Lightning Over Water

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Reviews Counted: 8

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Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Lightning Over Water is a penetrating documentary of the last days of cult film director Nicholas Ray. The film was lovingly assembled by Wim Wenders, whose idolatry of Ray is obvious in virtually every frame of his own work. Dying slowly of cancer, Ray reflects on a lifetime of accomplishments, failures and compromises, with plenty of screen time given over to his reminiscences of Joan Crawford, James Dean and others who appeared in his films. Most of the film was lensed in Ray's modest New York City loft, a sharp and poignant contrast to the comparative luxury of his Hollywood years. Lightning Over Water has also been released as Nick's Film. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Nicholas Ray
as Nicholas Ray
Wim Wenders
as Wim Wenders
Gerry Bamman
as Gerry Bamman
Ronee Blakely
as Ronee Blakley
Pierre Cottrell
as Pierre Cottrell
Tommy Farrell
as Tom Farrell
Becky Johnston
as Becky Johnston
Edward Lachman
as Edward Lachman
Craig T. Nelson
as Craig Nelson
Martin Schäfer
as Martin Schafer
Chris Sievernich
as Chris Sievernich
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Critic Reviews for Lightning Over Water

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for Lightning Over Water


"Lightning over Water" is an intriguing documentary/fiction hybrid that begins with a jetlagged Wim Wenders arriving in New York to help his friend and hero Nicholas Ray complete one last film before he succumbs to lung cancer which he is in the painful final stages of. So while those preparations are being made, occasionally a handheld Super 8 camera is used to show the film crew working behind the scenes. While digressive at times, especially one sequence involving rehearsals for a Chekhov play, "Lightning over Water" has some very good thoughts on the subject of mortality and how truly inescapable it is. Not only that but the movie is also concerned with the changes that go along with the passage of time like when Ray and his crew travel to Vassar, now co-ed, to screen one of his old films. Plus, we are also treated to a neat view of bygone New York City, circa 1979.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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