Who'll Stop The Rain?


2h 5m 1978
Who'll Stop The Rain?

Brief Synopsis

John, a disillusioned Vietnam War journalist, turns to heroin smuggling. He cons Ray, an equally burnt out veteran into delivering the drugs stateside to his wife. Everything soon falls apart and Ray ends up on the run with John's wife trying to evade crooked narcotics agents.

Film Details

Also Known As
Dog Soldiers, guerriers de l'enfer
MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Action
Crime
Drama
War
Release Date
1978
Production Company
Dog Soldiers Company; United Artists Films
Distribution Company
MGM Home Entertainment; United Artists Films
Location
Mexico

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 5m
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

John, a disillusioned Vietnam War journalist, turns to heroin smuggling. He cons Ray, an equally burnt out veteran into delivering the drugs stateside to his wife. Everything soon falls apart and Ray ends up on the run with John's wife trying to evade crooked narcotics agents.

Crew

Bobby Bass

Stunt Coordinator

Roy C. Bennett

Song ("I'Ll Step Down")

John Bloom

Editor Supervisor

Jose B Carles

Sound Recording (Mexico)

Jose B Carles

Production Liaison

Mark Conte

Editor

Spencer Davis

Song ("Gimme Some Lovin'")

Robert De Vestel

Set Decorator

Jackie Deshannon

Song Performer ("Put A Little Love In Your Heart")

Chuck Dolan

Special Effects

Enrique Estevez

Set Decorator (Mexico)

John Fogerty

Songs ("Hey Tonight" "Who'Ll Stop The Rain" "Proud Mary")

Mickey Gilbert

Stunt Coordinator

Cliff Green

Production Assistant

Chuck Hayward

Stunt Coordinator

Dale Hennesy

Production Designer

Edouard F Henriques

Makeup

Jimmy Holiday

Song ("Put A Little Love In Your Heart")

Herb Jaffe

Producer

Gabriel Katzka

Producer

Richard Kline

Director Of Photography

Larry Luttrell

Production Assistant

Don Mclean

Song Performer ("American Pie")

Jim Mundy

Song ("Philadelphia Fillies")

Randy Myers

Song ("Put A Little Love In Your Heart")

Chris Newman

Sound Recording

Tom Nolan

Technical Advisor (Music)

Kenneth Pepiot

Special Effects

Carlos Puente Portillo

Editor (Mexico)

Judith Rascoe

Screenwriter

Del Reeves

Song Performer ("Philadelphia Fillies")

Chris Ridsdale

Editor

Laurence Rosenthal

Music

Bill Rowe

Sound Rerecording

Sheldon Schrager

Associate Producer

Don Sharpe

Sound Editor

Hank Snow

Song Performer ("Golden Rocket")

Roger Spottiswoode

Associate Producer

Paul H Stewart

Special Effects

Robert Stone

Screenwriter

Robert Stone

Source Material (From Novel)

Ron Taylor

Additional Photography

Sid Tepper

Song ("I'Ll Step Down")

William Ware Theiss

Costumes

Dianne Wager

Set Design

Slim Whitman

Song Performer ("I'Ll Step Down")

Jerry Williams

Special Effects

Muff Winwood

Song ("Gimme Some Lovin")

Stevie Winwood

Song ("Gimme Some Lovin")

Augustin Ytuarte

Art Direction (Mexico)

Film Details

Also Known As
Dog Soldiers, guerriers de l'enfer
MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Action
Crime
Drama
War
Release Date
1978
Production Company
Dog Soldiers Company; United Artists Films
Distribution Company
MGM Home Entertainment; United Artists Films
Location
Mexico

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 5m
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Articles

Who'll Stop the Rain?


Who'll Stop the Rain isn't a war movie in the traditional sense, but it confronts the wounds and psychic scars of the Vietnam War through a story of drug smuggling and survival. It begins with heroin smuggled from Vietnam to California, but that just puts into motion events that send Ray Hicks (Nick Nolte), the Merchant Marine who arranges the shipment, and Marge (Tuesday Weld), the wife of the out-of-his-depth war correspondent (Michael Moriarty), on the run from corrupt cops who want the drugs for themselves. It becomes something of an "outlaw couple on the run" road movie seeped in the disillusionment and cynicism of the early 1970s.

Producers Herb Jaffe and Gabriel Katzka bought the film rights to Robert Stone's novel Dog Soldiers in 1974, just after its publication and before it earned a National Book Award for fiction. Stone had been classmates with Ken Kesey at Stanford and became acquainted with the Merry Pranksters, the group of artists and characters that hung around with Kesey at his California home in the 1960s and early 1970s. Stone based the character of Ray Hicks on Beat Generation icon Neal Cassady, who was part of Kesey's circle, and the abandoned commune where Ray and Marge take refuge on Kesey's commune-like home.

