Stefano Torino wants nothing to do with his Gypsy clan but his brother Marco thinks otherwise. Marco arranges a marriage for Stefano with a young Gypsy woman from Chicago, Annie Caldash. Stefano, or Steve as he now prefers to be called, wants nothing to do with it but Annie convinces him that she had no intention of accepting him at the altar intending on running away as soon as Marco pays her father the $2000 they’ve been promised. Steve decides to go along with the gag but gets trapped when Annie decides she wants to marry him after all. Steve leaves for several months but when he returns Annie’s request for a divorce leads him to reconsider his decision. –IMDb
Born in small-town Wisconsin in 1911, Nicholas Ray’s early experience with film came with some radio broadcasting in high school. He left the University of Chicago after a year, but made such an impression on his professor and writer Thorton Wilder that he was recommended for a scholarship with Frank Lloyd Wright, where he learned the importance of space and geography, not to mention his later love for CinemaScope. When political differences came between the seasoned architect and his young protégé, Ray left for New York and became immersed in the radical theater. He joined the Theater of Action and later the Group Theater, which is where he met his good friend Elia Kazan. Times were tough and money was tight, but Ray loved the bohemian lifestyle of the close-knit group and enjoyed one of the happiest times of his life. Anybody who met him always noted his intellect and amazing energy. During this period he, along with his fellow Theater Group members, was also active in Socialist/Communist… read more
This deliriously colourful 'Scope production sees Ray having lots of fun in what must be the strangest film of his career. Advertised with the memorable slogan 'Jane Russell shakes her tambourines and drives Cornel Wilde!', the film is set in the gypsy community and concerns the tempestuous marriage of an aspiring dancer and his fiery bride. The story doesn't hang together at all but it's full of verve and vitality..
Every Nick Ray film has at least one scene that lets you know just which mad genius was behind the camera. Hot Blood is full to bursting with Ray's iconic colours and mad love, but the scene where Cornel Wilde dances Richard Deacon half to death in the street. Scenes like this, where the studio world bent to Ray's mad vision, are what make him an auteur worth worshipping. This film is goddamned beautiful.
Nicholas Ray. Did Hollywood produce any other figure in whom inhered the very ethos of the struggling Artist against the System? Well, there
Top: Hot Blood. Above: Bitter Victory. Hot Blood and Bitter Victory play as part of a 15-film Nicholas Ray retrospective at New York’s Film