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Lightning Over Water (1980)

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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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 ...
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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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Documentary

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Details

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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)
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

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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

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 ...
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Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Toutes les histoires (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Lightning Over Water
Performed by Ronee Blakley
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User Reviews

 
not a simple film
3 June 2002 | by See all my reviews

Wenders gives the viewer the impression that this is a simple movie, but it is not. Fans of Wenders will recognize director Nicholas Ray's apartment as a location for the film, American Friend. But not only is Ray simply dying, he dies, and the "documentary" has to change, and so it does, with grace, pain, uncertainty, and a host of other emotions and observations. The music, much of it featuring Ronee Blakley, doing what sounds like an attempt at light punk rock and country-folk rock, with a definite Patti Smith influence, is very effective. Like every film I have seen by Wenders, it looks beautiful and often unusual, and the pacing is leisurely, and by Hollywood standards, slow. However, anyone who likes Wenders and likes Ray--and let's face it, if you say you are a fan of American film, and you neither like nor know Nicholas Ray, you are an ignorant piker, poser--will benefit from screening this movie, and probably be moved like hell by it.


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