About Ray Bennett

“When you are on a cliff edge but you don’t know it’s a cliff edge, it gives you perfect confidence.” – Orson Welles

Hello, this is Ray Bennett writing from London on movies, television, theatre, music, media and more. You might have seen my stories, features and reviews for many years in The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets around the world as they were syndicated by the Reuters news agency. Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and other aggregators also flagged my reviews.

Ray Bennett 16-1-2016For more than a decade, I was a regular at the Festival de Cannes, along with the festivals in Berlin, Venice, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, Edinburgh, and London. I made it to the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival once and I have been very glad to be back at the Toronto International Film Festival for the past five years. I’ve covered music at MIDEM and television at MIP.

I reviewed major music concerts such as “Live 8,” “Concert for Diana,” and Led Zeppelin. I attend the Krakow Film Music Festival each year and the World Soundtrack Awards at the Ghent Film Festival in Belgium.

I’ve been editor, writer, reporter, and critic covering the entertainment business on major monthly and weekly magazines, and big-city dailies in the United States, Canada and my native England throughout my long career.  I covered US and Canadian film, television and music from the vantage point of The Windsor Star, across the river from Detroit. I was Managing Editor of TV Guide Canada and Arts & Entertainment Editor at both the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Los Angeles Daily News; also Senior Editor of Video Digest, Editor of Satellite Orbit and West Coast Bureau Chief of Entertainment Weekly.

Long associated with The Hollywood Reporter, I was Managing Editor of Special Issues in Los Angeles, European Bureau Chief based in London, and I worked as editor and critic on The Hollywood Reporter Dailies in Cannes and critic for the Berlin and Toronto THR dailies. Also, I was senior editor and correspondent for the UK home entertainment trade monthly Cue Entertainment.

I started out as a trainee reporter on the Gravesend Reporter in Kent, England, and then worked for the entertainment weekly Where To Go In London. In Canada, I was a reporter at the Brampton Daily Times and a feature writer and columnist at the Sudbury Star before I joined The Windsor Star.

I’ve written for the Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, US Magazine, Penthouse, Variety, Maclean’s, the Bookseller, Inside Books, Marquee Magazine, the British Journalism Review, and many more. I’ve been on BBC-TV, Channel 4, Channel 5, CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, PBS and BBC Radio’s “Woman’s Hour.”

I am a member of the Critics’ Circle in London in both the film and drama sections, and  a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

I am very fond of standing stones, burial mounds, iron-age forts, abbeys, old buildings and ruined castles. Only in England would they put up a sign like the one at Tintagel Castle in my photo on the home page. But it serves for all in the entertainment business because everyone is always on the precipice of success or failure.

These are dispatches from The Cliff Edge.

20 Responses to About Ray Bennett

  1. Peter David Sabean says:

    Hi Ray,
    Many years ago we both attended Victoria Road School, I did contact you a while ago, I was looking up old friends, but you didn’t remember me.
    Good to see you looking so well, I am also in my prime, just two weeks ago my wife and I left UK to live on Vancouver Island BC, we heard they are looking for young settlers.
    Hope this message finds you well, all the best Pete

  2. Aaron Poole says:

    Hi Ray!

    We met in Karlovy Vary years ago over Ed’s film This Beautiful City. Had a quick question and email request. Drop me a line if you get a chance! Hope you are well,

    Best wishes-


  3. Ann Gascoine says:

    Long time no hear, hope all well. Happy Birthday!

  4. rachel says:

    Hi Ray, just to check what is the best email address for you?



  5. Al Strachan says:

    I’m in London and free on Thursday and Friday. Would love to meet for a pint if you’re in town.

