Nov. 28, 2005 Live Fast, Die Young By Gregory McNamee

"Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of making 'Rebel Without a Cause'," by Lawrence Frascella and Al Weisel (Touchstone, 388 pages, $24.95)

Nicholas Ray had it tough. To make his film "Johnny Guitar," a movie he called "an appalling experience," he had to survive Joan Crawford, whom he called "one of the worst human beings (he had) ever encountered." He probably counted his wife, Gloria Grahame, in that dismal camp; she bedded his 13-year-old son when the lad came to visit and found that pop was not at home. Never again would he look at his son without suspicion, though Ray would himself soon initiate an affair with the underage Natalie Wood.

And all this before the credits even begin to roll. Leafing through the opening of "Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of Making 'Rebel Without a Cause' " -- Us Magazine veterans Lawrence Frascella and Al Weisel's book on the making of Ray's greatest film -- you'd be forgiven for thinking it tabloid gossip, full of sex and sorrow, embarrassment and embitterment. Yet, though there are plenty of steamy tales to follow, their book is an eminently serious, revealing look behind the scenes at a film that seemed ill-fated long before it opened.
Full trade review at http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr..._id=1001570796