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Lightning Over Water (1980)

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Director Nicholas Ray is eager to complete a final film before his imminent death from cancer. Wim Wenders is working on his own film Hammett (1982) in Hollywood, but flies to New York to ... See full summary »

Directors:

Nicholas Ray (as Nick Ray), Wim Wenders
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Gerry Bamman ... Himself
Ronee Blakley ... Herself
Pierre Cottrell ... Himself
Stefan Czapsky ... Himself
Mitch Dubin ... Himself
Tom Farrell ... Himself
Becky Johnston Becky Johnston ... Herself
Tom Kaufman Tom Kaufman ... Himself
Pat Kirck Pat Kirck ... Himself
Edward Lachman ... Himself
Martin Müller Martin Müller ... Himself
Craig Nelson Craig Nelson ... Himself
Nicholas Ray ... Himself
Susan Ray Susan Ray ... Herself
Timothy Ray Timothy Ray ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

Director Nicholas Ray is eager to complete a final film before his imminent death from cancer. Wim Wenders is working on his own film Hammett (1982) in Hollywood, but flies to New York to help Ray realize his final wish. Ray's original intent is to make a fiction film about a dying painter who sails to China to find a cure for his disease. He and Wenders discuss this idea, but it is obviously unrealistic given Ray's state of health. Written by Karl Engel <cassiel@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Sweden | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1984 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Nick's Film - Lightning Over Water See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film directed by Nicholas Ray. Also marks as his first documentary. See more »

Quotes

Nicholas Ray: The film is about... a man who wants to bring himself all together before he dies. A regaining of self esteem. A once, very highly successful man.
Wim Wenders: [narrating] I was getting very confused. Something was happening. Each time the camera was pointed at Nic - something that I had no control of. It was in the camera itself. It was looking at Nic through the viewfinder. Like a very precise instrument, the camera showed clearly and mercilessly... that his time was running out. No, you couldn't really ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

After Nicholas Ray died, Wenders was too depressed to help edit the film, so he left it to . Przygodda spent a year working on it and this was the 116-minute version shown at the Cannes Film Festival. Wenders however, was disturbed by this version and found it depressing and obscure. He spent three months with re-editing the film. Aside from cutting more than 25 minutes, he added more footage of Susan as well as his narration of Ray's diary. This 91-minute version is the one distributed by the Wim Wenders Foundation. See more »

Connections

Features We Can't Go Home Again (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Lightning Over Water
Performed by Ronee Blakley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Final Tribute to a Film Director!
17 April 2011 | by SylSee all my reviews

In this film documentary, Wim Wenders comes to New York City to visit film director, Nicholas Ray, who directed classics like Rebel Without a Cause starring James Dean. Ray lives in a Soho loft with his younger wife, Susan Ray. You could see the twin towers that once stood at the foot of Manhattan long before it's destruction in 2001. Nick Ray is stubborn and determined to make a final film. In some ways, it's his last chance in the cinema. Wim Wenders knows time is of the essence sine Ray is dying of cancer. There are candid moments of Ray dying but not letting his cancer destroy him. Wenders is a friend and film director. This documentary is really more of a tribute than anything else to a fine film director even though we didn't get to really know him. I haven't seen any of his films to date. The documentary might be dated but it's important to recognize a man who was really a genius in the film industry even thirty years later. He didn't live like a millionaire. He lived quite modestly and on his own terms which is how he died.


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