Our New Personality


A Cukor project just landed in my lap, so we watched THE MARRYING KIND as research, which ends with the above statement. “I’ve never seen a movie end like that,” said Fiona. Which is true.

Cukor was hugely impressed by Ray, who he claimed had never acted before. “Absolutely fearless.” And strikingly handsome here — he seems to have immediately put on a few pounds after this, transforming from Greek god to something more human but perhaps more unusual.

His sandpapered whisky-voice is only there some of the time at this point, sometimes it smooths out — maybe it depended on what he’d been doing the night before. And a film in which Judy Holliday and Ray snipe and bray at each other for long stretches with those glorious, but at times slightly harsh voices, demands a little resolve from the viewer. But it’s fantastic. More than a touch of neorealism, da poetry of da streets (Kanin & Gordon), and a Bunuelesque dream sequence (probably via FATHER OF THE BRIDE).


9 Responses to “Our New Personality”

  1. ?The Marrying Kind” is n many ways a remake of Vidor’s “The Crowd” and just as emotionally devastating, Ray was a marvelous character actor but his career didn’t pan out. Alcoholism took its toll and he died in dire poverty.

  2. Yeah, I think his last roles are a porno and Won Ton Ton. I’m not sure which is the bigger comedown.

    He’s really wonderful in Men in War.

  3. And his worn, world weary demeanor is put to good use by Tourneur in NIGHTFALL.

  4. “Nightfall” is a marvel from start to finish,

  5. James W Cobb Says:

    Also good in Cukor’s PAT AND MIKE as a boxer.

  6. Might be interesting (albeit likely depressing) to do something on performers (and directors? trendy authors?) who got big “INTRODUCING” buildups before the public knew about them. The starmaking machines were powerful, but even they tended to work with faces audiences had already noticed.

    Yes, there was nepotism and casting couches and all that. I’m wondering if there were actors who were pushed purely because of power player hubris, much the way doomed films or technologies would be championed by executives who thought they were rebels and visionaries when, in truth, everybody else was right.

  7. Charkie Bluhdorn at Paramount had some kind of obsession with Bekim Fehmiu that we’ll probably never know the truth of. And there’s Goldwyn and Anna Sten, who WAS good in her European films (Karamazov!) but was rendered boring by attempts to make her Garbo.

    I’m always suprised to see “Introducing” attached to someone like Ray who DID make it.

  8. First thing I think about when think of Aldo Ray is David Lynch hiring him for the Patrick Stewart role in Dune & then being forced to let him go because of alcoholism (you can see him in Sean Young’s Dune home movies, not looking great)

    Maybe Aldo could’ve been like Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell or Don Murray, a 50s actor rediscovered, part of the Lynch mob.

    Lynch seems to have kept the Ray connection though, because he worked repeatedly with his ex-wife Johnna Ray, and gave a big role to his son, Eric

  9. I think it was Eric who had to break the news that his dad wasn’t going to be able to do Dune. Wish he’d been in the new Twin Peaks,

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