Nicholas Ray, Ranked

Tools    






There's a reason why the French and Cahiers adore this man's work. My first introduction to Nicholas Ray was 2 years ago when I picked up a copy of Rebel Without A Cause. Back then I only knew the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Akira Kurosawa. Upon its first viewing, I wasn't completely blown away by Rebel Without A Cause, not until I rewatched it and became aware of its social context did I finally realise its importance in canonical cinema.

1. Johnny Guitar
2. In A Lonely Place
3. Rebel Without A Cause
4. Bigger Than Life
5. On Dangerous Ground

Johnny Guitar is perfect. 5 Stars (For someone who isnt a big fan of Westerns this is a sheer unique piece of work) In A Lonely Place is close to being a masterpiece, but also worthy of 5 Stars. Rebel Without A Cause and Bigger Than Life both exceeded my expectations, so they get no less than 3.5 Stars. I remember liking On Dangerous Ground as well, the first part involves the police procedural and the second about the chase.

I have yet to see They Live By Night and The Lusty Men.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
First off, Holden Pike would give all these films higher than I do. In a Lonely Place is certainly his favorite. I'll rate them rather than rank them, but if anybody wants me to differentiate, ask and I will.

They Live By Night (48)

Knock on Any Door (49)
+
A Woman's Secret (49)

In a Lonely Place (50)
+
Born to Be Bad (50)

The Flying Leathernecks (51)

On Dangerous Ground (52)

The Lusty Men (52)

Johnny Guitar (54)

Run For Cover (55)

Rebel Without a Cause (55)

Hot Blood

Bigger Than Life (56)

The True Story of Jesse James (57)

Wind Across the Everglades (58)

Party Girl (58)

The Savage Innocents (60)

King of Kings (61)

55 Days at Peking (63)
__________________
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page



Never watched any of his stuff, but I'll be seeing Rebel Without a Cause soon. If Johnny Guitar is unlike most Westerns, then there's a good chance I'll like it
__________________
"Puns are the highest form of literature." -Alfred Hitchcock



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
King of Kings is quite bad with its silly casting and stilted style.

Bigger than Life is one of his best films with an outstanding performance by James Mason.
__________________
It reminds me of a toilet paper on the trees
- Paula



Must be doin sumthin right
Haven't seen enough of Ray. I'll disagree on James Mason being great in Bigger Than Life, though. Not that I don't get a kick from the subversiveness of casting him in the role, but he just takes it in a way too overwrought direction, even for that movie. And I mean you can't remotely take him seriously when he picks up a football, either. That movie just has weird casting all around. Walter Matthau, schlubby as ever, as the studly gym teacher?!



Just rewatched In A Lonely Place. For now I think it's the director's most personal and powerful work.



Instead of the usual detective-murder noir it turns out to be nothing less than a seering portrait of a man so caught up with his own frustration, and his inability to control his volatile temperament, severing the relationship with his lover. Bogart's embittered character reflected Nicholas Ray's estranged relationship with his wife at that time, who was none other than the actress Gloria Grahame.

This is Bogart and Ray at their cruellest. I highly recommend this film.



My ranking of what I have seen:

1. They Live by Night
2. Rebel Without a Cause
3. King of Kings
4. In a Lonely Place
5. Johnny Guitar
6. On Dangerous Ground
7. Party Girl
8. Hot Blood



Didn't realize how little of Ray's work I had seen. Of course, I loved Rebel Without a Cause, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed In a Lonely Place and Party Girl.



Everyone I've seen is great. And I still have a bunch more to go. Life is good.



Johnny Guitar is the best, so far. All the others are tied for second place.



I just seen Nicholas Ray's Hot Blood with Jane Russell the other night, really weak movie, surprisingly unfocused...otherwise most of Ray's films are solid.

I've seen these and they are ranked:

1950 In a Lonely Place
1956 Bigger Than Life
1954 Johnny Guitar
1958 Party Girl
1949 A Woman's Secret
1951 Flying Leathernecks
1952 The Lusty Men
1952 Macao
1957 The True Story of Jesse James
1956 Hot Blood
I'm shocked that you haven't seen Rebel Without A Cause.

You must watch it tonight...

BTW, I agree with your ranking of In a Lonely Place. Gloria was great in that one, and I think it was one of Bogart's finest performances.



I'm shocked that you haven't seen Rebel Without A Cause.

You must watch it tonight...

BTW, I agree with your ranking of In a Lonely Place. Gloria was great in that one, and I think it was one of Bogart's finest performances.
Whoops, that was just me with a sloppy copy & paste. I've seen Rebel Without A Cause but I sure need to see it again as it was some 15 years ago. I haven't seen In a Lonely Place for a long while, but I'm currently working my way through Bogart's filmography so I'll get a chance to see it again.

I have to say as much as I like Bogart he was sure in a lot of average films in the beginning of his career. I'm up to 1939 and the last film I seen of his was The Oklahoma Kid. Why Warner Bros. thought Bogart and Cagney would be good in a western is beside me! Well Cagney was good but Bogart just looked plain uncomfortable.



Whoops, that was just me with a sloppy copy & paste. I've seen Rebel Without A Cause but I sure need to see it again as it was some 15 years ago. I haven't seen In a Lonely Place for a long while, but I'm currently working my way through Bogart's filmography so I'll get a chance to see it again.

I have to say as much as I like Bogart he was sure in a lot of average films in the beginning of his career. I'm up to 1939 and the last film I seen of his was The Oklahoma Kid. Why Warner Bros. thought Bogart and Cagney would be good in a western is beside me! Well Cagney was good but Bogart just looked plain uncomfortable.
Yeah, you're right about Bogie. He was mostly type cast as a second banana gangster, and couldn't break out of it until High Sierra (1941). He played a gangster in it, but he starred, and the role had some depth. Then the same year he cemented his big league stardom in The Maltese Falcon. John Huston had written the screenplay for "Sierra". So after he and Bogie became drinking buddies, Huston was happy to have him as Sam Spade in "Falcon". From then onward Bogie's career went straight up.



Yeah, you're right about Bogie. He was mostly type cast as a second banana gangster, and couldn't break out of it until High Sierra (1941). He played a gangster in it, but he starred, and the role had some depth. Then the same year he cemented his big league stardom in The Maltese Falcon. John Huston had written the screenplay for "Sierra". So after he and Bogie became drinking buddies, Huston was happy to have him as Sam Spade in "Falcon". From then onward Bogie's career went straight up.
Not that I haven't enjoyed some of his lesser known 1930s films but it will be a joy to get to his heavy hitters like the ones you mentioned. It's funny how some actors start out in obscurity and have to work their way to the top, while others like Greg Peck started out in a leading role right from the start.