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Watch: Dennis Hopper’s Personal 5-Minute Video Essay On Nicholas Ray

Watch: Dennis Hopper’s Personal 5-Minute Video Essay On Nicholas Ray

There’s never been a director quite like Nicholas Ray, whose strange, difficult career and weird give-and-take relationship with Hollywood we profiled a little while ago. But though we very much recommend that you check out our version of his story, here’s another one well worth experiencing: that of Dennis Hopper, who worked with Ray on his most famous film, “Rebel Without A Cause,” and on the white whale of his final days, the strange experimental project “We Can’t Go Home Again.”

Hopper’s 5 minutes of poetic musings and archival clips, compiled for TCM in the ’90s, features the actor reminiscing about Ray showing up at his house unannounced in the ’70s and staying for 5 months, running up huge bills trying to get another movie off the ground. But Hopper also remembers his time, aged just 18, on the set of ‘Rebel,’ learning how a great director worked to create great performances. There are moments too from Ray’s pitch-black noir work in “On Dangerous Ground” and “In A Lonely Place.” Above all there’s the sense, always present with Ray, that as great as he was, he could have been greater: Hopper quotes him as saying that he was “the best damn filmmaker in the world who has never made one entirely good, entirely satisfactory film.” [The Seventh Art]

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