Nicholas Ray's Bigger Than Life

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Can this be got anywhere in any form?

naked as sin (naked as sin), Thursday, 1 April 2004 20:47 (eighteen years ago) link

There is a bootleg DVD-R floating around, but the quality aint too good.

There was a screening of this in NYC last summer in a great theater -- what a treat it was to see it on the big screen. Excellent film!

BabyBuddha (BabyBuddha), Thursday, 1 April 2004 21:31 (eighteen years ago) link

four years pass...

James Mason's speech at the parent-teacher night is a keeper, along with the Goldwater-Reagan type amenning his mania.

Dr Morbius, Monday, 5 January 2009 18:43 (fourteen years ago) link

six months pass...

This weekend at the FF.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 July 2009 15:48 (thirteen years ago) link

One of the fanboys @ The Criterion forum wrote to them and got a seemingly postive reply that this is coming soon from the CC.

The Wild Shirtless Lyrics of Mark Farner (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 23 July 2009 23:58 (thirteen years ago) link

I WISH I could watch this.

Heric E. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 24 July 2009 00:02 (thirteen years ago) link

Have you seen it before? I saw it back in the mid-eighties at the old Thalia theater in a double bill with Johnny Guitar but not since. I guess it doesn't really show up on TCM.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 July 2009 15:58 (thirteen years ago) link

All right, got a ticket for 5:40 tonight.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 July 2009 19:10 (thirteen years ago) link

OK, please go and see this if you can.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 00:54 (thirteen years ago) link

really wanna post the best line out of this as a little reminiscipackage for everyone who's seen it, but it would totally ruin the joy of hearing it for the first time for everyone who hasn't. you know the one i mean though.

the heart is a lonely hamster (schlump), Saturday, 25 July 2009 02:50 (thirteen years ago) link

I believe that's the one that got partially swallowed up by a splice at the end.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 12:19 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh no, that didn't happen. I was thinking this the In A Lonely Place thread.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 12:26 (thirteen years ago) link

SSSSPPPOOOILEEERRRRR

it's the one where he's reading the story from the book and someone points out that he has neglected to consider the ending, and so he points out that the ending was not the proper resolution to the way the parable should have played out

the heart is a lonely hamster (schlump), Saturday, 25 July 2009 14:39 (thirteen years ago) link

Ha.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 22:32 (thirteen years ago) link

did anyone catch they live by night? so good

the heart is a lonely hamster (schlump), Thursday, 30 July 2009 18:18 (thirteen years ago) link

Nope, but going to see Wind Across The Everglades tonight.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 30 July 2009 18:22 (thirteen years ago) link

You may laugh at my blindspot, but I never really got James Mason until I saw this. I think that when he got to Hollywood he did some very broad roles that they might just as well have given to Herbert Marshall, but here he is really intense. Looking forward to seeing some of the Mason Most Noir's coming up next week as a subseries of the Brit Noir.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 31 July 2009 18:03 (thirteen years ago) link

ed buscombe's commentary track for the BFI region 2 ed of this is pretty gd

Ward Fowler, Friday, 31 July 2009 19:45 (thirteen years ago) link

one year passes...

SSSSPPPOOOILEEERRRRR

it's the one where he's reading the story from the book and someone points out that he has neglected to consider the ending, and so he points out that the ending was not the proper resolution to the way the parable should have played out

― the heart is a lonely hamster (schlump), Saturday, July 25, 2009 10:39 AM (1 year ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

just watched this for the 1st time & schlump otm, best moment

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 12 July 2011 23:32 (eleven years ago) link

Really appreciate the effort that went into wrapping that spoiler in so many layers of protective coating that no one who hadn't actually seen the movie would know what was being spoiled

Twenty Flight Rickroll (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 13 July 2011 01:51 (eleven years ago) link

wasn't going to admit this here because it seems like not acknowledging it will allow me to ignore the onset of memory loss, but, on seeing that reposted i actually couldn't remember the quote it referred to. was that well protected. have dug it up, now.

re: bigger than life, upthread, perhaps my fav ray, i remember the male lead standing up & talking about it after the filmforum screening a couple of years back. spoke v fondly of nick & the production and then sounded totally bemused by ray's later epics, said he couldn't relate to it at all when ray was making grand pictures w/big stars in china.

