Hot Blood

While not really a success, Nicholas Ray’s 1956 film about urban Gypsies in color and ‘Scope, made between two of his masterpieces (Rebel Without a Cause and Bigger Than Life), has its share of interesting moments and vibrant energies, many of them tied to Ray’s abiding interest in the folkloric. In some respects this comes closer to the musical that Ray always dreamed of making than any of his other movies: there’s a defiant dance performed by Cornel Wilde on the street, a dynamic whip dance between Wilde and Jane Russell that’s even more kinetic, and a Gypsy chorus that figures in other parts. Definitely one of the more intriguing and neglected of Ray’s second-degree efforts. 85 min. (JR)

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