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 »
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.
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Written and Performed by Don McLean
Courtesy of United Artists Records See more »
Edge of Your Seat Thriller
"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.
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