Heartfelt, non-righteous, ironically funny look at skid-row life in Los Angeles.
On The Nickle is a thoroughly forgotten film which I was lucky enough to tape from the "Z Channel" (now defunct) in Los Angeles many years ago. The brainchild of actor Ralph Waite (of Waltons), it was independently made on a very low budget. In it, Waite manages to balance the tragedy of skid-row life with humor and irony, and in spite of an easy, fellini-esque ending, tells a moving story of a man (Donald Moffat) a former alcoholic and skid row dweller, struggling to "put his demons to rest" as he searches the "Nickle" (Fifth Street) for his old pal, C.G., played by Ralph Waite. The movie is bookended by the Tom Waits song, "On The Nickle", presumably written for the movie, and has a score that quotes the song frequently. Maybe the Independent Film Channel will consider running it.
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