Ron Rice  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Ron Rice (1935, New York City - 1964, Mexico) was an American experimental filmmaker.

Rice collaborated with future Warhol superstar Taylor Mead for two films, including his first, and most famous film, The Flower Thief, completed in 1960. The no budget film was produced in 1959 for less than $1,000, using 16mm 50' film cartridges left over from aerial gunnery equipment used during World War II, which was donated to Rice by Hollywood producer Sam Katzman.

Rice says of the film, "In the old Hollywood movie days studios would keep a man on the set who, when all other sources of ideas failed (writers, directors) was called upon to 'cook up' something for filming. He was called The Wild Man. The Flower Thief has been put together in memory of all the dead wild men who died unnoticed in the field of stunt." (1). Rice also worked with underground filmmaker Jack Smith, who appears in Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man with Taylor Mead, and in Chumlum. Rice was inspired to make Chumlum while working with Smith on the props for Smith's film Normal Love. The film also stars Mario Montez, the star of both of Smith's films as well as several of Andy Warhol's films, and Warhol superstar Gerard Malanga.

Rice's films can still be rented from The Film-Makers' Cooperative. His work paved the way for other experimental filmmakers of the 1960's, including the Kuchar brothers. All but forgotten today, Rice was a major figure of the New American Cinema, and his deeply personal, anarchic films are the work of a true cinematic visionary. More information about Ron Rice's work can be found in Wheeler Winston Dixon's book The Exploding Eye, a history of experimental film in the 1960s.

The Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man

"The film describes, poetically, a way of living. The film is a protest which is violent, childish, and sincere-a protest against an industrial world based on the cycle of production and consumption." --Albert Moravia, Rome L'Espresso.


  • Chumlum (1964)
  • Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man (1963)
  • Senseless (1962)
  • The Flower Thief (1960)

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