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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 »

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(as Nick Ray),
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Pierre Cottrell ...
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Becky Johnston ...
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Tom Kaufman ...
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Pat Kirck ...
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Martin Müller ...
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Craig Nelson ...
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Susan Ray ...
Herself
Timothy Ray ...
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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>

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 November 1984 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Nick's Film - Lightning Over Water  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

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... you might be worried about being seen this way. But I feel it's okay now. There is something else that came to my mind in the plane last night, that I'm ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Lightning Over Water
Performed by Ronee Blakley
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User Reviews

See this movie if you love Nicholas Ray
25 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

This is not a movie for Wenders fans as much as it is for Nick Ray fans. In fact, I wouldn't recommend it unless you felt connected to the director. And I don't mean that you've happened to rent Johnny Guitar, In a Lonely Place or They Live By Night. See it if you saw a theme in Ray's work, one that made you go back and learn about his life. See it if you re-watched his films, trying to understand every cut and what it told you about the man behind the camera. See it if it bothers you that he will never make another film. Because in Lightning over water Nicholas Ray invites you to share his death with him, and, if you see it, you must be prepared to grieve. I saw this movie late one night in my college dorm room (a college with a featured role in the film, but that is merely tangential). I didn't let anyone watch it with me. The previous summer my grandfather had died in the same drawn-out manner. He was surrounded by family from the time of his diagnosis to the time of his death. Wenders and his crew are Nick Ray's family -- a love of the director's work is the blood connecting them. Wenders carries a camera with him because he knows that others -- even those who never heard of Nicholas Ray until he was dead for 18 years -- have the same blood in them. Wenders gives us the chance. But it is Nick Ray who we come to see.


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