Award-winningfilm historian Patrick McGilligan follows hisacclaimed biographies of Alfred Hitchcock and Oscar Micheauxwith a revelatory look at the life of Nicholas Ray, the troubled director of Ina Lonely Place, We Can’t GoHome Again, and Rebel Without a Cause. McGilligancharts the cerebral struggles, astonishing adventures, and artistic triumphsthat defined Ray’s life, iAward-winningfilm historian Patrick McGilligan follows hisacclaimed biographies of Alfred Hitchcock and Oscar Micheauxwith a revelatory look at the life of Nicholas Ray, the troubled director of Ina Lonely Place, We Can’t GoHome Again, and Rebel Without a Cause. McGilligancharts the cerebral struggles, astonishing adventures, and artistic triumphsthat defined Ray’s life, including his Hollywood collaborations with HumphreyBogart, Robert Mitchum, James Cagney, and James Dean;his love affairs with Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, ZsaZsa Gabor, and Gloria Grahame; his partnerships withactivist Abbie Hoffman, pornography starlet MarilynChambers, photographer Wim Wenders;and more. Celebrating, contextualizing, and examining Ray’s life and work, McGilligandelivers a milestone of film history and offers a captivating look at one ofclassic cinema’s most colorful figures....
|Title||:||Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director|
|Number of Pages||:||560 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director Reviews
Author Patrick McGilligan draws a picture of Nicholas Ray as a man in constant motion. He's handsome, charming, persuasive, creative and ahead of his time. Elia Kazan called him, "ungathered". He drank, smoked, gambled, took drugs and made love to women and men. It's amazing, with the toll such a life style takes on a body, that he lived to be 78.How many people could claim Frank Lloyd Wright, Elia Kazan and Howard Hughes as mentors? He escorted Shelly Winters, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Crawford and worked with artists as diverse as Lead Belly, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne and Woody Guthrie. While he brushed with Communism in the 30's he worked in and owned a bar in Franco's Spain, after which he raised money through the communist government in the former Yugoslavia. The story is dizzying and at the end of the book, the reader can be exhausted by it... but Ray isn't exhausted at all. In his late 70's: he has a wife in her 20's and stars in a porno film.A parallel story to this biography is the impact of the post-war witch hunts. Ray continually meets and/or works with those who have fled abroad (interestingly, some to Franco's Spain) or are working for marginal rates and/or without credit in the US. Kazan and others who cooperated thrive. Ray does well at this time, but his relationship with the HUAC is unknown in his lifetime, and remains a mystery today.The book may be a complete presentation of what Nicholas Ray did, where he was and who he worked with, but gives no clues as to how to know or understand him. While the book is not boring (with Ray's life how could it be?) but for a few episodes (for instance, his youth and relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright, the filming of Rebel Without a Cause and 55 Days at Peking among a few others) it is not a page turner either.The fitness of the subtitle depends on how one measures success. Ray was a financial failure and a failure as a family man. On the other hand Ray was a force in pioneering the use of breakthrough film technologies and exploring new content. While he did not die rich, he created one iconic film, made other good films and inspired the next generation of film directors in the US and abroad. He lived his life on his own terms.
Always an interesting figure, from being the director of films like "Rebel Without A Cause," "In A Lonely Place," "On Dangerous Ground," and "They Live By Night," to his appearance in Wim Wenders' "The American Friend," this detailed biography captures the complexity and flawed humanity of one of the great "auteurs" championed by the likes of New Wave film critics and film-makers Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.In a career that was sometimes over-shadowed by the films he was forcibly removed from rather than the films he completed, McGilligan digs deep into Ray's complicated family life, his early years, his motivations, the HUAC trials which he survived but left him guilt-ridden, and the demons of drink and drugs which overtook some of his most productive years. Much of Ray's life was secretive and open to varied interpretation but McGilligan wades through the available evidence and comes up with documented facts and plausible possibilities for his surmises. By turns enlightening, insightful, mournful, moving, puzzling, and frustrating as the man himself must have been it's a book that perfectly mirrors its subject. This is likely to be the most accurate account of this elusive figure the film-making community will ever see. - BH.
A lot to like here, particularly for movie buffs and Wisconsin readers (Ray was from LaCrosse and spent time at Taliesen as Frank Lloyd Wright's theater director.) It's quite a yarn, following a sometimes brilliant and creative man as he slowl descends into drug-induced madness. Told without melodrama or hype. McGilligan is an excellent biographer with the correct blend of objective distance from his subject and reassuring intimacy with the facts.
Absorbing biography of the conflicted director behind Rebel Without a Cause, In a Lonely Place and other downbeat, post-war Hollywood classics. Nick Ray was ahead of his time - a New Wave visionary 20 years before it happened. He never really fitted into the studio system, and lost his way after the untimely death of kindred spirit James Dean. Washed up by the 1960s, Ray was lionised by European critics but never completed another film.
A little snooty. Shame he doesn't actually like Ray very much. Also, not a jot of analysis on the films.
A man who had it all-talent, intelligence, looks-yet incredibly self-destructive and insecure. He did everything possible to sabotage what could have been a brilliant career.