. He is one of the few in the industry that understands that you can pull off something really good with some basic ideas. He also exposed us and launched the careers of some film legends, if you really want to watch a well made documentary about a great film icon, then this is for you.
  • July 29, 2012
    I'm so glad a documentary like this exists. It perfectly represents the brilliance of Corman's passion, in that he never gives up and makes movies for the sheer joy of it. By tackling films with low budgets, he always comes out on top. Best of all, his films were the starting blo... read morecks for many huge talents such as Jack Nicholson. When Nicholson talks, you feel nothing but love and respect, when he breaks down into tears it's truly an open and beautiful moment of a man who usually keeps his cool. In other areas we get anecdotes of just how cheaply Corman makes his movies and how he has inspired many directors since. Most interesting of all is when it talks about Corman's more serious projects such as The Intruder. It is certainly a celebration of Corman and his finest achievements, though I wish it had gone into more detail as to why he hasn't directed in over 20 years, and covered more of his recent outputs as producer. You have to see this if you love film, and you'll certainly have plenty to stick on your watchlist.
  • March 31, 2012
    "Some men dream of conquering the world. Roger Corman created his own."

    A documentary on DIY producer/director Roger Corman and his alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood.

  • May 23, 2012
    Entertaining and informative. I loved all the clips from Corman's works, yet he is so prolific that this still only scratches the surface. It is interesting that the makers of this doc included quotes from those who have worked with Corman saying that the Academy doesn't award th... read moree sort of movies he makes (even though they are extremely popular) and then during the making of this doc Corman was honored with the lifetime achievement Oscar in 2009. The man has had a major influence in giving so many actors, writers and directors their start in Hollywood. It is obvious that all the stars who speak about their start in Corman's pictures love him. In a surprisingly heartfelt moment Jack Nicholson is even brought to tears. Corman has produced independently for decades, distributed several foreign language Oscar winners, and had to reinvent his company a number of times when drive-ins began disappearing, home video took over the market, and big budget blockbusters stole the type of genre flicks in which he used to specialize. Important for getting a fuller view of filmmaking history!
  • December 18, 2011
    "Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel" is an inspiring and entertaining documentary about the films of Roger Corman made during his very long and productive career as director and/or producer, specializing in monster and exploitation films.(The interviewees are honest a... read morebout their lack of quality and admittedly, I have not seen many of his early films. Most of which I have seen are from his New World Pictures period during the 1970's which were in a constant rotation on HBO when I was growing up, thus explaining a lot.) With his low budget films, he has not only given the start to many filmmakers and actors(many of whom require no introduction) but also provided an education as to how make films cheaply outside of the system.(Ironically, he has also featured actors on their way down, too. Whatever works.) Even as the distribution model has changed from drive-ins to straight-to-video to the Syfy channel, he has never stopped working, as footage here shows him working on "Dinoshark" in Puerto Vallarta.

    Part of what makes his working outside the studio system so important is tackling the material they were unwilling to handle, starting with making films that appealed to the underappreciated youth market in the 1950's. While there was much nudity in his films, he also opened up opportunities for women to fire machine guns. That social conscience would reach its peak with "The Intruder"(which I now want to see) starring William Shatner in his first starring role, about school integration in the south when it was especially timely in 1962. Therefore, a constant refrain in the documentary is that Corman could have made the transition to more prestigious movies(like he did with his Poe adaptations) but that way requires money which leads to compromise which usually means the studios and a lack of control and there are enough cautionary tales on display here to fill a multiplex.
  • ThomasJayWilliams
    September 27, 2012
    A fun and informative look at one-time Hollywood hack director, Roger Corman, who has lovingly been dubbed the King of the B's even though he has also had his fair share of highly respectable independent Hollywood hits such as Easy Rider and Hells Angels. Interviews with various... read more former associates -- Jack Nicholson, Peter Bogdanovich, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Peter Fonda, Pam Grier -- help depict Corman as a man who loves what he still does. As a man with no film-school experience, Corman learned the trade onset and has made over 250 films over this career ... many horribly bad but some quite good. With the arrival of big-budget sci-fi spectales like Star Wars and high-dollar horror flicks like Jaws, Corman's film niche disappeared as his films were always made on a measly budget and audiences wanted bigger and better. Even with his diminished career, though, Corman's friends and family in the business have never lost respect for the visionary director. This was insightful and a hoot ... some of his films were unbelievable! I wish I could find some of them. You have to love it when a person gets to spend his/her entire life doing what it is he/she loves.
  • jusstpete
    July 16, 2012
    A solid transfer of an affectionate, surprisingly moving ode to an increasingly neglected pioneer of American cinema.
  • June 26, 2012
    This was really good doc on Roger Corman's career and if you like the insider stories on Hollywood this is a must see. I was really surprised at how many huge stars worked with or worked for Corman and how Corman helped shape thier careers and genre.
  • May 29, 2012
    Really fun documentary looking at the man's career, filled with some impressive talent that he has worked with over the years like Nicholson, Scorcese, De Niro, etc. It's amazing the career the man has had, though it sadly calls it quits right as we get into the VHS craze of the... read more '80s, showing little footage from this era.

    That criticism aside, it's a great film and recommended.

Critic Reviews

Peter Howell
March 15, 2012
Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Like many of the 400-odd movies Roger Corman has produced and/or directed, Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel has a title that sizzles over content that merely simmers. Full Review

Tom Huddleston
February 14, 2012
Tom Huddleston, Time Out

The results are solid and educative. Full Review

Ann Hornaday
January 13, 2012
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Alex Stapleton's lively, engrossing and enlightening documentary about a career that can be described as surprising on multiple counts. Full Review

Jeannette Catsoulis
December 22, 2011
Jeannette Catsoulis, NPR

To fresh eyes, Corman's World may feel more like a meal; to the rest of us, it's merely a glance at the menu. Full Review

Peter Rainer
December 16, 2011
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

The funniest thing about Corman -- it's a joke he's in on -- is the disparity between the movies he makes and the precise, polite, almost scholarly demeanor he projects. Full Review

Elizabeth Weitzman
December 16, 2011
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

An excellent introduction to a director equally adept at following his own vision and nurturing those of others. Full Review

Stephen Whitty
December 16, 2011
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

A movie about Roger Corman should kind of look like a Roger Corman movie - fast and cheap and a little battered around the edges. And entertaining as hell. Full Review

V.A. Musetto
December 16, 2011
V.A. Musetto, New York Post

Though many fans don't know it, Corman's taste runs to foreign-language films, and in the '80s he produced work by Bergman, Fellini and Antonioni. Full Review

Gary Goldstein
December 15, 2011
Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

A highly entertaining tribute to Roger Corman, one of Hollywood's most prolific, enduring and unconventionally influential film producers. Full Review

A.O. Scott
December 15, 2011
A.O. Scott, New York Times

His films may have been disreputable, but the picture that emerges in this documentary is of a decent, loyal and sensible man who has spent his life making marvelous trash and sowing the seeds of art. Full Review

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    • Ron Howard: After Grand Theft Auto premiered on television Roger said to me 'This makes your 7.5% look really good. And my 92.5% look damn wonderful!'

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