Cannery Row (1982)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  12 February 1982 (USA)
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Monterey, California in the 1940's. Cannery Row - the section of town where the now closed fish canneries are located - is inhabited primarily by the down and out, although many would not ... See full summary »



(novels), (written for the screen by), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Suzy DeSoto
Fauna Flood
Tom Mahoney ...
John Malloy ...
Sunshine Parker ...
The Seer
Santos Morales ...
Joseph and Mary
Narrator (voice)
Ellen Blake ...
Sharon Ernster ...
Mary Margaret Amato ...


Monterey, California in the 1940's. Cannery Row - the section of town where the now closed fish canneries are located - is inhabited primarily by the down and out, although many would not move away even if they could. Probably the most upstanding citizen in the area is Doc, a marine biologist who earns a living primarily by collecting and selling marine specimens for research. He is a lost soul who is looking for his place in life. He is running away from his past, one where he is trying to make amends for what he considers a past wrong. But his current life isn't totally satisfying either. He believes that his recent collection of eight baby octopi will help him define that future in conducting research on their behavior. However, he is finding that research is not as easy as he had hoped, and that he is still feeling restless. Into the area comes drifter Suzy DeSoto. She too is a lost soul. With few job skills, she gets a job as what she calls a floozy in the local whorehouse, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You don't have to be crazy to live here...but it helps.


Comedy | Drama


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 February 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Steinbeck's Cannery Row  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Reportedly, this film adaptation drew harsh criticism from the John Steinbeck estate. See more »


When Mack sits down at the open upright piano and starts playing during the final party scene, none of the hammers - which are clearly visible - move. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: [voice over] Cannery Row has never been like anywhere else. For one thing, its people are different. When the town died off, most of them failed to notice. Some say nobody would live here if they didn't have to, but there are some, like The Seer, who wouldn't live anywhere else, even if they could. Of all the people on Cannery Row, Doc is probably the best known. He makes as good a living as he needs by collecting marine animals and selling them to colleges and museums. Over the ...
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


Music by Bob Haggart and Ray Bauduc
Lyrics by Gil Rodin and Bob Crosby
Performed by Bob Crosby and the Bobcats
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Beautifully human performances
10 January 2003 | by (KCMO) – See all my reviews

The cast of this fine movie have better ensemble chemistry than possibly any cast I can remember. Everyone looks like they belong in their roles.

Whether or not they captured the two books exactly really isn't the point. The movie creates a perfect atmosphere for the events, and Huston's narration actually adds to, rather than detracts from the performances (something I find very rare in narrated films).

Nick Nolte is good in almost anything, and he plays the role of Doc with the patience of a man who really doesn't quite belong where he is, but who has decided to stay, anyway.

I think the finest performance in the film, however, is Frank McRae as Hazel, the childlike giant. He plays the role with a sweetness and earnestness that make the character totally believable. His reaction to being cursed with the Presidency, and his slightly-befuddled researching of the problem of how to get Doc and Suzy back together are priceless.

One more tiny detail that I thought really made the movie, for me: everybody singles out the frog hunt scene as a favorite, and I would agree for the most part. But I prefer the aftermath: the frog currency system and the night of the fight when the whole mob of frogs are accidentally set loose on Cannery Row. After that scene, you can hear frogs peeping away for the rest of the movie.

This is one for the DVD collection, and I agree with the reviewer who lamented the lack of an available soundtrack.

Wonderful film.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why does this great film get such a bad rap? jack_north
How Did This One Get Away? churei
Where's the DVD? mmavodo1
still no dvd? dinotom17
should be called SWEET THURSDAY mothfodder
I think DeForest Kelley is in this film knsevy
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