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Who'll Stop The Rain

By Donald Liebenson

Following the success of The Deep, in which he costarred with Jacqueline Bisset's wet T-shirt, Nick Nolte gummed up the star-maker machinery by recasting himself from sex symbol to commanding character actor with this unrelentingly bleak, fatalistic post-Vietnam thriller based on Robert Stone's book Dog Soldiers. Nolte gives a ferocious performance as Ray Hicks, a Nietzche-reading merchant marine who reluctantly agrees to carry into the United States two keys of heroin for his friend, John Converse (a superb Michael Moriarty), a disillusioned journalist. Ray and John are "way out of their league," as a corrupt narcotics agent (Anthony Zerbe) sends two goons (the late, great Ray Sharkey, and Richard Masur, cast against type as a scuzzy psychopath) to hijack the heroin. Ray is forced to go on the run with John's anguished, pill-popping wife (Tuesday Weld in one of her best performances). A buried treasure, this is the kind of intense and uncompromising film that Nolte appeared in later in his notoriously roller-coaster career.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Karel Reisz

Stars: Nick Nolte, Tuesday Weld, Michael Moriarty, Anthony Zerbe, Richard Masur, Ray Sharkey, David Opatoshu, Gail Strickland, Charles Haid

Released: August 3, 1978

Availability: DVD VHS


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