Student of Frank Lloyd Wright, friend of both Woody Guthrie AND Howard Hughes, director of some of the best films ever made (Rebel Without a Cause, anyone?) -- but Ray died a lonely ruin of a man. This revealing biography gets under the skin of one of Hollywood's most complicated personalities. — Charles Bottomley
Award-winningfilm historian Patrick McGilligan follows hisacclaimed biographies of Alfred Hitchcock and Oscar Micheauxwith a revelatory look at the life of Nicholas Ray, the troubled director of Ina Lonely Place, We Can’t GoHome Again, and Rebel Without a Cause. McGilligancharts the cerebral struggles, astonishing adventures, and artistic triumphsthat defined Ray’s life, including his Hollywood collaborations with HumphreyBogart, Robert Mitchum, James Cagney, and James Dean;his love affairs with Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, ZsaZsa Gabor, and Gloria Grahame; his partnerships withactivist Abbie Hoffman, pornography starlet MarilynChambers, photographer Wim Wenders;and more. Celebrating, contextualizing, and examining Ray’s life and work, McGilligandelivers a milestone of film history and offers a captivating look at one ofclassic cinema’s most colorful figures.
About the Author
Patrick McGilligan is the author of Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darknessand Light; Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast; and George Cukor: A Double Life; and books on the lives of directors Nicholas Ray, Robert Altman, and Oscar Micheaux, and actors James Cagney, Jack Nicholson, and Clint Eastwood. He also edited the acclaimed five-volume Backstory series of interviews with Hollywood screenwriters and (with Paul Buhle), the definitive Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, not far from Kenosha, where Orson Welles was born.
“[A] portrait of a filmmaker who managed over time to upstage the movies that made him celebrated.” — Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“A clear and balanced portrait of a most complex man.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[A] fascinating, formidable account of a director whose life was as fraught with complications and melodrama as were his movies.…Meticulously researched and gratifying, a biographical page-turner.” — Library Journal (starred review)
“McGilligan limns the tragic trajectory of Ray’s career with insight and compassion.” — Booklist