Genre Fiction › Men's Adventure (schlump), Wednesday, 13 July 2011 08:32 (eleven years ago) link

ten months pass...

The DVD is gorgeous -- the colors look better than they did in the fifties, I'm sure. I'm sorry to say the movie is quite uneven: a mix of tones that doesn't work, and part of the problem is the miscast Mason.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 16 May 2012 22:26 (ten years ago) link

I agree with James Harvey that the original documentary-realism of the original script that producer Mason commissioned and Ray discarded would have been a more interesting film.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 16 May 2012 22:27 (ten years ago) link

I think only Mason can make "GOD WAS WRONG" iconic.

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Monday, 21 May 2012 18:53 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

Holy shit this movie.

DISMISSED AS CHANCE (NotEnough), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 21:34 (eight years ago) link

yh srsly

Ƹ༑Ʒ (imago), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 21:36 (eight years ago) link

The whole thing is one heartbreak after another as JMs mind dissolves. Even the nominally happy ending is harsh in how this episode has broken the family and will have ramifications for generations.

DISMISSED AS CHANCE (NotEnough), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 21:38 (eight years ago) link

wish hollywood came out with stuff this tonally daring, this jawdropping in the present day

Ƹ༑Ʒ (imago), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 21:39 (eight years ago) link

present-day rep theater audiences laugh at this movie, so there's yr answer

this horrible, rotten slog to rigor mortis (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 21:42 (eight years ago) link

Want it kinda a flop at the time tho?

DISMISSED AS CHANCE (NotEnough), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 21:49 (eight years ago) link

And why is it laughed at now? Is it considered too earnest, too heavy handed, what? I'm not a film critic/cinephile and maybe I'm a simpleton but I found it immensely powerful (just finished watching it tho so maybe I'll be less impressed once it sinks in)

DISMISSED AS CHANCE (NotEnough), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:04 (eight years ago) link

we laugh at what we do not fully comprehend. james mason going literally insane elicits nervous giggling because hey - this isn't supposed to happen, right - what even is this happening - it isn't really happening. modern audiences unable to countenance such audacious character development

Ƹ༑Ʒ (imago), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:07 (eight years ago) link

idk i'm being v trenchant there

Ƹ༑Ʒ (imago), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:08 (eight years ago) link

a certain smug sector at NYC rep houses laughs at everything made before 1975

this horrible, rotten slog to rigor mortis (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:10 (eight years ago) link

few Ray films were massive hits in their day (Rebel Without a Cause and, ah, King of Kings exceptions), so contemporary audiences had trouble with their sudden tonal shifts too

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:19 (eight years ago) link

Xp The not supposed to happen factor, that respectable professional family men are meant to hold their shit together, and the impossibility of that facade and the dissonance it creates, that's kinda the lynchpin of the movie for me. The impossibility and damage of the patriarchy and the powerlessness of all those involved, including the patrician, piles up on top of each other until all that's left is a fantasy of a happy ending. Cortisone is almost a macguffin.

Myopic smugness is never a good look. Bad show NYC.

DISMISSED AS CHANCE (NotEnough), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:36 (eight years ago) link

seen any Sirk films? You'll like him too.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:37 (eight years ago) link

No, not at all. And this is my first ray so I'm up for seeing more of him. What would you recommend?

DISMISSED AS CHANCE (NotEnough), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:42 (eight years ago) link

All That Heaven Allows, touching on similar themes, and Imitation of Life. Hell, watch'em all!

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:43 (eight years ago) link

Thanks, I'll check em out.

DISMISSED AS CHANCE (NotEnough), Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:44 (eight years ago) link

six years pass...

Wondering when it will be time to watch this again.

Gwar ina Babyon (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 4 September 2021 18:49 (one year ago) link

this was as breathless and hysterical as Fuller's Shock Corridor, but I liked it more

Dan S, Sunday, 5 September 2021 01:49 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Wondering when it will be time to watch this again.

Tonight maybe.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 24 November 2022 23:38 (two months ago) link

Trout Fishing in America.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 24 November 2022 23:47 (two months ago) link

“Can you tell me one thing that was said or done by anyone here tonight that was funny, startling, imaginative?”

