Our journey of famous directors' first theatrical movies continues: Now we explore the Horror and Superhero director Sam Raimi, the suspenseful Alfred Hitchcock and the entertaining but always violent Quentin Tarantino. These directors have created some of the most memorable movies throughout time. Here we are to explore their first theatrical movies.
Sam Raimi most famous productions include the 2002-2007 Spider-Man Trilogy, and the Evil Dead movies. Sam Raimi also directed A Simple Plan, Drag Me to Hell, and Oz: the Great and Powerful. While most people start Sam Raimi with The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi actually made a 70 minute movie during college called It’s Murder!, and features Sam Raimi, his brother Ted and frequent collaborator Bruce Campbell. The movie was about a young man whose Uncle was murdered, and he received the inheritance from him. But a police detective investigates the murder, while trying not to be killed as well. Sam Raimi released the movie at Michigan State University at the Groves Little Theater for admission of $1.00. Unfortunately, the movie was not a big hit, and now is only known as Sam Raimi’s first full-length movie.
Alfred Hitchcock was considered the master of suspense, having directed such classics as Notorious, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest and Psycho. But in the 1922, Alfred Hitchcock was living in England and his first potential first movie, Number 13, was cancelled due to the budget running out. Hitchcock wanted to direct The Rat next, but the studio producing the film refused. Finally in 1925 Hitchcock was given directorial control of a silent movie called The Pleasure Garden, and starred Virginia Valli and Carmelita Geraghty, two popular American actresses. In The Pleasure Garden, Valli is Pasty Brand and Geraghty is Jill Cheyne, two chorus girls at the Pleasure Garden Theater, and follows the girls’ numerous affairs, including Pasty’s with Jill’s fiancé Hugh and Jill’s with the wealthy Prince Ivan. Eventually Pasty marries Hugh’s friend Levet and Jill plans to marry the prince. The movie ran for 75 minutes and filmed in Italy and Germany. It was released in 1925 in Germany but wasn’t released until 1927 in the UK, after Hitchcock’s later film The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog became a success there.
Quentin Tarantino’s violent but entertaining movies include Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill (Volume 1 and Volume 2) and Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino’s first movie was supposed to be My Best Friend’s Birthday, but a film lab fire destroyed most of the film, so only 36 minutes have survived. Thus, Tarantino’s real first theatrical movie is his famous Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino originally planned a low-budget, black and white version of the movie, but the script was passed to Harvey Keitel, who liked it so much he co-produced and helped secure $1.5 million for the movie. In Reservoir Dogs, six men plan a heist along with a mob boss and his son and underboss. Four of the six men, Mr. White, Mr. Orange, Mr. Blonde and Mr. Pink start to slowly arrive back at the mob boss’s warehouse, where the rest of the film takes place. Mr. White and Mr. Orange arrive first, with Orange bleeding severely, with Mr. Pink soon after. Mr. Blonde brings a kidnapped police officer who they torture for information, and after Pink and White leave to retrieve the diamonds with the mob boss’s son. But things start to fall apart when Blonde plans to set the police officer on fire…. The movie was released on October 23, 1992 and made $2.8 million at the U.S. Box Office, and has since become the first of many favorites by the violent filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
All three experienced roadblocks on the way to their first theatrical movie: Raimi’s was not successful; Hitchcock’s first movie ran out of money, Tarantino’s was destroyed by a lab fire. But they did not give up and went to make better movies than the ones they made before. Check out these first theatrical movies of these famous directors.