July 12, 1932 |
New York City, New York, U.S.
Hellman is among a group of directing talent mentored by Roger Corman, who produced several of the director's early films. Hellman's most critically acclaimed film to date has been Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), a road movie that was a box office failure at the time of its initial release but has subsequently turned into a perennial cult favorite. Hellman's two acid westerns starring Jack Nicholson, Ride in the Whirlwind and The Shooting, both shot in 1965 and released directly to television in 1968, have also developed cult followings, particularly the latter. A third western, China 9, Liberty 37 (1978), was far less successful critically, although it too has its admirers, as do Cockfighter (1974) (aka Born to Kill) and Iguana (1988). In 1989 he directed the straight-to-video slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!.
In addition to his directorial career, Hellman worked on several films in different capacities. He was the dialogue director for Corman's The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967). He handled second unit director chores on Samuel Fuller's The Big Red One (1980) and Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop (1987). Hellman finished two pictures in post-production that were started by other directors who died after the movies were shot, the Muhammad Ali bio The Greatest (1977) (started by Tom Gries) and Avalanche Express (1979) (begun by Mark Robson). He shot extra footage for the television versions of Ski Troop Attack (1960), Last Woman on Earth (1960), Creature from the Haunted Sea and Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (1964). Among the movies Hellman has served as an editor on are Corman's The Wild Angels (1966), Bob Rafelson's Head (1968), Sam Peckinpah's The Killer Elite (1975) and Jonathan Demme's Fighting Mad (1976). 
Monte was an executive producer on Quentin Tarantino's debut feature Reservoir Dogs (1992).  In 2006, he directed "Stanley's Girlfriend," a section of the omnibus horror film Trapped Ashes. Hellman's section of the film was presented by the Cannes Film Festival that year as an "Official Selection" and Hellman was named president of the Festival's "Un Certain Regard" jury.
He currently teaches in the Film Directing Program at the California Institute of the Arts.
At the 2010 Venice Film Festival he was awarded with a Special Lion Award for Overall Work.
- Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)
- The Terror (1963)
- Back Door to Hell (1964)
- Flight to Fury (1964)
- Ride in the Whirlwind (1965)
- The Shooting (1967)
- Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
- Cockfighter (1974)
- The Greatest (1977)
- China 9, Liberty 37 (1978)
- Inside the Coppola Personality (1981) (short)
- RoboCop (1986) (uncredited second unit director) He directed several action scenes. 
- Iguana (1988)
- Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! (1989)
- Trapped Ashes (2006) (segment "Stanley's Girlfriend")
- Road to Nowhere (2010)
- Peary, Danny. Cult Movies, Delta Books, 1981. ISBN 0-517-20185-2
- Wells, Ron. "China 9, Liberty 37". Film Threat. Retrieved 2006-09-21.
- "Cockfighter". DVD Beaver. Retrieved 2006-09-21.
- Thompson, Nathaniel. "The Films of Monte Hellman". Mondo Digital. Retrieved 2006-09-21.
- "Venezia 67". labiennale.org. 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Phillips, Keith (10 November 1999). "Monte Hellman - Two-Lane revisted (sic)". The Onion. Retrieved 7 May, 2012.
- Dossier about Monte Hellman and his movies, with interview to Hellman on La furia umana , n°8; texts in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian 
- Monte Hellman at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview: Monte Hellman on Corman and Cockfighter