Who'll Stop the Rain (1978)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  8 September 1978 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,774 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 22 critic

Vietnam veteran Ray Hicks gets conned into helping his buddy John Converse smuggle some heroin, only to wind up on the lam with John's wife when the deal goes sour.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marge Converse
Ray Sharkey ...
Eddie Peace
David Opatoshu ...
Angel (as Joaquin Martinez)
James Cranna ...
Timothy Blake ...
Shelby Balik ...
Jean Howell ...
José Carlos Ruiz ...
Galindez (as Jose Carlos Ruiz)


Vietnam veteran Ray Hicks gets conned into helping his buddy John Converse smuggle some heroin, only to wind up on the lam with John's wife when the deal goes sour. Written by Alan Sepinwall <sepinwal@mail.sas.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Try to rip him off and he'll rip you apart! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 September 1978 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Dog Soldiers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Some DVD copies of the film under the title "Who'll Stop the Rain" actually house the version of the print under its alternate title of "Dog Soldiers". See more »


John Converse: [as Danskin retches with exhaustion] You okay?
Danskin: I could beat you to death, you know that?
John Converse: Absolutely!
See more »


Referenced in True Romance (1993) See more »


Performed by Slim Whitman
Courtesy of United Artists Records
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User Reviews

Very depressing but powerful anti-war tale, despite being occasionally muddled
9 March 2008 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

1978 saw the release of many anti-Vietnam films. While both "Coming Home" and "The Deer Hunter" were big successes commercially and critically, "Who'll Stop the Rain" was unfortunately overlooked for some reason, which is a shame. Despite being set in America and marketed originally as an action thriller, its an effective portrayal of the mental strain of veterans returning from the horrific war. Its not completely successful - occasionally the screenplay is a bit muddled and sometimes the treatment of such disturbing material is too genteel. Still, the story is so compelling it manages to nail its point home by the end. The conclusion in particular is downbeat to the point of sheer nihilism.

What makes the film work so well, in addition to a good script, is the acting. All around, the entire cast gives fantastic performances. There's not a single weak note in the ensemble. Nick Nolte, an often ridiculed performer, shows he can be a remarkably powerful actor if he applies himself. Tuesday Weld is not as glamorous as she usually is, which helps her create one of her most compelling roles. Michael Moriarty is good also as the morally ambiguous character who manages to be sympathetic by the end. The villains in the cast are all unlikable but also well developed, especially the two thugs who show signs of changing their hearts. The direction by Karel Reisz isn't anything masterful on an aesthetic level, but it definitely gets the job done. "Who'll Stop the Rain" is a powerful and intelligent film, a kind of movie that would only be released by a mainstream studio in the 70s and would be extinct in the next decade of American cinema being overrun and dumbed down by Jerry Bruckenheimer. (8/10)

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