***SPOILERS*** Hitting the bottom of the barrel or bottle down and out alcoholic Sam Dingam, J.D Cannon, is now down to drinking wood alcohol mixed, to give it a extra blast, paint killer to get himself high on the streets of lower Manhattan. It's Sam's girlfriend for some 20 years and 7,500, some one a day, bottles the homeless Molly Cavanough, Maureen Stapleton, who's desperately seeking aid from the city's social services to help get Sam dried out and medicated before he ends up dead and buried in Potters Field. Of course it's the star of the series the kind hearted and gentle as well as understanding social worker Neil Block, George C. Scott, who against his better judgment tries to get the homeless couple, Sam & Molly, on welfare to keep them off the streets as the bitter New York winter is about to set in.
With Brock doing everything he could to get the two shelter and eligible for a monthly welfare and food stamp check Sam refuses to go alone in him shearing a dilapidated rat & roach infested hut on the waterfront with his fellow alcoholics Billy & Harry, John Karlen & Tom Aherane. The three spend their time panhandling on the streets and pestering people in order to give then a dime or quarter to buy their daily bottle of booze even knowing in the end it will end up killing them. That's what happened to Harry who drops dead after taking his last, a mixture of wood alcohol and drain cleaner, swig!
***SPOILERS*** With the kindly and unselfish Block giving Molly his last dollar, you know he's got to eat too, for a room at the Bowery's El Cheapo Hotel her attempts to get Sam to join her are anything but successful. It's after the booze starts to take affect on Sam where he can't even drink or get it down that he finally gives in and takes his medicine, a hot square meal and bath as well as room, with Block making sure that he doesn't use the money he gave him to get himself drunk. Now on welfare and food stamps the two lovebirds Sam & Molly are on the road to recovery. That with extra help from the new installed President of the USA LBJ who's soon to announced his what turned out to be, after some 50 years in the future, disastrous "War on Poverty" not that far, like within some 30 days after this episode was broadcast, away.
P.S Part of this "East/Side West/Side" episode was filmed on that tragic day, Noverber 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas. That left actress Maureen Stapleton so distraught that it had to be suspended for the day in her being unable to keep her mind off what happened and be at the same time able to act in it!
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