Stone wrote the first draft of the screenplay but was dissatisfied with his own solo efforts and brought on Judith Rascoe, a fellow Stanford graduate who had settled in Los Angeles to write screenplays, for rewrites. Rascoe had also known Kesey and his crew and was on the same page with Stone on the culture of his novel. "There was so much good stuff in the novel," recalled Rascoe. "The biggest challenge was to get as much of the novel on the screen as possible without cluttering the narrative. We had to make big cuts."

Director Karel Reisz, a Czech-born filmmaker who grew up in England and directed such classics as Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) and The Gambler (1974) with James Caan, was involved from the first draft of the screenplay. Rascoe asked Reisz what interested him in the film. "He replied, 'I am interested in what happens when a nation dishonors its war heroes'." He helped guide Rascoe as she streamlined the novel's storyline around the action of the smuggling drama and the couple's flight from the corrupt cops.

Nick Nolte, who was coming off of the hit thriller The Deep (1977), was cast as Ray and delivers one of his best performances. In fact, the role led directly to getting cast as Neal Cassady in Heart Beat (1980). "[T]that scene at the end of the movie of me walking down the railroad tracks was kind of inspired by Cassady," recalled actor Nolte in a 1979 interview. "Bob [Stone] and I talked about Cassady a lot, and when I began asking about him, seemed that everybody in Topanga Canyon had a story to tell about him."

Tuesday Weld, who was less interested in fame than interesting roles, took on the part of the drug-addicted Marge, "one of her best roles in years," in the words of Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert. Michael Moriarty, who had spent the past couple of years on the stage, made his big screen return as Marge's husband, the jaundiced journalist who sets the events in motion.

Shooting began in the San Francisco Bay Area in April 1977, moved to Los Angeles, and then crossed the border for Durango, Mexico, which was to double for the New Mexico commune and the Saigon sequences. Production moved to Torredon, Mexico when unexpected rainfall made shooting impossible and it ran over schedule and over budget.

The film kept the novel's title throughout production and was still titled Dog Soldiers at its world premiere at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival. The producers, however, were worried that audiences would assume it was a war movie and, after test screenings, changed the title before its release. Who'll Stop the Rain was taken from the Credence Clearwater Revival song that plays on the film's soundtrack. Neither Reisz nor Stone were happy with the title change.

Roger Ebert praised the film in his 1979 review: "You have the sharply drawn characters, the purity of a brilliantly orchestrated pursuit, and the obsession all the characters feel about the heroin." Film critic Robert Cumbow was even more effusive in his review in Movietone News: "As a study of the impact of the Vietnam War on the American consciousness, this film is so much more honest in its treatment of character and milieu than Coming Home [1978] that the two films might be about completely different subjects."

Sources:
"At the Movies: Nick Nolte plays a hero of the beats," Tom Buckley. The New York Times, August 3, 1979.
"Who'll Stop the Rain," review by Robert C. Cumbow. Movietone News No. 60-61, February 1979.
"Who'll Stop the Rain," review by Roger Ebert. Chicago Sun-Times, August 2, 1978.
"Who'll Stop the Rain," essay by Julie Kirgo. Twilight Time, 2017.
"John Bloom talks about Who'll Stop the Rain," video interview conducted by James McCabe. Twilight Time, 2017.
"Judith Rascow on writing Who'll Stop the Rain," interview by Paul Rowland. Money Into Light, 2015.
AFI Catalog of Feature Films
IMDb

By Sean Axmaker
Who'll Stop The Rain?

Who'll Stop the Rain?

