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On the Bowery (1956) - Plot Summary Poster

(1956)

Plot Summary

  • At the time of this film, the Bowery was 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 this goal, or whether he is destined to become another Gorman and the legions like Gorman in the Bowery.

    - Written by Huggo
  • A mix of documentary and scripted footage on the Bowery, New York City's skid row. Against a backdrop of men (and a few women) drinking in bars, talking and arguing, and sleeping on sidewalks, we have the story of Ray. He is younger and more vigorous than most on the Bowery. He arrives in Manhattan with a suitcase and a little money in his pocket. On his first night, he drinks himself into a stupor, falls asleep on the sidewalk, and is robbed of his suitcase. Over the next two days, we follow both Ray and the thief, who befriends him. Is there any hope Ray can get out of town and restart a life of work and sobriety, or is he stuck on the Bowery? Can the good thief help?

    - Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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