George Eastman

Roger Corman: Godfather of Independent Film

Roger Corman has had an enormous impact on both independent and mainstream cinema over the past sixty years, directing, producing, and distributing over 600 films.

Best known for The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) and his Edgar Allan Poe cycle starring Vincent Price, Corman has had a long career as a director of groundbreaking and entertaining films. He fearlessly approached every subject and genre he covered, from monster movies and gangster films to psychedelic drugs and burgeoning countercultures.

Corman's dedication to independent film production quickly set him apart from other producers and directors in the 1950s and 1960s. With a famously sharp eye for talent, Corman is credited with having discovered some of the most remarkable actors and directors of the last five decades. He fostered the careers of James Cameron, Jack Nicholson, Jonathan Demme, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, and William Shatner, among many others. Corman was a sympathetic and accessible mentor, often giving those with little or no experience opportunities to direct or star in his films.

Corman's sense for great cinema has reached far beyond his own productions. In the 1970s, he brought to American audiences foreign-language films that were ignored by major distributors. His company, New World Pictures, distributed masterpieces by auteurs such as Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, and Francois Truffaut, as well as important works by lesser-known foreign directors.

As director, producer, mentor, and distributor, Roger Corman has made tremendous contributions to cinema. Join us in celebrating the exceptional career of a true American independent as we honor Roger Corman as the recipient of the 68th George Eastman Award on November 2.

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Select Filmography

  • Machine-Gun Kelly (1958)
  • House of Usher (1960)
  • The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
  • The Intruder (1962)
  • X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)
  • The Masque of the Red Death (1964)
  • The Wild Angels (1966)
  • The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967)
  • The Trip (1967)
  • Bloody Mama (1970)
  • Dementia 13 (Francis Ford Coppola, 1963)
  • The Shooting (Monte Hellman, 1966)
  • Targets (Peter Bogdanovich, 1968)
  • The Velvet Vampire (Stephanie Rothman, 1971)
  • Boxcar Bertha (Martin Scorsese, 1972)
  • Caged Heat (Jonathan Demme, 1974)
  • Death Race 2000 (Paul Bartel, 1975)
  • Grand Theft Auto (Ron Howard, 1977)
  • Piranha (Joe Dante, 1978)
  • Rock 'n' Roll High School (Allan Arkush, 1979)
AS DISTRIBUTOR (all w/ New World Pictures)
  • The Harder They Come (Perry Henzell, Jamaica 1972)
  • Cries and Whispers* (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden 1972)
  • Fantastic Planet (Rene Laloux, France/Czechoslovakia 1973)
  • Amarcord** (Federico Fellini, Italy 1973)
  • Dersu Uzala** (Akira Kurosawa, Soviet Union/Japan 1975)
  • The Story of Adele H. (Francois Truffaut, France 1975)
  • The Tin Drum** (Volker Schlondorff, West Germany 1979)
  • Breaker Morant (Bruce Beresford, Australia 1980)
  • Mon oncle d'Amerique (Alain Resnais, France 1980)
  • Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog, West Germany 1982)
* Academy Award nominee: Best Picture ** Academy Award winner: Best Foreign Language Film

See complete filmography on IMDb.

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