Modernisms, Hollywood, and the Cinema of Nicholas Ray
SUNY Horizons of Cinema Series
Albany (New York): State University of New York Press, 2017
Hardcover. xii+245 p. ISBN 978-1438464114. $85
Reviewed by Blaine Allan
Queen’s University, Kingston (Ontario)
An acquaintance authoritative on the subject once told me he thought a moratorium ought to be imposed on the use of the phrase, “the Beat goes on,” to title anything having to do with the Beat Generation. I’ve come to believe the same concerning Nicholas Ray and the sentence, “I’m a stranger here myself”—a line of dialogue from Johnny Guitar that the filmmaker said could serve as the working title of all his movies—as well as Jean-Luc Godard’s equally overused maxim, “Henceforth there is cinema. And the cinema is Nicholas Ray.” Will Scheibel received no such caution. The title of his recent study of Ray, American Stranger, invokes the former, and the latter forms the book’s epigraph.
At least since Bernard Eisenschitz’s authoritative biography, linking Ray to the American experience in the twentieth century has become a motif. “Roman américain,” the subtitle of the original French edition, in the English-language translation became “an American journey,” one phrase implying narrative, somehow characteristically American, of the filmmaker’s life, and the latter a path through time and place, of a type recognizable in a nationally determined tradition.(1) Born just three years before World War I started, and dying only four years after the US evacuation from Vietnam, in his lifetime Ray bore witness to numerous national (and international) nightmares. Working in theatre during the Great Depression, adding radio to his portfolio as the Second World War raged, directing motion pictures in Hollywood for nearly twenty years as the studio system unwound, and then as an independent in the 1960s and 1970s, Ray created stories, performances, and movies that inquired into the midcentury United States in which they were produced. The extent to which Ray might be considered a stranger in these historical and cultural contexts, as Schiebel’s title implies, becomes a key question.
American Stranger adds to a small but growing strain of studies in cinematic authorship concerned with accounting for a filmmaker’s reputation. Although reliant on their biographical research—Eisenschitz concentrating on the details of Ray’s professional careers amid the determining frame of American history, Patrick McGilligan later peering into the dark corners of Ray’s professional, political, and personal closets and finding persistent tragedy—Scheibel’s account differs from the patterns that these Ray biographers have spun. (2) As well, his more contextually determined findings veer away from considering, to use a device that Peter Wollen introduced in his 1972 reassessment of the auteur theory as the romance of authorship gave way to methodological responsibility, “Nicholas Ray,” the structure named for the director—that is to say, the author to be determined by analysis of the films or other work attributed to that name.(3) Though such critical names as V.F. Perkins, Thomas Elsaesser, and Geoff Andrew arise in the discussion, their textually oriented commentaries on Ray remain minority players, except insofar as that type of attention might have fertilized Ray’s status within cinema.(4)
Scheibel identifies four key moments or components of Ray’s reputational status: his recognition as a key object in the argument for la politique des auteurs in the pages of Cahiers du cinéma; Ray, the actors’ director, especially in the context of method acting, as well as an identification of the director with three male leads in his Hollywood films; the construction of Ray as a political and pedagogical radical in his later years, once he washed up on uncertain shores following the dissolution of the Hollywood studio system, as well as a physical collapse; and his impact on a later generation of filmmakers, now in a more fully formed independent cinema. In each, Scheibel finds a formation and recognition of the director as a type of rebel within differing varieties of modernism.
