Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Only one small thing only tangentially related to Roger Corman here on his 80th birthday. In my readings and re-readings on Roger Corman, I came across this interview, Roger Corman on The Blair Witch Project and Why Mean Streets Would Have Made a Great Blaxploitation Film by Andrew J. Rausch.
It finishes with his recollection of being cast in The Godfather, Part II, "Francis cast all members of the Senate investigations committee with writers, producers, and directors. He took us all to lunch on the first day we worked and I remember Bill Bowers, a comedy writer, asked him how he chose us. Francis said he had watched a Senate crime investigation committee on television and he said he noticed that all the Senators looked good and spoke intelligently. We all thought, Wow! That's pretty good! [Laughs.] And then he said, 'And they all looked a little bit awkward on camera. So I thought people who were writers, directors, and producers would know what was going on and be able to look good and talk intelligently but because they weren't actors, they'd be a little awkward.' Everybody was a little deflated but I thought, That's brilliant casting! That's exactly what we were."
The question is, however, has anyone had a better year than Coppola did in 1974? The Godfather, Part II and The Conversation are both routinely on lists of the best movies ever made. They're my two favorite of his movies, which isn't unusual, although I'd even argue that he's never come close to that level of greatness, before or since, which goes against conventional wisdom for a number of reasons.