IMDb > The Nickel Ride (1974)

The Nickel Ride (1974) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
15 January 1975 (USA) See more »
The Nightmare Was Over... Or Had It Just Begun! See more »
Small-time criminal Cooper manages several warehouses in Los Angeles that the mob use to stash their stolen goods... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Late-noir crime story drips with 70s angst but needs tighter hand at the reins See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jason Miller ... Cooper

Linda Haynes ... Sarah

Victor French ... Paddie

John Hillerman ... Carl

Bo Hopkins ... Turner
Richard Evans ... Bobby
Bart Burns ... Elias
Lou Frizzell ... Paulie
Mark Gordon ... Tonozzi
Harvey Gold ... Chester

Lee de Broux ... Harry
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Nelson Leigh ... (uncredited)
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Directed by
Robert Mulligan 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Eric Roth 

Produced by
David Foster .... executive producer
Robert Mulligan .... producer
Lawrence Turman .... executive producer
Original Music by
Dave Grusin 
Cinematography by
Jordan Cronenweth 
Film Editing by
O. Nicholas Brown 
Art Direction by
Lawrence G. Paull  (as Larry Paull)
Set Decoration by
Jack Stevens 
Makeup Department
Gary Morris .... makeup artist
Production Management
Frank Baur .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jerry Grandey .... second assistant director
Daniel McCauley .... assistant director
Art Department
John Alvin .... poster artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Don J. Bassman .... sound re-recording mixer
Gene S. Cantamessa .... sound recording mixer
Special Effects by
Henry Millar Jr. .... special effects
Craig R. Baxley .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Craig R. Baxley .... stunts (uncredited)
Hal Burton .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Arthur Brooker .... key grip
Gary Holt .... gaffer
Editorial Department
Dick Darling .... assistant film editor
Don Zimmerman .... assistant film editor
Other crew
Marie Kenney .... script supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Selected by Quentin Tarantino for the First Quentin Tarantino Film Fest in Austin, Texas, 1996.See more »
The Nickel Ride ThemeSee more »


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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Late-noir crime story drips with 70s angst but needs tighter hand at the reins, 23 February 2003
Author: bmacv from Western New York

With its murky, monochrome photography and jangly, percussive score, The Nickel Ride could be mistaken as a film from no other decade than the 1970s. That was when the feel and the technique of movies were breaking away from the `well-made' mold enforced by studios over the previous 40 years. Some directors pioneered those changes, helping to freshen film from staled conventions by finding looser, more oblique ways to tell a story; others jumped on the bandwagon, unsure of where it was headed or quite how to get there. Robert Altman was such a pioneer; Robert Mulligan, who directed The Nickel Ride, wasn't.

Like The Friends of Eddie Coyle of two years earlier (for which David Grusin also, as here, wrote the music),The Nickel Ride inhabits the talking-big-but-living-low world of organized crime at its lower strata. Also like Eddie Coyle, it takes as its subject the last-ditch schemes and final days of a loser. Jason Miller plays a small-time operator who has his fingers in a lot of shady pies: fixing fights, middle-manning hot merchandise, even hawking bail bonds. He seems to have a past as a grifter on the carny circuit, where he met his `cracker' wife (Linda Haynes), a hoochie-coochie dancer.

Miller has secured an old commercial site with bays into which trucks can disgorge their hijacked merchandise; he hopes it will become an irresistible depot for stowing contraband. But he keeps getting the runaround from his superior, John Hillerman. Next emerges a `Cadillac cowboy' (Bo Hopkins) who Miller comes to believe has been engaged to kill him. But he falls back on the swagger and bluster that have turned him into a local hero, postures that cut little ice in the ever more impersonal and cutthroat world of crime gone corporate....

Mulligan opts to let his story just sort of happen; unfortunately, we viewers need a little more help. Sorting out the many characters and their relationships becomes a chore, and often, thanks to the abrupt cuts, we don't know where we are or why we're there. And though a large part of the movie's strength is its raffish urban milieu, even that stays unspecific (I thought it took place in lower Manhattan, but it's set and shot in Los Angeles). The Nickel Ride is an existential downer of a mid-70s crime thriller, like Eddie Coyle and Hickey and Boggs. But, unlike The Nickel Ride, that last title (directed by Robert Culp, in his sole directorial outing) brightened its bleak vision with sharper moviemaking skills.

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