Cahiers indisputably played a significant role in situating Ray as a singular creative voice. Scheibel brands the elevation of Ray “mass cultural modernism” . In that auteurism retrieved artistry from industry and artists from the division of Hollywood studio labor, its mission was inherently consistent with modernism. Scheibel usefully identifies the differing priorities that Cahiers’s young Turks—Godard, Truffaut, Rohmer, Rivette, and later Fereydoun Hoveyda—discerned in the Ray films they reviewed. As well, he points to the self-constructed cultural value accruing to Ray in his Cahiers interview, conducted by Charles Bitsch and published in late 1958. Scheibel relies on selected English-language translations, particularly the anthologies of Cahiers texts edited by Jim Hillier and collections of Godard’s, Truffaut’s, and Rohmer’s writings, but unfortunately not still-untranslated publications, in Cahiers and in other French periodicals, that might have enriched his discussion.(5)
Godard, for instance, first distinguished Ray as an auteur, rather than lowly metteur-en-scène, in 1956, in Image et son, and in addition to his Cahiers articles Truffaut provocatively reviewed Ray’s films in the broadsheet Arts, as did Rivette and Rohmer.(6) Arguably, too, the Cahiers Ray project started not with the names who became filmmakers themselves, but earlier, by such writers as Philippe Demonsablon, who in late 1953 incorporated They Live By Night’s Keechie and Louise Merritt, from The Lusty Men, into a discussion of female characters in contemporary Hollywood, and who framed a 1955 review of Run For Cover as a more comprehensive commentary on Ray’s cinematic corpus to date.(7) As well, it was French writers not affiliated with Cahiers who first gave Ray extended critical treatment. An early issue of Études cinématographiques, in 1961, devoted a section to “Le lyrisme Nicholas Ray” (which included Jean-Pierre Bastid’s article, titled (hélas), “Un étranger ici-bas : Nicholas Ray en Amérique”), and the first book about Ray, in 1965, was written not by François Truffaut, but by François Truchaud.(8)
The Bitsch interview certainly set a self-promotional agenda for Ray that circumscribed his critical image in the wake of Rebel Without a Cause. Having decamped from Hollywood for Europe, he tried to burnish his reputation with further interviews, with Jean Douchet, in Arts, and a second Cahiers interview, conducted by Douchet and Jacques Joly.(9) As Scheibel points out, similar appearances in such publications as Sight and Sound and Movie built Ray’s reputation in Britain’s cinema culture, but Ray the filmmaker and personality also became a person of interest in the Spanish film press, with no fewer than four interviews, with Juan Cobos and his collaborators, published in Film ideal, while Ray was preparing and shooting King of Kings and 55 Days at Peking in and around Madrid.(10) The press reported Ray’s activities during his eleven years as a Hollywood professional, working for the majors (and, directing Johnny Guitar for Republic, a mini-major), but by all evidence he became much more a first-person voice once he relocated to Europe. Quite simply, in part his reputation grew there because he was there, available to speak for himself. He helped generate his own self-image for writers eager, as Wollen later observed, to project “their interpretation of the text back into an imaginary image of its author.”(11)
In his second configuration, Scheibel maps Ray onto three of his most prominent lead actors and protagonists in the critical and popular arenas: Humphrey Bogart as the repressed screenwriter Dixon Steele of In A Lonely Place, Robert Mitchum as rodeo saddle tramp Jeff McCloud in The Lusty Men, and James Dean as tortured teenager Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause. Each of them ultimately romantic and wounded, they easily stand in for the image of Ray as a man of twentieth-century America, a façade of macho confidence that masks a broken interior and a doomed quest for insight and peace. Though only Dean owed his performance practice to the post-Stanislavski method in which the filmmaker also trained, Bogart and Mitchum each gained in Ray an agreeable collaborator (as well as newfound kin in the brotherhood of alcohol). As Scheibel suggests, links with the truculent Bogart and Mitchum underlined a shared persona that purported to bristle against Hollywood while remaining dependent upon it, while Ray’s bond with Dean generated a cloud of sympathy for the violent, premature loss of the actor, the loss of an evident talent, and, for Ray, the loss of a nascently shared artistic mission.
