skip navigation
George A. Romero

George A. Romero

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (2)

Recent DVDs

 
 

4 Film Favorites: King Of Horror... Stephen King brings nightmares to life with these four adaptations on two discs!... more info $17.98was $17.98 Buy Now

Horror Classics: Volume 7... Leave the lights on when you're watching the four terrifying tales contained in... more info $3.99was $3.99 Buy Now

Midnight Movies: From The Margin To The... When the clock strikes 12, the freaks come out. Startling and provocative, in... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: George A Romero, George Andrew Romero Died:
Born: February 4, 1940 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Dubbed the "Grandfather of Zombie," Pittsburgh-based independent filmmaker George A. Romero was a pivotal figure in the development of the contemporary horror film and the progenitor of the zombie apocalypse subgenre. Beginning with his first feature, "Night of the Living Dead" (1968), Romero not only upped the ante on explicit screen violence and gore, but also offered a satirical critique of American society that reflected the cultural upheavals of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most importantly, Romero ushered in a fascination with zombies and spawned numerous imitators over the ensuing decades. Though he had a massive hit in terms of box office versus budget, Romero failed to capitalize with his following films until he returned to zombieland with "Dawn of the Dead" (1979), which went on to become one of the most successful independent movies ever made. Taking a brief sojourn into studio filmmaking with "Creepshow" (1982) and series television with "Tales from the Dark Side" (syndicated, 1984-85), Romero rounded out his trilogy with "Day of the Dead" (1985), only to take a seven-year hiatus from filmmaking. Returning in the new millennium, Romero reinvigorated his series with "Land of the Dead"...

Dubbed the "Grandfather of Zombie," Pittsburgh-based independent filmmaker George A. Romero was a pivotal figure in the development of the contemporary horror film and the progenitor of the zombie apocalypse subgenre. Beginning with his first feature, "Night of the Living Dead" (1968), Romero not only upped the ante on explicit screen violence and gore, but also offered a satirical critique of American society that reflected the cultural upheavals of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most importantly, Romero ushered in a fascination with zombies and spawned numerous imitators over the ensuing decades. Though he had a massive hit in terms of box office versus budget, Romero failed to capitalize with his following films until he returned to zombieland with "Dawn of the Dead" (1979), which went on to become one of the most successful independent movies ever made. Taking a brief sojourn into studio filmmaking with "Creepshow" (1982) and series television with "Tales from the Dark Side" (syndicated, 1984-85), Romero rounded out his trilogy with "Day of the Dead" (1985), only to take a seven-year hiatus from filmmaking. Returning in the new millennium, Romero reinvigorated his series with "Land of the Dead" (2005), "Diary of the Dead" (2007) and "Survival of the Dead" (2010), proving to all that even in the face of direct descendants "Shaun of the Dead" (2004) and "Zombieland" (2009), Romero was still the master of the zombie genre.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

3.
4.
  Bruiser (2000) Director
5.
  Dark Half, The (1993) Director
6.
  Two Evil Eyes (1991) Director ("The Facts In The Case Of Mr. Valdemar")
7.
  Monkey Shines (1988) Director
8.
  Day of the Dead (1985) Director
9.
  Creepshow (1982) Director
10.
  Knightriders (1981) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
6.
 Dawn of the Dead (1979) Tv Director
7.
 Martin (1978) Father Howard
8.
 Dario Argento: An Eye For Horror (2001) Interviewee
9.
 American Nightmare, The (2000) Interviewee
10.
 Masters of Fantasy: John Carpenter (1998) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Borrowed an eight-millimeter Revere camera from a wealthy uncle
1954:
Arrested at age 14 for throwing a flaming dummy off a Bronx rooftop while filming "The Man From the Meteor"
:
Won a Future Scientists of America Award for "Earthbottom"; documentary produced as a high school science project
1958:
Spent the summer before college working as a grip on Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest"
1963:
Founded Latent Image (commercial/industrial production company) in Pittsburgh
:
Worked extensively in TV
1968:
First feature film as director, "Night of the Living Dead"
1970:
Honored by the Museum of Modern Art as the subject of their "Cineprobe"
:
Co-founded Laurel Entertainment with Richard P. Rubinstein
1974:
Began directing episodes of a TV series produced by Laurel entitled "The Winners" about famous sports figures
1978:
First feature collaboration with producer Richard Rubinstein and special makeup effects artist Tom Savini, "Martin"
1982:
First collaboration with Stephen King, "Creepshow"
1983:
First TV teleplay, "Trick or Treat" the pilot for "Tales From the Darkside"
1984:
Debut as TV executive producer/writer, "Tales From the Darkside" (also created)
1987:
First feature screenplay that he did not direct, "Creepshow 2"
:
Left Laurel Entertainment to work independently in mid-1980s
1990:
First feature credit as executive producer on the remake/sequel "Night of the Living Dead" (also wrote screenplay)
1993:
Helmed "The Dark Half" based on a novel by Stephen King
2000:
Wrote and directed the horror film, "Bruiser" starring Jason Flemyng
2005:
Directed Simon Baker and John Leguizamo in "Land of the Dead"
2008:
Directed (also produced and wrote) "Diary of the Dead" the fifth film in Romero's Dead series
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Carnegie-Mellon University: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania - 1960
Carnegie-Mellon University: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania - 1960

