Isn’t it about time we got around to Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar (1954)?
Long before Kathryn Bigelow was winning Oscars with The Hurt Locker (2008), she was a graduate film student at Columbia University. She and a friend, Sarah Fatima Parsons, interviewed Nicholas Ray about a month before he passed away in 1979. Here’s a bit of that interview — the parts covering Johnny Guitar. You can find the rest here.
Nicholas Ray: “One night Joan Crawford got drunk and threw Mercedes McCambridge’s clothes on the highway. She was absolutely great at work, but sometimes anger won over her temperament. They were very different and Crawford hated McCambridge.”
“I kept the posse in black and white during the whole film. Herb Yates, the studio owner who was in Europe during the shooting of the film, looked at the dailies when he came back. And he said, ‘Nick, I love what I’m seeing, but it’s a Technicolor film and everything’s in black and white.’”
By the way, Nick Ray nuts (like myself) will be happy to know the 1975 documentary I’m A Stranger Here Myself can be seen on YouTube.