Scheibel’s selections here are, however, as predictable as they are instructive. Why Bogart, Mitchum, and Dean, and not any of the other actors from whom Ray drew remarkable performances—some remarkably surprising—demonstrating properties from which the Ray male is built? Johnny Guitar’s Johnny Logan and Bigger Than Life’s ailing primary school teacher Ed Avery, for instance, have a diminished conventional masculinity, in the latter case tragically counteracted by Ed’s blind abuse of the miracle drug intended to treat his disease. They share their frailty with other Ray men, including the initially hobbled escaped convict Bowie in They Live By Night, Party Girl’s limping gangland lawyer Tommy Farrell, and even the wheelchair-bound US ambassador to China in 55 Days at Peking, a bit role the director reserved for himself. Their physical and psychological maladies signified deeper injuries to be confronted and overcome, which could also be found in types of maiming inflicted on America more broadly. Not surprising for a director in post-World War II Hollywood, for instance, Ray worked with personnel who had backgrounds in the Cultural Front of the 1930s, on whose doors the House Un-American Activities Committee later knocked—Howard da Silva and Will Lee, early on, and later Clifford Odets and Budd Schulberg—as well as the politically bulletproof, among them John Wayne and Ward Bond. Robert Taylor, who played Farrell, and Sterling Hayden—to Ray aficionados, forever Johnny Guitar—neither of them particularly sympathetic to Ray’s method, or to “the method” itself, shared with Ray a troubling relation to HUAC’s witchhunt and the ensuing blacklist—Taylor a supporter, Hayden a namer of names, for his sin self-lacerating to the end of his life.
In any of these cases, circumstance and choice dictated that throughout his Hollywood years Ray worked with most actors only once or twice, and that turned out to be the case with Bogart, Mitchum, and Dean. Perhaps the most notable exception, though, and clearly a subject for further discussion, is the actor that Ray used in leading or significant supporting roles more frequently than any other, Robert Ryan. A fellow Midwesterner, born just two years before Ray and dying six years before, the two were near-contemporaries in history. Professionally, Ray and Ryan shared contract affiliations with RKO, which brought them together on three productions over two years. As a caddish writer in Born To Be Bad (1950), a sympathetic Marine officer set against hardass John Wayne in Flying Leathernecks (1951), and the sadistic, wracked police detective of On Dangerous Ground (1951), Ryan played characters embodying facets of the figure that Ray publicly cut, caught between the blinkered and traditionally masculine and the sensitive seeker. Meaningfully, Ryan’s character in that last project retrieves his vision of humanity through circumstances leading to love of and from a blind artist, a woman who cannot see. Calling the actor back to duty ten years after their RKO period, in what would turn out as the second-last mainstream picture Ray signed, King of Kings (1961), significantly he cast his actorly counterpart Ryan as a mentor to Christ and a martyr, John the Baptist. (Eisenschitz notes that Ryan said yes to Ray’s offer to appear in the film, where others who had worked with him before, including Richard Burton and James Mason, declined.)(12) The leftist politics Ryan and Ray also shared put the actor on the other side of House Red-baiters. Unlike Sterling Hayden, however, and unlike Ray, who mostly evaded activism at the time, as a member of the Committee for the First Amendment Ryan publicly resisted. Later in the 1950s and 1960s, Ryan spoke out for peace, civil rights, and liberal causes, while Ray adopted a persona within the counterculture, as mentor and surrogate father to his own class of apostles.(13)
“By 1971,” as Scheibel puts it, within that setting, “Nicholas Ray, the auteur as we knew him, was dead” . He had collapsed, physically and professionally, almost ten years before, and revived, unpredictably, amid the political and artistic ferment of the late 1960s, as well as a corresponding growth of cinema in academics. “Unpredictably” might be inaccurate, in that, throughout his life, Ray seemed to find himself within, or at least at the edges of, all sorts of culturally determining events of the twentieth century in the US. The unpredictable part might be more his reputational revival at the time. As early as 1967, Roland Barthes pronounced “the death of the author,” in both French and English, though the word circulated much more widely in English starting in 1977, with the publication of his collection, Image-Music-Text.(14) Cinema studies never really laid the body to rest, however, and Ray’s status rose on the foundations that Cahiers had erected. It grew appreciably, if not nearly as high and sturdy as the critical structures of other lions of Hollywood and world cinema, such as Hitchcock, Ford, Welles, Renoir, Fellini, and Kurosawa, or even those of the Cahiers filmmakers themselves, notably Godard and Truffaut. The movement to build film schools, which was starting to yield budding auteurs, such as Coppola and Scorsese, gave Ray a livelihood, momentarily. He was invited to take an appointment teaching filmmaking at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and, as he concisely explains in Don’t Expect Too Much, Susan Ray’s 2011 documentary about that time, “I had to take the job. I was broke.” It also provided a highboard from which he might cannonball into an independent production more like the avant-garde cinema than any work he had accomplished in his previous professional life. The prophetically titled We Can’t Go Home Again, undertaken with the tribe of students he had gathered around him in upstate New York, reached varying stages of completion during Ray’s lifetime, though none of them final until long after his death, in 1979.