Notes

In a radio interview on WBAI in New York City, Romero stated that "The Dark Half" was his fifth attempt to bring a Stephen King novel to the screen after thwarted efforts with "Salem's Lot", "The Stand", "It", and "Pet Sematary". He was involved at the development stage but failed to snare the directing assignments due to scheduling conflicts or other complications.

"Until the Supreme Court establishes clearcut guidelines for the pornography of violence, "Night of the Living Dead" will serve nicely as an outer-limit definition by example. ... This film casts serious aspersions on the integrity of its makers, distrib Walter Reade, the film industry as a whole and exhibs who book the pic, as well as raising doubts about the future of the regional cinema movement and the moral health of filmgoers who cheerfully opt for unrelieved sadism." --From Variety (October 16, 1968) quoted in "Midnight Movies" by J. Hoberman & Jonathan Rosenbaum (New York: Harper & Row, 1983)

"Well, let's face it, we're dealing with a fantasy premise, but deep down inside we were all serious filmmakers and somewhat disappointed because we had to resort to horror for our first film. I mean, everyone would like to do the great American film, but we found ourselves making a horror film. Once we adapted to that for openers, we then tried to make the best, most realistic horror film that we could on the money we had available." --Russell Streiner, producer and cast member ("Johnny") of "Night of the Living Dead", quoted in "Nightmare Movies: A Critical Guide to Contemporary Horror Films" by Kim Newman (New York: Harmony Books, 1988)

ROMERO: ... I'm very unhappy with some of my work. I don't think I have yet made a film where I've had the money or time to execute it exactly the way I would want to execute it. I'd like to do that sometime.

WIATER: Is there any film that still stands out as perhaps coming closest to your initial vision?

ROMERO: Strangely, a little film I made called "Martin", which was a $275,000 production, comes closest in terms of the finished product to what my conception was going in. That's because all of us were working on that out of dedication. It was one of those little films that we went out with nine people and made a movie. It didn't matter if we had to shoot at night, we shot at night. We were just there to get the movie done. I had the most freedom on that film that I've had on any of the other ones.

George A. Romero interviewed in Stanley Wiater's "Dark Visions" (New York: Avon Books, 1992).

"... On the surface, I was doing popular genre stuff, but I always feel when there's no linear thread underneath it all. Fantasy has always been used as a parable, as sociopolical criticism: "Alice in Wonderland", "Gulliver's Travels" ... I love the Japanese Godzilla films. They're not scary at all, but as a phenomenon born out of the war, the bomb, they say more to me than "Hiroshima Mon Amour". So I insist on having that underbelly.

"When I write a script, that's what I think about first. After I have it in my head, I can write the script in two weeks, because the surface doesn't matter: the characters can behave any way you want them to. But you have to know where you're going." --George Romero quoted in "Morning Becomes Romero" by Dan Yakir in Film Comment, May/June 1979.

"... In the Sixties we used to sit around in coffee shops and talk and solve all the problems of society and the filmmakers did it in their movies. We don't do that anymore. Films are still critical of society, but this criticism has taken the form of parables communicated through the fantasy film. I do it in very broad strokes, with a comic-book type humor and extreme staging and a very pedantic kind of structure. But the socio-political parable is to me like a handshake with the audience. I don't think I'm saying anything new; it's a wink and should be taken as such." --George Romero quoted in "Morning Becomes Romero" by Dan Yakir in Film Comment, May/June 1979.

From Romero's shooting script for "Dawn of the Dead": "Stores of every type offer gaudy displays of consumer items...at either end of the concourse, like the main altars at each end of a cathedral, stand the mammoth two-story department stores, great symbols of a consumer society ... They appear as an archaeological discovery, revealing the Gods and customs of a civilization now gone."

"It is perhaps the lingering intellectual distrust of the horror genre that has prevented George Romero's `Living Dead' trilogy from receiving recognition for what it undoubtedly is: one of the most remarkable and audacious achievements of modern American cinema. Now that it has been completed by "Day of the Dead" one can see it clearly for what it always promised to be: the most uncompromising radical critique of contemporary America that is possible within the terms and conditions of a popular `entertainment' cinema." --Robin Wood from "The Woman's Nightmare: Masculinity in "Day of the Dead"", in Cineaction!, August 1986.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Christine Romero.

Family close complete family listing

father:
George M Romero. Commercial artist.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute