The Bowery is a neighborhood in New York City populated largely by the down and out, and largely by transients. Those that can work generally can only find short term employment on a day to... See full summary »
The Bowery is a neighborhood in New York City populated largely by the down and out, and largely by transients. Those that can work generally can only find short term employment on a day to day basis, their daily earnings which primarily go into booze. Those that can't or won't work generally sponge off whoever they can, especially for that next drink. New to the neighborhood is Ray, who most recently had been working the rails in New Jersey. He is one of those who can and still does work, but like the others spends what little money he has on booze, which means he usually sleeps on the streets in a drunken stupor. The only person he would probably consider a friend in the neighborhood is the elderly Gorman, who in turn takes advantage of his new friend at whatever opportunity. When he's sober, Ray understands that alcohol is ruining his life, and as such states that he will try to stop drinking. The questions become whether Ray has either the will or the support necessary to fulfill ... Written by
A 60-minute semi-documentary (some scripting) of life on New York's notorious Bowery.
Thanks TCM for reviving this slice of exotica for a general audience, and thanks fred3f for the edifying comments. Even now, so many years later, the film is still compelling. The faces, oh my, the faces! They're a road map of life in the raw, so unlike the cosmetics of Hollywood and Vine. So just grab a slab of sidewalk and sleep it off. Or spend the night blustering across a table with other drunks. But whatever you do, always guard your back.
For a Midwestern geezer like me used to the Hollywood product of the 50's, a film like this comes from another planet. To think there was a guy (Rogosin) working hard in the upscale 50's on a look at the subterranean America everyone else ignored is astonishing. What he's left us with is a record of permanent insight. Nevertheless, I'm skipping that next glass of wine, and from now on, I'll be making my bed with loving care.
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