As Scheibel describes, Ray’s trajectory during this latter stage of his life again directed him on a path of self-promotion, but also on one of “political modernism,” a configuration drawing on D.N. Rodowick’s construction of countercinemas, from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s. We might ask, however, whether the drive to establish, or reestablish, himself as a cinematic presence contradicted the impulse to political intervention. Godard of the same period, a hallmark of countercinema, provides a complementary instance, purporting to retreat from authorship, or transforming authorship into the collective entity of the Dziga Vertov Group. Of course, that was as much a ruse as anything. British Sounds and Vladimir and Rosa would have drawn even less attention than they did had they been truly the work of a cell of anonymous cultural workers and not known to have been made by Godard and collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin. Comparably, We Can’t Go Home Again is signed, “A FILM BY US”—perhaps not only the “us” of Ray and his students, but also the “US” in USA—but he stumped for it as his own one giant step toward returning to a rightful place in cinema, a destination he reached only in repute. Similarly, while Lightning Over Water is also signed as “A film by” each of the crew members, in alphabetical order, it otherwise remains the authorial property of Ray and Wim Wenders—and notwithstanding its working and alternative titles, Nick’s Movie or Nick’s Film, disputed property at that. While it might have attracted more attention than anything Ray had undertaken since the epics that ended his mainstream career, surely much of that attention was morbidly motivated by the fact of Ray’s death, itself a romantic reminder of the author’s survival beyond the life of the artist.
As the performers Scheibel selected to consider as Ray’s counterparts during moments in his working life appear in retrospect likely cases, so the three filmmakers whom he chooses to examine as Ray’s heirs are also usual suspects: Godard, the lasting enthusiast; Wenders, the latter-day collaborator; and Jim Jarmusch, student and assistant during Ray’s academic appointment at New York University. In each case, Scheibel identifies one picture for commentary: À bout de souffle, The American Friend, and Stranger Than Paradise. (Three actors, three directors, three films, two of them first features. The limits that he set for himself to make his task manageable are evident to the point of constraint.) Godard’s relation to Ray, in Scheibel’s account, is his well-worn role of cultural magpie—thieving, mimicking, and otherwise poaching existing sources, in particular from Ray’s work—but among the vast array of artistic quotation to be found in Breathless and other of Godard’s films. Wenders’s has more indexical value, in that he was able to cast Ray himself in a supporting role in his international neo-noir, as well as Rebel Without A Cause alumnus Dennis Hopper in the lead, as Patricia Highsmith’s pathological Mr. Ripley. In addition, of course, Wenders later effectively cast Ray again, as himself or a version thereof, and as co-director of Lightning Over Water. As Scheibel indicates, Ray may have had an influence on Jarmusch, but his breakout road movie bears even more evident traces of Wenders . For his part, Jarmusch himself recently attributed greater formal inspiration to Breathless, as well as finding a complement in Godard’s strategy in realizing optimal results with minimal money.(15) Scheibel attempts his own casting project, of all these filmmakers as rebels-by-association. What exactly are they rebelling against, however?
