Nicholas Ray Goes Home

cinematically insane

Nicholas Ray circa 1948Nicholas Ray made an appearance at the New York Film Festival on Saturday night. At least, according to his widow.

“I brought you Nick tonight, because I figured he could probably speak better about this film than anybody else,” Susan Ray said before a screening of her husband’s vérité Western THE LUSTY MEN at the Walter Reade Theater, part of the NYFF Revivals sidebar. The 1952 RKO release stars Robert Mitchum as a rough-and-tumble rodeo performer and Susan Hayward as the (married) woman who falls for his churlish charms.

Susan Ray, who was married to the director from 1969 until his death in 1979, read from the transcript of an oral history her husband recorded in the early 1970s. In it, he discussed THE LUSTY MEN and the research trip he and screenwriter Horace McCoy took to rodeos across the American West.

“The theme that I gave to the film at…

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