57 user 13 critic

Cannery Row (1982)

3:06 | Trailer
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 »


David S. Ward


John Steinbeck (novels), David S. Ward (written for the screen by)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Doc
Debra Winger ... Suzy DeSoto
Audra Lindley ... Fauna Flood
Frank McRae ... Hazel
M. Emmet Walsh ... Mack
Tom Mahoney Tom Mahoney ... Hughie
John Malloy John Malloy ... Jones
James Keane ... Eddie
Sunshine Parker ... The Seer
Santos Morales Santos Morales ... Joseph and Mary
John Huston ... Narrator (voice)
Ellen Blake Ellen Blake ... Wisteria
Sharon Ernster Sharon Ernster ... Agnes
Kathleen Doyle ... Violet
Mary Margaret Amato ... Lola


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 | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Directorial debut of writer David S. Ward. See more »


During the "sick or a busted arm" scene in the Golden Poppy between Suzy and Hazel, the number of ketchup bottles with and without caps changes between shots. 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 ...
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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
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User Reviews

8 January 2002 | by chureiSee all my reviews

There were a few newspapers, here and there, that named CANNERY ROW as one of the Best of the Year, and they were the few that truly appreciated what is one of the finest capturing of Steinbeck ever on the screen. The film unites a couple of Steinbeck works that also became the book for Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Pipe Dream". Unfortunately, Steinbeck goes in and out of favor, and, at the moment, he is not lionized. But CANNERY ROW is a total delight -- replete with an extraordinary capture of the Steinbeck dialogue, a magnificent mise en scene of coastal California, a delicious group of characters captured to perfection, exquisite photography, and a soundtrack that united Bach with a melodic and playful score that deserved soundtrack status. Everything works... the humor is handled with a touch of wonderful madness by Nick Nolte, Debra Winger, and a gleeful bunch of farceurs playing giddy prostitutes and aging drop-outs who live along the desolate Cannary Row. Classic moments include the jitterbug between Nolte and Winger that temporarily interrupts their insults; the infamous frog hunt; Doc's special treat at the diner.... This David Ward film should be elevated to a classic status. It must be rediscovered so that audiences can delight in it for ages to come. See it..... Relax... Enjoy....and listen to the narration of John Huston - another element that is right on the mark !!!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

12 February 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cannery Row See more »

Filming Locations:

Monterey, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$11,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,500,000, 15 February 1982

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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