16 Unexpectedly Influential Film Directors of the 20th Century


Russ Meyer

When he was unable to crack the Hollywood unions, this robust, perpetually grinning cameraman and glamour photographer became an independent filmmaker. Meyer's first feature, The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959) brought humor, color film stock, and even a shred of plot to the "peekaboo" genre. Teas was a boisterous financial success and led to other Meyer films including Lorna (1964), Mudhoney (1965), Vixen! (1968), and the highly regarded Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965). In 1970, 20th Century Fox financed and released Meyer's most elaborate production, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (with a script by film critic Roger Ebert). Adult movies became drearily explicit in the late 1970s, and Meyer lost interest in pursuing his career, but before that happened, he inspired hundreds of films by other, lesser directors.