It’s hard to imagine what the career of Catherine Cyran, a person who scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT after she took it “just for fun,” would have looked like had she been born a little later, when the industry was less discriminatory toward women in film. The legacy of the men who served under Roger Corman is undeniable with directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante, John Sayles, and James Cameron all becoming easily-recognized household names in the industry.
The women, which include Penelope Spheeris, Gale Anne Hurd, Katt Shea, Stephanie Rothman, Amy Holden Jones, Deborah Brock, and Catherine Cyran have all reached phenomenal heights, but don’t have the same instantly recognizable reputations as their male counterparts. If you don’t know their work, you need to fix that — immediately.
In addition to her film work, Cyran published the novel “The Island of the Last Great Auk,” a mythical, mystery-adventure story. With the ability to successfully write stories rooted in horror, romance, drama, adventure, coming-of-age, science-fiction, comedy, and martial arts thrillers, Catherine Cyran was an unsung, versatile talent. It’s hard to think of many other women who were able to thrive in so many different genres, truly putting Cyran in a league of her own.