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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, 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. Publishers Weekly,Film biographer McGilligan (Oscar Micheaux) traces the rise of eccentric director Nicholas Ray in this slow-paced biography. Born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle Jr. in 1911, the charismatic Ray grew up in La Crosse, Wis., and became drawn to theater. He later organized agitprop theater in New York-though he'd give secret testimony to HUAC-before leaving for Hollywood with his friend and quasi-mentor, Elia Kazan. Ray's first film, They Live By Night, completed in 1947, wasn't released in America until 1949, after winning raves in Europe, where he'd been popular, especially with the French. Knock on Any Door (1949) and In a Lonely Place (1950)-both starring Humphrey Bogart-put him on the map, even as his shaky personal life threatened to destroy him. Yet even Ray's penchant for alcohol, coupled with a growing number of ex-wives, couldn't dampen the success of 1955's Rebel Without a Cause, his only Oscar-nominated film. But Rebel was the beginning of the end, and while Ray had later limited success, bizarre on-set behavior made him a virtual Hollywood pariah until his death in 1979. McGilligan, meticulous in the details, too often plods through the material without imbuing it with any of the director's signature flair. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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MOTION PICTURES_BIOGRAPHY, MOTION PICTURE PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS
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