40 user 32 critic

Who'll Stop the Rain (1978)

2:14 | Trailer
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.


Karel Reisz


Robert Stone (novel), Judith Rascoe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Ray Hicks
Tuesday Weld ... Marge Converse
Michael Moriarty ... John Converse
Anthony Zerbe ... Antheil
Richard Masur ... Danskin
Ray Sharkey ... Smitty
Gail Strickland ... Charmian
Charles Haid ... Eddie Peace
David Opatoshu ... Bender
Joaquín Martínez ... Angel (as Joaquin Martinez)
James Cranna James Cranna ... Gerald
Timothy Blake Timothy Blake ... Jody
Shelby Balik Shelby Balik ... Janey
Jean Howell Jean Howell ... Edna
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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The scene on the railroad tracks is a reference to the final adventure in Mexico of beatnik figure Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac's inspiration for Dean Moriarty in "On the Road". Author Robert Stone had traveled with Cassady and Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters. Furthermore, Nick Nolte was in the midst of extensive research on Cassady for his portrayal in the film Heart Beat (1980). See more »


As Ray starts driving from Oakland to Los Angeles, he turns on the radio and a song starts to play. There is a fade edit to denote the passage of time, yet the song continues playing uninterrupted even though after the fade the car is passing Santa Clarita (about a five hour drive from Oakland). See more »


Eddie Peace: You nickel and dime asshole. Don't you dare threaten me with violence. You're way out of your league here, Jack. You're not selling grass to college girls down here.
See more »


Referenced in Nick Nolte: No Exit (2008) See more »


Written and Performed by Don McLean
Courtesy of United Artists Records
See more »

User Reviews

Edge of Your Seat Thriller
14 January 2002 | by bsmith5552See all my reviews

"Who'll Stop the Rain" is an edge of your seat thriller set during the Viet Nam war. It features one of the early successes of Nick Nolte.

The story opens in Viet Nam where a burnt out reporter (Michael Moriarity) tries to make some easy money by smuggling two kilos of heroin (rather than his usual marijuana) to the U.S. He enlists as his currier Nolte who is somewhat reluctant at first but agrees. Nolte shows up at Moriarity's home to collect his fee from Moriarity's wife (Tuesday Weld) and then the fun begins. Two bogus federal agents (Richard Mazur, Ray Sharkey) begin to lay claim to the smack. They are joined later in the chase by their boss, a corrupt federal agent (Anthony Zerbe).

The performances are top notch all around. Nolte is suitably macho in one of his first big roles. Weld is overwhelmed by the events but soon gives in to Nolte's plans. Moriarity is also good as the naive husband who thinks he can make a quick buck to compensate him for the horrors he has experienced in Viet Nam. Mazur and Sharkey are outstanding as the brutal sadistic heavies and Zerbe is as slimey as ever as the chief baddie.

The Nolte character is somewhat of a mystery (at least to me). Who is he? What is he doing in Viet Nam? Is he a soldier of fortune, a mercenary? or what? He has a run down shack in Los Angeles where he has buried an assault rifle. In Arizona he has an elaborate mountain top hideaway complete with an amphitheater and loudspeakers that play Hank Jones music. None of this is explained to my satisfaction.

What the movie does have is a good story great acting and an entertaining soundtrack featuring Creedence Clearwater Revival.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 40 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:






Release Date:

23 August 1978 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Who'll Stop the Rain See more »

Filming Locations:

Oakland, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$5,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Katzka-Jaffe See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed