7.5/10
43
4 user 5 critic

On the Nickel (1980)

Sam is a recovering alcoholic who feels dissatisfied with his life of sobriety and goes back in search of the good times he enjoyed with his old friends living on Los Angeles' skid row.

Director:

Ralph Waite

Writer:

Ralph Waite
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Moffat ... Sam
Ralph Waite ... C.G.
Hal Williams ... Paul
Penelope Allen ... Rose
Jack Kehoe ... Bad Mood
Daniel Ades Daniel Ades ... God Bless
Paul Weaver Paul Weaver ... Hill
Ina Gould Ina Gould ... Estelle
Jack O'Leary Jack O'Leary ... Big William
James Gammon ... Peanut John
Arthur Space ... Soapy Post
Bert Conway Bert Conway ... Bert
Jaime Sánchez ... Joe
Tom Mahoney Tom Mahoney ... Bobby D
Edmund E. Villa Edmund E. Villa ... Henry
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Storyline

Sam is a recovering alcoholic who feels dissatisfied with his life of sobriety and goes back in search of the good times he enjoyed with his old friends living on Los Angeles' skid row.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1980 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Altid på spanden See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After 20 years of being out of circulation, even becoming a lost film for a time, On the Nickel was restored from a 16mm print discovered in the Library of Congress, the last surviving copy, and remastered in 2009. It is now out on Blu Ray disc, and may be found on Amazon. See more »

Soundtracks

On The Nickel
by Tom Waits
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User Reviews

 
Heartfelt, non-righteous, ironically funny look at skid-row life in Los Angeles.
20 June 1999 | by lone-3See all my reviews

On The Nickle is a thoroughly forgotten film which I was lucky enough to tape from the "Z Channel" (now defunct) in Los Angeles many years ago. The brainchild of actor Ralph Waite (of Waltons), it was independently made on a very low budget. In it, Waite manages to balance the tragedy of skid-row life with humor and irony, and in spite of an easy, fellini-esque ending, tells a moving story of a man (Donald Moffat) a former alcoholic and skid row dweller, struggling to "put his demons to rest" as he searches the "Nickle" (Fifth Street) for his old pal, C.G., played by Ralph Waite. The movie is bookended by the Tom Waits song, "On The Nickle", presumably written for the movie, and has a score that quotes the song frequently. Maybe the Independent Film Channel will consider running it.


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