Hollywood filmmaker’s Binghamton University movie resurfaces: Student actors recall Nicholas Ray

Nicholas Ray and Larry Gottheim, director of Binghamton University's Cinema Department, in 1971 while Ray taught here and directed "We Can't Go Home Again."

Written by George Basler, Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin

Binghamton University will never be mistaken for Hollywood on the Susquehanna River.

But 40 years ago, the school was the setting for the last major project of acclaimed film director Nicholas Ray, best known for the 1955 classic “Rebel Without a Cause” with James Dean and Natalie Wood.

For those who participated, the two-year experience was a wild ride that they remember as an inspirational, chaotic, demanding and frustrating time of their lives.

Feelings are mixed.

“I felt not only the excitement of the times, but being in a place where something exciting was happening. We were making a film with a Hollywood legend,” said Richard Bock, a student who went on to work in the film industry in post-production work.

At the same time, students had front-row seats to Ray’s demons, notably alcoholism.

“He could be a megalomaniac and it got worse as he drank more,” said Tom Farrell, who was a 21-year-old student when he played one of the leads in the film.

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