Readers of Scheibel’s account ought to remain mindful that Ray’s reputation has evolved within significant constraints. While he crossed paths with some major figures and movements, from his early encounters with Frank Lloyd Wright and Thornton Wilder and the social-activist theatre of New Deal-era New York to the Black Panther Party and the Chicago Eight of the late 1960s, his star status shimmered largely in corners of the cinematic firmament, and to differing degrees of intensity. Perhaps because of the “in-between time,” as Eisenschitz names the period after Ray’s fall from grace in 1963 and before his return to the US five years later, we can too easily overlook how truly productive he had been, completing sixteen Hollywood pictures, and one in Europe, in only eleven years, between 1947 and 1958. While Cahiers elevated him, Cahiers acolyte Andrew Sarris relegated him first to his “Second Line” category, and then as resident of “The Far Side of Paradise.” (At least it wasn’t “Less Than Meets the Eye.”)(16) Furthermore, Michael Wilmington’s elementary statistical analysis reminds us that even within the golden covers of Cahiers, Ray ranked twenty-sixth among the French magazine’s preferred directors—very good in a publication with an extensive brief, but still, like Ray’s Hollywood career, not the top of the big top.(17) And Wilmington was hardly a debunker. He played, as Scheibel points out, a meaningful role in Ray’s auteurist retrieval, following up his quantitative assessment (left unmentioned in the book) with the highly qualitative artifacts of an interview during the former Hollywood lion’s visit to the University of Wisconsin, a two-part examination of Ray’s RKO contract years, and an exegesis of Johnny Guitar. In all, he devoted some twenty-three pages, over three issues of the Velvet Light Trap, to Ray.(18) It says something about the swift growth spurt of cinema studies, as much as about Ray, that such significance might accrue to the attention of a fledgling magazine published and largely written by university students and cinephiles—a condition not unknown since the start of Ray’s critical history.
While screenings of We Can’t Go Home Again purported to mark Ray’s return to action, as he tried to raise money to turn an unruly mess into an inspired, finished mess, he and the film were destined to remain on the fringe. Writers, notably Jonathan Rosenbaum in the pages of Sight and Sound, used such viewings as reasons to return Ray to the conversation, though the dialogue largely revolved around his Hollywood work.(19) To be sure, Ray’s films, from the start to the end of his life, conveyed engagement. They Live By Night, as much as it spins a fable of tentative, uncertain, young love, also inquires into American aspiration, strongly suggesting through the story of the doomed Bowie and Keechie that it might not be accessible to all. Immersing himself among young Americans again, toward the end of his time, he gathered a community around him, among them appearing “bigger than life,” and as “a cross between Noah, a pirate, and God,” as two of his students reflected in Don’t Expect Too Much. As depicted in that film and in the 1975 documentary (yes, I know) I’m A Stranger Here Myself, which also captured the quest to shoot We Can’t Go Home Again, the project was on the one hand an evidently chaotic, inward-directed search for a place to be, and on the other desperate, outward-looking responses to a place that constituted a home for Ray and his band, a forlorn, angry country. Once again, Ray and company sought America, and found it lost.
Was Ray a Prospero in a teapot? This is a question calling not just for a reputational assessment within the institution of cinema, but for a wider view of Ray’s place in the American experience, more fully addressed, ironically enough, by the French Eisenschitz, examining his subject from a cultural distance, than by Scheibel, who has found himself not far, physically, from the subject whose films he admits elicit his “personal love” . (Writing the dissertation that resulted in the book for Indiana University, only a couple of states away from Ray’s roots in Wisconsin and Illinois, Scheibel is more recently based in Syracuse, New York, just an hour and fifteen minutes, north on Interstate 81, from Ray’s erstwhile base in Binghamton.) While Ray and his work intersected with more than a half-century in America carved out of the middle of the 1900s, it was hardly a comforting time, nor one of resolution, but rather one of disquieting paradox. Being alien, Ray regularly demonstrated, from They Live By Night to The Savage Innocents and beyond, was less a matter of being strange than it was characteristic of being of America, where newcomers displaced people familiar with the land for centuries—strangers who made strangers, taking homes in the mission to make a home. No wonder we can’t go home again.
