The one-time aspiring writer with an engineering degree from Stanford and auteur responsible for five decades of schlock/pap/money-makers/drive-in classics (at 84, he's still going), has been given his due from AMPAS (he received an Academy Honorary Award at the inaugural Governors Awards in 2009), a re-release of 50 of his more popular titles from Shout Factory (most packaged as double features) and, at Sundance '11, he's got his own doc (which, no doubt, cost more to produce than his last dozen films combined).
Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel was optioned before the fest started. A&E IndieFilms took the TV rights to Alex Stapleton's doc which is part of the Park City at Midnight program.
The 90-minute film doesn't digress into puff piece territory thanks in large part to the weighty - and lengthy - commentary from Jack Nicholson.
Though Nicholson is just one of a group of A-lister talking heads (a who's who of late-20th-Century film icons/Corman 'film school' alums line up to spout plaudits: Joe Dante, John Sayles, Pam Grier, Ron Howard, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, William Shatner, Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, David Carradine, Jonathan Demme, Peter Bogdonavich, Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino), his literal ground-up relationship with Corman - Nicholson, even shed a tear for the man who was responsible, directly for "everything I thought I wanted to be and everything I became"- is the film's fulcrum.
Throw in Ron Howard's chirp about the wrap party for Grand Theft Auto (his directorial debut) sitting right alongside his Oscar on the mantle of career highlights and Scorsese's first shot behind the camera (the Corman-produced hit Boxcar Bertha) directly followed by Corman's passing on Mean Streets (Corman wanted black actors, not Italians) and conversations with the erudite Corman himself - the gentle and refined puppet master whose influence is directly responsible for the summer blockbuster, the slasher film ...and, pretty much the MPAA rating system... and you have a film not just for the initiated but one that shows the Hollywood family tree has its roots with the B.