IMDb > Lightning Over Water (1980)
Lightning Over Water
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Lightning Over Water (1980) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 5 | slideshow) Videos
Lightning Over Water -- Open-ended Extra (Clip) from Anchor Bay Entertainment


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6.7/10   972 votes »
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Down 20% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
13 February 1981 (West Germany) See more »
Director Nicholas Ray is eager to complete a final film before his imminent death from cancer. Wim Wenders... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Beware: two versions exist, first is better See more (10 total) »


  (complete, awaiting verification)

Gerry Bamman ... Himself

Ronee Blakley ... Herself
Pierre Cottrell ... Himself

Stefan Czapsky ... Himself

Mitch Dubin ... Himself

Tom Farrell ... Himself
Becky Johnston ... Herself
Tom Kaufman ... Himself
Pat Kirck ... Himself

Edward Lachman ... Himself
Martin Müller ... Himself
Craig Nelson ... Himself

Nicholas Ray ... Himself
Susan Ray ... Herself
Timothy Ray ... Himself
Martin Schäfer ... Himself
Chris Sievernich ... Himself

Wim Wenders ... Himself

Directed by
Nicholas Ray  (as Nick Ray)
Wim Wenders 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Nicholas Ray 
Wim Wenders 

Produced by
Jonathan Becker .... associate producer
Pierre Cottrell .... producer
Laurie Frank .... associate producer
Renée Gundelach .... executive producer
Chris Sievernich .... producer
Wim Wenders .... producer
Original Music by
Ronee Blakley 
Cinematography by
Edward Lachman 
Martin Schäfer 
Film Editing by
Peter Przygodda (first version)
Wim Wenders (definitive version)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Pat Kirck .... assistant director
Sound Department
Jack Higgins .... re-recording mixer (definitive version)
Maryte Kavaliauskas .... sound
Martin Müller .... sound
Gary Steele .... sound
Hiroaki 'Zom' Yamamoto .... re-recording mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Stefan Czapsky .... gaffer
Mitch Dubin .... assistant camera
Timothy Ray .... assistant camera
Martin Schäfer .... camera operator
James Wilberger .... alternate best boy electric
Editorial Department
Chris Sievernich .... assistant editor (definitive version)
Barbara von Weitershausen .... assistant editor
Other crew
Tom Farrell .... video
Jim Jarmusch .... observer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
91 min | USA:116 min (original version)
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Final film directed by Nicholas Ray. Also marks as his first documentary.See more »
Wim Wenders:I didn't come here to talk about dying Nic... but we might have to.
Nicholas Ray:But we might have to?
Wim Wenders:I was looking forward to seeing you, because I need your advice. You told me on the phone that you wanted to see me, but I was afraid to come too. And I think I'd rather tell you right now; why. I was aware that I'd see you in weakness, and... that.....
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995)See more »
Lightning Over WaterSee more »


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21 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
Beware: two versions exist, first is better, 10 January 2003
Author: ( from Danville, IL

Two video versions of this film exist, both roughly the same length. The first was released by Pacific Video on VHS in 1987, the second just this month (1/03) by Anchor Bay on DVD. According to Kathe Geist's book "The Cinema of Wim Wenders: From Paris France to Paris Texas," Wenders was so depressed by the filming of "Lightning" and Ray's death that he handed the footage over to his editor, Peter Przygodda, who spent a year fashioning it into a version shown at Cannes; apparently this is also the version released by Pacific Video in 1987 and which I first saw around that time (and have watched many times since). Wenders supposedly found this version obscure and depressing and re-edited, adding a voiceover (his own) and superimposing passages from Ray's diary; this is the version just released on DVD, and is considered by some the definitive edition. But I find Wender's criticism of the initial cut confusing, for it's the LATTER cut (his own) which is murky and depressing. Nick Ray's final scene, for example ("Cut...Don't Cut.") is tortuous (we're watching a man dying), and there are sequences edited so bizarrely as to be almost incomprehensible. The first cut, in contrast, has a narrative flow and progression that make it easier to absorb, though it's still tough going as we witness Nick Ray's suffering. Also, Wender's narration in the 2nd version (absent in the initial cut) actually adds little to the film. The first version is unfortunately out of print but is worth tracking down because it's the superior one.

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