Who'll Stop the Rain isn't a war movie in the traditional sense, but it confronts the wounds and psychic scars of the Vietnam War through a story of drug smuggling and survival. It begins with heroin smuggled from Vietnam to California, but that just puts into motion events that send Ray Hicks (Nick Nolte), the Merchant Marine who arranges the shipment, and Marge (Tuesday Weld), the wife of the out-of-his-depth war correspondent (Michael Moriarty), on the run from corrupt cops who want the drugs for themselves. It becomes something of an "outlaw couple on the run" road movie seeped in the disillusionment and cynicism of the early 1970s. Producers Herb Jaffe and Gabriel Katzka bought the film rights to Robert Stone's novel Dog Soldiers in 1974, just after its publication and before it earned a National Book Award for fiction. Stone had been classmates with Ken Kesey at Stanford and became acquainted with the Merry Pranksters, the group of artists and characters that hung around with Kesey at his California home in the 1960s and early 1970s. Stone based the character of Ray Hicks on Beat Generation icon Neal Cassady, who was part of Kesey's circle, and the abandoned commune where Ray and Marge take refuge on Kesey's commune-like home. Stone wrote the first draft of the screenplay but was dissatisfied with his own solo efforts and brought on Judith Rascoe, a fellow Stanford graduate who had settled in Los Angeles to write screenplays, for rewrites. Rascoe had also known Kesey and his crew and was on the same page with Stone on the culture of his novel. "There was so much good stuff in the novel," recalled Rascoe. "The biggest challenge was to get as much of the novel on the screen as possible without cluttering the narrative. We had to make big cuts." Director Karel Reisz, a Czech-born filmmaker who grew up in England and directed such classics as Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) and The Gambler (1974) with James Caan, was involved from the first draft of the screenplay. Rascoe asked Reisz what interested him in the film. "He replied, 'I am interested in what happens when a nation dishonors its war heroes'." He helped guide Rascoe as she streamlined the novel's storyline around the action of the smuggling drama and the couple's flight from the corrupt cops. Nick Nolte, who was coming off of the hit thriller The Deep (1977), was cast as Ray and delivers one of his best performances. In fact, the role led directly to getting cast as Neal Cassady in Heart Beat (1980). "[T]that scene at the end of the movie of me walking down the railroad tracks was kind of inspired by Cassady," recalled actor Nolte in a 1979 interview. "Bob [Stone] and I talked about Cassady a lot, and when I began asking about him, seemed that everybody in Topanga Canyon had a story to tell about him." Tuesday Weld, who was less interested in fame than interesting roles, took on the part of the drug-addicted Marge, "one of her best roles in years," in the words of Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert. Michael Moriarty, who had spent the past couple of years on the stage, made his big screen return as Marge's husband, the jaundiced journalist who sets the events in motion. Shooting began in the San Francisco Bay Area in April 1977, moved to Los Angeles, and then crossed the border for Durango, Mexico, which was to double for the New Mexico commune and the Saigon sequences. Production moved to Torredon, Mexico when unexpected rainfall made shooting impossible and it ran over schedule and over budget. The film kept the novel's title throughout production and was still titled Dog Soldiers at its world premiere at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival. The producers, however, were worried that audiences would assume it was a war movie and, after test screenings, changed the title before its release. Who'll Stop the Rain was taken from the Credence Clearwater Revival song that plays on the film's soundtrack. Neither Reisz nor Stone were happy with the title change. Roger Ebert praised the film in his 1979 review: "You have the sharply drawn characters, the purity of a brilliantly orchestrated pursuit, and the obsession all the characters feel about the heroin." Film critic Robert Cumbow was even more effusive in his review in Movietone News: "As a study of the impact of the Vietnam War on the American consciousness, this film is so much more honest in its treatment of character and milieu than Coming Home [1978] that the two films might be about completely different subjects." Sources: "At the Movies: Nick Nolte plays a hero of the beats," Tom Buckley. The New York Times, August 3, 1979. "Who'll Stop the Rain," review by Robert C. Cumbow. Movietone News No. 60-61, February 1979. "Who'll Stop the Rain," review by Roger Ebert. Chicago Sun-Times, August 2, 1978. "Who'll Stop the Rain," essay by Julie Kirgo. Twilight Time, 2017. "John Bloom talks about Who'll Stop the Rain," video interview conducted by James McCabe. Twilight Time, 2017. "Judith Rascow on writing Who'll Stop the Rain," interview by Paul Rowland. Money Into Light, 2015. AFI Catalog of Feature Films IMDb By Sean Axmaker

Quotes

You see, in a world where elephants are pursued by flying men, people are just naturally going to want to get high.
- John Converse
All my life I've been taking shit from inferior people. No more.
- Ray Hicks
"I've been waiting my whole life to screw up this badly".
- John Converse

Trivia

Nick Nolte wore a back brace during much of the filming to maintain a rigid Marine posture.

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. Nolte was in the midst of extensive research on Cassady for his portrayal in the film "Heartbeat".

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States June 1978

Released in United States June 1984

Released in United States on Video June 1984

Released in United States Summer June 1978

Original video distributor was CBS/Fox

c Technicolor

rtg BBFC X

Released in United States June 1978

Released in United States Summer June 1978

Released in United States June 1984

Released in United States on Video June 1984