For all the values to be found in American Stranger, unfortunately, this publication offers yet more evidence that as a species the copyeditor is well and truly endangered. Its lapses range from the minor to the more substantial, though one apparently casual slip turns out truly disturbing. Among the trivial but annoying are puzzlingly proximate misspellings: Ray’s radio program Back Where I Come From becomes Back Where I Came From two paragraphs later ; filmmaker and scholar Thom Andersen turns into Anderson later in the same paragraph  and Tom Anderson in the works cited list ; and actor Peter Falk becomes Faulk on the very next line . Scheibel insists on spelling the name of Robert Mitchum’s cowpoke, in The Lusty Men, as Jeff McLoud, rather than McCloud, as it appears just about everywhere else. Carl Theodor Dreyer becomes “Dryer” , Alain Resnais becomes “Alan”  and, buried in the index, even Ray’s own name is misspelled “Nichols” . Critic Eugene Archer was not among the British critics who lauded Rebel Without a Cause, as Scheibel inexplicably claims . Though he later worked in Europe, Archer was born in Texas and published his comments on Ray’s films in the New York periodical, Film Culture, and the New York Times, where he worked as a critic.(20) In an instance of improbable history, Scheibel calls Sight and Sound, which was founded in 1932, the “successor” to the magazine Sequence, launched fifteen years later, apparently meaning to refer to Penelope Houston’s successive editorships, first of the Oxford Film Society publication, and then of the British Film Institute’s flagship magazine . While Paul Ivano operated the camera for the helicopter shots under the opening titles of They Live By Night, calling him the picture’s “cinematographer” is at least misleading, not to mention disrespectful of George E. Diskant, its talented director of photography . As Scheibel suggests, among critics, Manny Farber was not notably as fond of Ray’s films as he was of other, “termite” filmmakers, but to say that he was not “interested” in them is not entirely fair . He reviewed several, sometimes naming Ray, sometimes not. Among them, though attributing it to RKO, Howard Hughes, and Robert Mitchum, he saw The Lusty Men positively. Revising his 1952 essay, “Blame the Audience,” to include it in his collection, Negative Space, almost twenty years later, Farber remembered Ray’s picture highly enough to substitute it for a couple of other titles as examples of good pictures of the year—even if backhandedly qualifying them as succeeding “only as pale reminders of a rougher era that pretty well ended with the thirties.”(21)
Recounting these problems is as tiresome as it is to encounter them while reading the book, and the point is not simply to cavil about minor mistakes, but to suggest that they unfortunately tend to undermine the writer. A more serious misstep, however, does occur in Scheibel’s recounting of the withdrawal and revision of Lightning Over Water after its early screenings in 1980. He writes, “When Ray completed the second cut, he felt he had a new film altogether,” followed by a quotation to elaborate, instead of correctly attributing the sentiment and statement to co-director Wenders —particularly grisly errors, considering Ray had died more than a year before, during the course of shooting the film. About this, the editors, the manuscript’s reviewers, and above all the author should have been paying attention.
1. Bernard Eisenschitz, Roman américain : Les vies de Nicholas Ray (Paris : Christian Bourgois, 1990); Nicholas Ray : An American Journey, trans. Tom Milne (London: Faber & Faber, 1993).
2. Patrick McGilligan, Nicholas Ray : The Glorious Failure of an American Director (New York: HarperCollins / It Books, 2011).
3. Peter Wollen, Signs and Meaning in the Cinema (London: Secker & Warburg, third edition, 1972) : 167-168.
4. V.F. Perkins, “The Cinema of Nicholas Ray,” Movie 9 (May 1963) : 4-10; Thomas Elsaesser, “Nicholas Ray (Part 1),” Brighton Film Review 19 (April 1970) : 13-16, and “Nicholas Ray (Part 2),” Brighton Film Review 20 (May 1970) : 15-16; Geoff Andrew, The Films of Nicholas Ray : The Poet of Nightfall (London: Letts, 1991. Second ed., London: BFI Publishing, 2004).
5. Jim Hillier, ed., Cahiers du cinéma. Vol. 1: The 1950s : Neo-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985); Jim Hillier, ed., Cahiers du cinéma. Vol. 2: The 1960s : New Wave, New Cinema, Re-evaluating Hollywood (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986); François Truffaut, The Films in My Life, trans. Leonard Mayhew (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1978); Jean-Luc Godard, Godard on Godard : Critical Writings, ed., trans. Tom Milne (London: Secker & Warburg, 1972); Éric Rohmer, The Taste for Beauty, trans. Carol Volk (Cambridge: University Press, 1989).
