In memoriam: film producer Roger Corman

B-movie master Roger Corman died last week at the age of 98. The producer of nearly 400 films and director of more than 50, he was “mostly synonymous with schlock,” in the words of one obituary. Yet he helped to launch the careers of stars from Ron Howard, Jack Nicholson, and Dennis Hopper to Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone, as well as directors including Francis Ford Copolla, Peter Bogdanovich, and James Cameron.

Film titles, often thought up for their appeal to teenaged drive-in movie patrons before a story was even developed, included Creature from the Haunted Sea, The Wasp Woman, Attack of the Crab Monsters, and X-The Man with the X-Ray Eyes. His filmography also included House of Usher (1960), listed on the U.S. National Film Registry in 2005, and the 1977 film adaptation of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. Corman was recognized with an honorary Oscar in 2009.