[Ray] was born in [Wisconsin] under the name Raymond Nicholas Kienzle on August 7, 1911. Nicholas as a teenager attended Waller High School in Chicago, Illinois where he spent much of his time with his older sister. He was a very popular student but was always finding himself in trouble with alcohol abuse but during his senior year of school he won a local radio contest and earned a scholarship to “any university in the world” by the WKBH as he portrayed himself as a talented orator. After two years of studying drama at La Crosse State Teachers College he made good enough grades to attend the University of Chicago in fall of 1931 but only stayed a semester due to his alcohol problem and did not maintain his grades.
Ray managed to make a few friends during his short career in collage and managed to produce a Broadway show; The Duke Ellington Musical Beggar’s Holiday, in 1946 and was his only Broadway show. Nearly a year later he directed his first film, [Live by Night] , and the story line revolved around two young lovers running from the law and was very popular among the people and formed its own genre called “love on the run”. This gave Ray the start he needed as the [York Times] gave him a positive review and stated, “Good, Realistic production and sharp direction…”. The 1950s were a very successful year for Ray as he produced multiple films two of which he will be best remembered by, [Guitar] in 1954 and Rebel Without a Cause in 1955.
In most of Ray’s movies the youth get the spotlight as the parents are portrayed to be the ‘bad guys’ for they cannot understand their child’s life and are not able to help or relate to them.[Rebel Without a Caus] Rebel Without a Cause was somewhat of a display of what Ray felt the teenagers of the world go through in their lifetime but a little more extreme than real life situations. Alcohol was not present in the movie except for the opening scene and may have been a representation of how Ray felt as he struggled with alcohol growing up and continued to his entire life. Ray in most of his movies emphasized the struggles of the youth and how they are forgotten a lot of the times by their parents and authority figures and are almost disregarded in society. He wanted to show the importance of the youth and show examples of their lives and let the adults see life through their children through film.
Ray died on June 16, 1979 in New [York] at age 67 and was still heavily involved with alcohol and drug usage up until his death. On the set of [Days and Peking] he collapsed and did not direct again until the mid-1970s. Biographers state that he was experimenting with men and was bisexual but he denied this many times. His unhealthy lifestyle led to his early death but in his short life he produced many fantastic films and changed to way teenagers are portrayed and added meaning to their lives
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Rosembaum, Jonathan. "Nicholas Ray." Senses of Cinema RSS. N.p., July 2012. Web. 17 Mar. 2013Edit
"Rebel Without a Cause." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.Edit
"Nicholas Ray." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Mar. 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2013