6. Jean-Luc Godard, “Nicholas Ray,” La Revue du cinéma / Image et son 94 (July 1956) : 5-7, and see, for example, J[acques] R[ivette], “À l’ombre des potences,” Arts / Spectacles 536 (5-11 October 1955); François Truffaut, “La Fureur de vivre de Nicholas Ray,” Arts / Spectacles 562 (4-10 April 1956) : 38-41; Éric Rohmer, “Le Brigand bien-aimé : Art du paysage,” Arts / Spectacles 627 (10-16 July 1957) : 3.
7. Philippe Demonsablon, “Visage de l’amoureuse,” Cahiers du cinéma 30 (Christmas 1953) : 16-21; Philippe Demonsablon, “Le Bouquet d’Helga,” Cahiers du cinéma 52 (November 1955) : 47-50.
8. Études cinématographiques 8-9 (Summer 1961); François Truchaud, Nicholas Ray (Paris : Éd. Universitaires, 1965).
9. Jean Douchet, “Le Gros plan de la semaine : Nicholas Ray : Les Dents du diable sont mon meilleur film. Maintenant je vais tourner à Madrid la vie du Christ,” Arts / Spectacles 773 (4-10 May 1960) : 7; Jean Douchet & Jacques Joly, “Nouvel entretien avec Nicholas Ray,” Cahiers du cinéma 127 (January 1962) : 1-17.
10. Juan Cobos, “Una Entrevista de Juan Cobos con Nicholas Ray,” Film ideal 48 (15 May 1960) : 13-15; José A. Pruneda & Juan Cobos, “Entrevista con Nicholas Ray,” Film ideal 104 (15 September 1962) : 515–520; Jean Cobos, Felix Martialay & Miguel Rubio, “Entrevista con Nicholas Ray,” Film ideal 120 (15 May 1963); Juan Cobos, “Nueva entrevista con Nicholas Ray,” Film ideal 136 (15 January 1964) : 10–11.
11. Peter Wollen, “Never at Home,” Sight and Sound 4/5 (May 1994) : 15.
12. Eisenschitz, Nicholas Ray : An American Journey : 364.
13. See J.R. Jones, The Lives of Robert Ryan (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2015).
14. Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author,” trans. Richard Howard, Aspen, 5–6 (1967); “La Mort de l’auteur,” Manteia 5 (1968); Image-Music-Text, ed., trans. Stephen Heath (London: Fontana, 1977) : 142-148.
15. Mekado Murphy, “Picking the Right Movie To Watch Under the Stars,” New York Times (30 June 2017) : C5.
16. Andrew Sarris, “Nicholas Ray (1911– ),” Film Culture 28 (Spring 1963) : 15-16; The American Cinema : Directors and Directions, 1929-1968 (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1968) : 107-109.
17. Michael Wilmington, “Cahiers’ Favorite Directors,” Velvet Light Trap 9 (Summer 1973) : 18.
18. Michael Wilmington, “Nicholas Ray : The Years at RKO (Part One),” and “Nicholas Ray on the Years at RKO,” Velvet Light Trap 10 (Fall 1973) : 46-55; “Nicholas Ray : The Years at RKO (Part Two),” Velvet Light Trap 11 (Winter 1974) : 35-40; “Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar,” Velvet Light Trap 12 (Spring 1974) : 19-25.
19. Jonathan Rosenbaum, “Circle of Pain : The Cinema of Nicholas Ray,” Sight and Sound 42/4 (Autumn 1973) : 218–221.
20. “Eugene Archer, Ex-Film Critic for Times, Dies on Coast at 42,” New York Times (3 February 1973) : 32.
21. Manny Farber, “Films,” The Nation 175/19 (8 November 1952) : 434-435; “Blame the Audience,” Commonweal 57/11 (19 December 1952) : 280-281; Negative Space : Manny Farber on the Movies (New York: Praeger, 1971) : 54.
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