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 00:13 (two months ago) link

Music by David Raksin!

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 00:17 (two months ago) link

“Third string sub to hero in twenty seconds. Real last minute stuff!”

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 00:18 (two months ago) link

Barbara Rush was married to Jeffrey Hunter for five years.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 00:54 (two months ago) link

Marilyn Monroe was supposed to have a cameo but she got nervous and they couldn’t get a good take so they gave up on the idea.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 01:08 (two months ago) link

Cool retro graphic around minute 26 of a timeline of PAIN vs. CORTISONE levels.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 01:30 (two months ago) link

“Hand me the yogurt, the black strap molasses and the brewer’s yeast.”

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 01:41 (two months ago) link

Apparently a reference to
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5OGcLluydc

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 01:45 (two months ago) link

One of Walter Matthau’s earliest film roles, if not his debut.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 01:58 (two months ago) link

“Oh Ed, this is so expensive. I buy my things at Madame A’s frock shop.”

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 02:03 (two months ago) link

“Oh, I’ve used up all the hot water. That half-pint heater really has to be babied.”

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 02:18 (two months ago) link

Great movie

عباس کیارستمی (Eric H.), Friday, 25 November 2022 02:53 (two months ago) link

I just read something that said James Mason, who also produced, had originally wanted a more documentary-like treatment and felt that what was done sensationalized and cheapened the material. He also felt his accent wasn’t right. On the other hand, even though he, like pretty much every one else who had crossed paths with Nicholas Ray, thought the director was difficult, he also thought he was a great talent and considered working with him again.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 03:07 (two months ago) link

“One more kettle will do.”
“You’re not in the hospital now!”

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 03:25 (two months ago) link

At some point early on the studio wanted Richard Widmark in the lead(!)

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 03:39 (two months ago) link

Actor who played the son, Christopher Olsen, was also Doris Day’s son in The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 03:46 (two months ago) link

“Every year, whole forests are cut down to supply the paper for these grotesque daubs. And we coo over them as though they were Van Goghs…or Rembrandts.”

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 03:55 (two months ago) link

Widmark would've pulled it off imo

عباس کیارستمی (Eric H.), Friday, 25 November 2022 03:59 (two months ago) link

Yeah, probably:

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 04:12 (two months ago) link

Still, I love Mason’s performance in this.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 04:13 (two months ago) link

“And furthermore, this isn’t the first time you’ve gone out your way to annoy me with your jingle-jangle in, jingle-jangle out. Why do you do it?”

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 04:15 (two months ago) link

There’s some kind of pomposity that Mason is able to portray like nobody else.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 04:20 (two months ago) link

It was all just a kooky, Cortisone-induced dream!

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 04:50 (two months ago) link

A HANDFUL OF HOPE THAT BECAME A FISTFUL OF HELL!

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 04:53 (two months ago) link

lol @ Mason thinking Ray was the director for a documentarian's approach

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 25 November 2022 10:33 (two months ago) link

Yes, exactly.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 10:40 (two months ago) link

And, yeah, Widmark could've pulled it off. James Stewart too.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 25 November 2022 10:43 (two months ago) link

I’m getting most of this stuff from Patrick McGilligan’s Nicholas Ray bio. Not sure what else is out there. Also learned a tiny bit about the cinematographer, who I hadn’t been aware of before but has worked on some well-known pictures that I like.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 10:49 (two months ago) link

Joseph MacDonald: My Darling Clementine, Viva Zapata!, Niagara, Broken Lance.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 11:00 (two months ago) link

Pickup on South Street too!

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 11:01 (two months ago) link

Guess we're the only ones up early after a few hours' sleep.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 25 November 2022 11:01 (two months ago) link

Yes. Exactly.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 11:05 (two months ago) link

Hope I don’t have a psychotic break due to the sleep deprivation like you-know-who in the movie.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 11:06 (two months ago) link

People in the UK watching the World Cup but brain can’t quite do it this early.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 11:07 (two months ago) link

Maybe will take a break from this thread for a bit to catch a few more winks but also want to mention that there was a Clifford Odets involvement in this film that needs to be discussed.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 11:08 (two months ago) link


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