The Cry Baby Killer (1958)
Always on the look out for young talent willing to work cheap, Roger Corman met Nicholson in a Hollywood acting class and the two struck up a friendship that would lead to a string of drive-in cheapies that gave the future star steady employment for the first decade of his not-so-promising career.
While Corman would cast Nicholson in biker flicks, gothic horror chillers, and, of course, 1960’s cult hit Little Shop of Horrors, the 21-year-old’s big-screen debut was in this tense hostage drama. “I hadn’t really worked at all before,” says Nicholson. “When I got the lead in the movie, I thought, This is it! I’m here! I’m gonna be big! Then I didn’t get an interview for the next year. Roger’s the only guy who hired me for ten years.”
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