Customer Reviews for

Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted May 9, 2012

    Good biography of a great artist and an often lousy human

    Ray is my favorite director. I've also read Bernard Eisenschitz's bio of him and a lot of critical books and essays over the past 45 years. This one is well written and has a few new revelations regarding both Ray's life and his films that help explain why they turned out the way they did. He once said of himself that he was the greatest director who never made a completely satisfactory film. Scenes and concepts are exhilaratingly original and emotionally involving in a completely unique way in perhaps two thirds of his twenty-ish films--a very high average. But the self-destructive Ray (which McGilligan describes in glimpses that are painful to read) keep his vision sadly incomplete. Ray had a number of addictions--drugs, alcohol, sex and gambling--any one of which would have siderailed him given how much he was indulging and how few hours of sleep and sobriety he had. All together, it's a self-inflicted tragedy. Ray was famously verbally inarticulate at times and I wondered after reading this book whether perhaps during his long silences he was having imaginary conversations with his colleagues in his head and was so inebriated that he didn't realize that he hadn't spoken aloud. And his seduction of 16-year old Natalie Wood, while long known, is such a distasteful, repellent act that it's hard to excuse the artist because of the human. When I'm watching Rebel Without a Cause, I have to wipe that knowledge out of my mind. It's hard to do.

    But the films are wonderful and repay any number of rewatchings. McGilligan tried hard to tie moments in his films with moments from his life, showing how he transformed his life with his art. I guess I would have preferred to have less on his life and more and the meaning of his work, even if that meant a longer book. I got to the point when I didn't want to see him continue to race to the bottom and wanted to see more McGilligan's analysis of the works, especially the lesser ones. But if you're a Ray fan, you'll need to read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1