On the Nickel, 1980 - ★★★

On the Nickel, 1980 - ★★★


"You look like you were eaten by an eagle and shat over a cliff."

- Random chubby toothless hobo. (???)

Elderly Sam's been sober for 18 months. Only keeping that way living rough in LA is proving a tough prospect, when everyone around him are alcoholics.

On the Nickel written, directed and co-staring Ralph Waite (whose fondly remembered as the father in The Walton's). Its pretty tragic this 1980 tragicomic drama about the daily lives of an eccentric bunch of homeless alcoholic bums living rough on the streets of LA, isn't better thought of. Because its a real free spirited, unique take on hitting skidrow. Donald Moffat (who must have the 2nd most famous eyebrows in show business after Brooke Shields) as Sam seems a little hard to accept as being a down and out, but he does put a good turn in. Ralph Waite as the clinical drunk deadbeat C.G. is a real revelation (nothing like his Waltons character), apparently he confessed to having a serious drink problem so I guess he new how to dig deep. The other cast members are also noteworthy, some probably even being authentic toothless bums. It does preach a tad towards drink abstinence, but never for long enough to hamper it being an entertaining film. It almost felt like 'Street Trash' on occasion, only with hobos that burst into song after drinking wine, instead of bodymelting.

[Personal Reasons For Remembering]

C.J. and Rose (Penelope Allen) doing Waltzing Matilda. Penelope Allen seemed genuinely on edge at times. Chainsaw lunacy. Hal Williams not even gods takin' my wine monologue.

Originally taken from Letterboxd

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