Monte Hellman

His Life and Films

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About the Book

“I just did it, and I probably made more mistakes than the average person who makes a first film. I didn’t really have any help, and I wouldn’t take any help. I had to do it on my own. Once I made my first film I considered myself a film-maker. I lost all interest in the theater and never went back”—Monte Hellman
In 1970, an LA Times headline described Monte Hellman as “Hollywood’s best kept secret”. More than thirty years later, Hellman and his work are still secrets, his genius recognized only by a small but passionate group of admirers. This book is both a biography of Hellman and a critical study of his films, which include The Shooting, Two-Lane Blacktop and Ride in the Whirlwind. It also covers films to which Hellman has contributed as an editor, actor and producer, as well as those on which he has worked, in various capacities, without onscreen credit, such as Shatter and Robocop. Attention is focused on the hallmarks of Hellman’s work, including his dominant themes and obsessive characters, and all the films are subjected to close stylistic analysis.

About the Author(s)

Brad Stevens has contributed to many film magazines, and is the author of Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision. He lives in England.

Bibliographic Details

Brad Stevens
Foreword by Monte Hellman
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, filmography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1434-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8188-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Foreword      xi

Introduction      1

1. Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)      5

2. The Filmgroup Expansions, 1962–1963      16

3. The Terror (1963)      26

4. Back Door to Hell (1964)      36

5. Flight to Fury (1964)      44

6. The Shooting (1966)      53

7. Ride in the Whirlwind (1966)      63

8. In Between Projects (1966–1970)      70

9. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)      78

10. Shatter (1974)      91

11. Cock.ghter (1974)      103

12. In Between Projects (1974–1977)      113

13. China 9, Liberty 37 (1978)      121

14. In Between Projects (1978–1987)      130

15. Iguana (1988)      145

16. Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out! (1989)      156

17. In Between Projects (1989–2002)      164

Notes      173

Filmography      197

Index      205

Book Reviews & Awards

“accessible and entertaining…excellent”—Shock Cinema; “the cult director talks candidly about everything he directed, almost directed, started directing or worked on…Stevens thoroughly examines the themes and characters”—Psychotronic; “sharply-written”—Cult Movies; “exhaustive and illuminating”—Variety; “exhaustive research”—Video Watchdog.