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Ray Nazarro

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Ray Nazarro
Raymond Alfred Nazarro

(1902-09-25)September 25, 1902
DiedSeptember 8, 1986(1986-09-08) (aged 83)
OccupationFilm and television director, producer, screenwriter
Years active1929-1964

Ray Nazarro (aka "Ray" and "Nat;" Raymond Alfred Nazarro; September 25, 1902 – September 8, 1986) was an American film and television director, producer, and screenwriter. Budd Boetticher called him a "ten day picture guy".[1]


Born in Boston, Nazarro entered the movie business during the silent era. He initially worked in two-reelers, honing an approach to filmmaking that was quick, lean and eminently desirable—to producers,[according to whom?] at least—before he became a feature film director at Columbia Pictures, beginning with Outlaws of the Rockies (1945).

Nazarro did the vast majority of his work for Columbia, and was one of the busiest directors on the lot of any major studio—from 1945-55 he worked at a furious pace, directing as many as 13 pictures in one year. These were almost all B-westerns, made very quickly but with some polish. They were lean and uncluttered—a technique he learned in his years directing shorts—with an emphasis on action but also a serious elegiac view of the west. Among them were Al Jennings of Oklahoma (1951) and The Black Dakotas (1954).

In 1952, Navarro received an Academy Award nomination for Academy Award for Best Story for Bullfighter and the Lady. Budd Boetticher, who had been a bullfighter, told his life story to Nazarro when he was working for him as an assistant director. Boetticher says he wrote it down and Nazarro typed it up and sold the project to Dore Schary at MGM. Boetticher says this is why Nazarro has credit.[1]

The same year, his contract with Columbia ended,[2] having made around 60 films for them.[3] He next made Gun Belt for United Artists and followed that with The Bandits of Corsica, also for UA, and Kansas Pacific for Allied Artists Pictures,[3] although both were released before Gun Belt. He continued making films for UA and Columbia until 1958's Apache Territory.[3] He also made The Hired Gun (1957) for MGM.[3]

At the end of the 1950s, with the market for B-westerns drying up in America, Nazarro restarted his career in Europe, making spaghetti westerns. He also began working in television. His last film was the German-made Jayne Mansfield thriller Dog Eat Dog, released in 1964.

Nazarro died on September 8, 1986, and is buried in Chapel of the Pines Crematory.

Selected filmography

Year Film Notes
1932 Runt Page Credited as Raymond Nazarro; Short film
1934 Jimmy the Gent Writer, story "The Heir Chaser"
1935 Roaring Roads as Reymond Nazarro
1945 Outlaws of the Rockies
1945 Song of the Prairie
1945 Texas Panhandle
1946 Roaring Rangers
1946 Throw a Saddle on a Star
1946 Gunning for Vengeance
1946 Galloping Thunder
1946 That Texas Jamboree
1946 Two-Fisted Stranger
1946 The Desert Horseman
1946 Cowboy Blues
1946 Heading West
1946 Singing on the Trail
1946 Terror Trail
1946 Lone Star Moonlight
1947 Over the Santa Fe Trail
1947 The Lone Hand Texan
1947 West of Dodge City
1947 Law of the Canyon
1947 Buckaroo from Powder River
1947 Last Days of Boot Hill
1947 Rose of Santa Rosa
1948 Six-Gun Law
1948 Phantom Valley
1948 Song of Idaho
1948 West of Sonora
1948 Blazing Across the Pecos
1948 The Arkansas Swing
1948 Trail of Larado
1948 Singin' Spurs
1948 El Dorado Pass
1948 Quick on the Trigger
1948 Smoky Mountain Melody
1949 Challenge of the Range
1949 Home in San Antone
1949 Laramie
1949 The Blazing Trail
1949 South of Death Valley
1949 Bandits of El Dorado
1949 Renegades of the Sage
1950 Trail of the Rustlers
1950 The Palomino
1950 Outcast of Black Mesa
1950 Texas Dynamo
1950 Hoedown
1950 David Harding, Counterspy
1950 Streets of Ghost Town
1950 The Tougher They Come
1950 Frontier Outpost
1951 Al Jennings of Oklahoma
1951 Flame of Stamboul
1951 Fort Savage Raiders
1951 China Corsair
1951 Cyclone Fury
1951 The Kid from Amarillo
1952 Indian Uprising
1952 Laramie Mountains
1952 Montana Territory
1952 The Rough, Tough West
1952 Cripple Creek
1952 Junction City
1953 Kansas Pacific First film released by another studio (Allied Artists) after contract with Columbia ended
1953 The Bandits of Corsica Second film made for United Artists
1953 Gun Belt First film made (for United Artists) since leaving Columbia
1954 Southwest Passage
1954 The Lone Gun
1954 The Black Dakotas
1955 Top Gun
1956 The White Squaw
1957 The Phantom Stagecoach
1957 The Hired Gun Made for MGM
1957 Domino Kid
1958 Return to Warbow
1958 Apache Territory Last US made film
1964 Dog Eat Dog
Year Title Notes
1951 The Range Rider Unknown episodes
1954–1956 Annie Oakley 14 episodes
1955 Buffalo Bill, Jr. 8 episodes
1955–1960 Fury 8 episodes, produced two episodes
1959 Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer 3 episodes

Award nominations

Year Award Result Category Film
1952 Academy Award Nominated Best Writing, Motion Picture Story Bullfighter and the Lady (Shared with Budd Boetticher)


  1. ^ a b Budd Boetticher: The Last Interview Wheeler, Winston Dixon. Film Criticism; Meadville Vol. 26, Iss. 3, (Spring 2002): 52-0_3.
  2. ^ Finler, Joel W. (April 2, 1992), The Hollywood Story (Second ed.), Mandarin, p. 458, ISBN 0-7493-0637-8
  3. ^ a b c d "Obituaries: Ray Nazarro". Variety. October 29, 1986. p. 190.

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