  6. Dianne Agnew says:

    Hello friend…going to be in Britain late August, early September…itinerary incomplete at this time…will you be available for a visit and a couple of cold ones?…will let you know what our (sister ) plans are as soon as I know..luv di

  7. dave hall says:

    I am a regular reader…good to see you are still having fun at. I, meanwhile, have retired from the Star which, by the way, you would barely recognize. Brampton Times is sure name from the past …. 1969 to 1974 in my case.
    Any way cheers

    Dave Hall

  8. Carol Kennedy says:

    Hi Ray, Crol here. My friend Mark Hagen (Producer at Radio 2 – Rich and Judy know him) would like to get in touch with you. Can you text or em me your email address please? My mobile is 07722 142051

    Hope you are well! x

  9. Permission Request Oxford Literature Companions: Hamlet by William Shakespeare

    The Education Division of Oxford University Press is preparing the above title in the Oxford Literature Companions series for publication in February 2017. These books have been written for students, to support study of a range of set texts for English A Level, covering topics such as plot, characters, themes, etc.
    On behalf of the author of the Companion, Annie Fox, and the publisher, I would therefore like to request permission to reproduce the extracts detailed below in this Companion.
    The book will be an 112 page paperback and will be released with an initial print run of 1500 copies for sale at £8.99. A further release of 2000 copies over the following 2 years is planned making a total print run of 3,500. I require non-exclusive World English language rights excluding North America in print and digital formats to cover sales as an identical e-book.
    If you are unable to grant the rights I require and I have to apply elsewhere please let me know.

    Thank you in advance
    Connie Robertson
    Freelance Permissions Consultant

    MATERIAL TO BE USED in the Companion to Hamlet

    Ray Bennett: ‘Empty’ a review of Hamlet at the National Theatre, London
    as published in Hollywood Reporter, 10/14/2010
    extract of 32 words [describing the set design]
    “a claustrophobic panelled set with many halls and windows, so that in every scene, men wearing suits with ear pieces and wrist microphones lurk like Secret Service men bent on no good”.

  10. Kirk Honeycutt says:

    Hey Ray,
    Want to get in touch but don’t have your email. We’re coming to London early next month and want to see you.

  11. David Manson says:

    I was a journo on the Brampton Times in Ontario when Ray turned up almost straight off the UK boat looking for a reporter’s job. He had already written features for the Toronto Telegram and I was in awe. Over the decades we both progressed onwards and upwards and met for a pint in London around 15 years ago. I was still in awe of a larger than life character. Great company, lovely writer. Time for another chat mate.

  12. Yvonne says:

    Hi Ray we both worked at the Toronto Star in the 70’s and I think we had a date or two.
    Hope life has been good you.
    Drop me a line if you can.

  13. Inona Gay Gennings-Joiner says:

    Hi there. Have fond memories of eating Falafels at Tiger’s in Kensington Market after the show at the El Mocambo. You weren’t a fan of the falafel then.

  14. Marla says:

    Hello Ray,

    I have just recently become aware of Charlie Rich and – as the time post indicates – have spent many early morning hours learning more about this incredibly talented, sensitive artist. Artist in the true sense of the word. That you knew him as a father in law was quite remarkable, as I read your article noting what would have been Charlie’s 90th birthday. As I listen to his music – particularly the album Pictures and Paintings – I can just imagine his presence. I too greatly appreciate his shyness. It is that quality that seems to open people’s hearts to him.

  15. Rory Calhoun says:

    Hello Ray,

    I was doing a search and somehow came across a page on your website from 8.8.2022 when on the occasion of his 100th birthday you recalled an interview you did with Rory Calhoun in 1982. I am his daughter, and I enjoyed reading it. You must have had him on tape because you’ve captured his voice, and I can hear him. The stories you relate are ones I’m familiar with, unlike a lot of stuff I’ve read over the years. Thanks for the smiles. Cheers, Rory

  16. Pat says:

    Thanks for this.

    I’m a late-comer to Lancaster fandom but I just finished going through everything I could find online with a fine-toothed comb. The Leopard was too poor in quality and the voice they dubbed Lancaster with was atrocious; the dubbing in The Skin and Conversation Piece was much better. I wrote reviews of the films I found on Internet Archive, things nobody else carries. What an amazing performer he was, right from Desert Fury on. I’ve come to appreciate how he pushed Hollywood to change instead of taking whatever it dished out, as well as his humanitarian work.

    Anyway thanks for the article

  17. Craig says:

    Loved your rollerball piece, which I, having been interested in whether there was a connection between the film and ice hockey, googled rollerball and ice hockey.
    Duh. (And there was!) By the way, the original six NHL teams included Detroit, but not Vancouver.

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