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
Worked with Robert Ryan, James Mason, Charlton Heston, Peter O'Toole, Arthur Kennedy, Robert Taylor, Cyd Charisse, Christopher Plummer, Richard Burton, Jane Russell, Cornel Wilde, James Cagney, Sal Mineo, James Dean, Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Ida Lupino, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Jay C. Flippen, Howard Da Silva and fucking Orson Welles. Can any other director of the time boast that list? Hitchcock? Hawks? Ford?