Emmet Ray Is Not Real

I just finished watching Sweet and Lowdown for the second time. I was never quite sure after seeing it the first time whether anyone named Emmet Ray, the second greatest guitar player in the world, ever existed. If he did actually exist, it was pretty obvious that a lot of the movie was embellished, but I still thought it was possible that it was based on a real, though relatively unknown person.

But, no, Woody Allen is a filthy liar. There was no Emmet Ray, Sean Penn didn’t actually play the guitar, and Uma Thurman didn’t really have sexual relations with Anthony LaPaglia. Actually, I’m not sure about that last one.

The real guitarist is Howard Alden. Sean Penn played the euphonium in the Ridgemont High school band, but never the guitar. Anthony LaPaglia is not actually a mafia enforcer. Actually, I’m not sure about that last one.

17 Responses to “Emmet Ray Is Not Real”

  1. diego 16 years, 5 months ago ...

    i agree with you ,I was looking up emmett ray because I happen to be a django rinehart fan but there is no emmet ray …what a rip

  2. Patrick Carroll 16 years, 5 months ago ...

    I am amazed that people actually believed that Emmet Ray existed BEFORE they found out the facts!!! That, my friends is pure, stupid carelessness. We all know that if you are ignorant about any subject, you must VALIDATE it by REASONABLE SOURCES before you make a conclusion.

    The artistic and creative level to create such a story is on a plane of genius. It appears that Woody has duped you all, my friends!!!!!


    p.s-How did they find such a weird being to play the role of ‘Gollum’ in lord of the rings??

  3. Kigr 16 years, 5 months ago ...

    Hey Patrick, why should we not assume that he did not exist? the format of the film clearly suggests that he does. Many of the incidents in the film are clearly fictional but this is no reason to suggest that the genuine character did not exist.

    It seems that the above two people tried to ‘validate’ the subject by finding out about the character and the conclusion they both reached was wholly accurate. The fact that they were both disheartened by this conclusion is no basis to call them fools.

    So before you get on your ‘intellectual’ high horse and start spouting statemnets about ‘stupid carelessness’ you should think about your own ignorance.


  4. Jake 16 years, 3 months ago ...

    Yeah I was pretty much dooped myself. Just got off the phone with my uncle and told him to check this emmet ray out cause he’s totally amazing. Boy is my face red. If anybody wants to check out a guitarist that is awesome (and real), then check out Tommy Emmanuel. Peace

  5. id 16 years, 1 month ago ...

    This format is something of a standard for Woody Allen. He’s done several films using a documentary format. That’s the only element in the films that gives the featured characters a sense of having existed in reality. Period costuming, props and settings along with real world historian commentary add to the suggestive nature of the films.

    To call Woody Allen a liar is a bit over the top. He is by no means the first, nor even the only, director to use this approach. Orson Wells does it in Citizen Kane by way of newsreels at the start of that great film and no one would think of calling him a liar.

    Spinal Tap is another. Following the exploits of a rock group that never existed in the most real sense of existence.

    I understand how anyone who has a passion for a certain area of popular music might become enthused to learn more about anything so fetching as a Django Reinhart wannbe forgotten by time, but I have to agree with Patrick’s position that learning that Emmet never existed amounts to nothing more than learning that Woody Allen is a pretty good story teller.


  6. underwaterguy 16 years, 1 month ago ...

    In case it wasn’t obvious, I wasn’t seriously accusing Woody Allen of being a filthy liar.
    Other things I wasn’t serious about include:
    – my accusation that Uma Thurman had sex with Anthony LaPaglia
    – my assertion that Sean Penn plays the euphonium
    – my assertion that Sean Penn attended Ridgemont High
    – my accusation that Anthony LaPaglia is a mafia enforcer
    – my accusation that Patrick Carroll is a major douche bag

    Actually, I was serious about that last one.

  7. Stackerm 15 years, 5 months ago ...

    I know that Django existed and thats all I,m really bothered about.I just wonder if Woody Allen is as honest about his private life!!!!!

  8. Juan Felipe 15 years, 1 month ago ...

    Everyone on this blog is ghey.

  9. underwaterguy 15 years, 1 month ago ...

    I suppose you’re right…

    OMG! That means YOU are ghey!


  10. Pedro 13 years, 1 month ago ...

    Actually, Emmet Ray did exist. But not much is known about him, only the stories. You can read about it in Jazz encyclopedias. Here’s a quick link:

  11. underwaterguy 13 years, 1 month ago ...

    Don’t believe everything you read on IMDB (or in the “Encyclopedia of Obscure Jazz Artists” for that matter.) Be especially careful of sources attributed to “Mirage Press.”

  12. Django 12 years, 3 months ago ...

    Welcome to art. Art explores ideas and let’s the person who experiences it draw their own conclusion. Woody Allen is no more a liar than Steven Spielberg is for making Saving Private Ryan. Did you also believe that Captain Miller and Private Ryan also existed? Well if you did, I am going to break your and tell you that they are also “fiction”.

  13. JEFFREY MAJOR 5 years, 11 months ago ...

    Read in credits:-+ “The story, all names, characters and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons, living or dead, places, buildings, or products is intended or should be inferred.”

  14. Lou dog 4 years, 7 months ago ...

    Do y’all need a hug? So many hurt feelings on here. Hey anybody wanna go shoot some rats?

  15. Ruby Hood 4 years, 7 months ago ...

    I believe emmet ray is pure fiction.
    Here is some indication on that when using google books word occurences:
    Emmet Ray
    Compare with Django Reinhardt.
    If Emmet as really a genius, someone would have written about him during his ifetime!
    It’s hard to believe that the only remaining thing would be mouth to mouth stories.

  16. John Passmore 1 year, 11 months ago ...

    I just watched Sweet and Lowdown after reading Woody Allen’s autobiography and discovering all the films I never knew he had made. After seeing it, I really believed that Emmet Ray had existed – and when I looked him up on Wikipedia, I must say, I was disappointed to find that he did not. But I don’t blame Allen for making such a convincing film. Cinema is make-believe, for heaven’s sake. Blurring truth with fiction is what makes it so magical. Have a sense of proportion, people.

  17. James 1 year, 11 months ago ...

    Hey, I know it’s not what you genius want. But could Mr. Ray have been a portrait of Django? He is Django and indeed, I believe he comments on how he plays even better? That’s how I looked at this picture. I see the story of the greatest guitar player in history!
    Great movie…

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