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Wholl Stop the Rain

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Director  Karel Reisz
Initial DVD release  July 10, 2001
Country  United States
7/10 IMDb

Genre  Action, Crime, Drama
Running time  2h 6m
Music director  Laurence Rosenthal
Language  English
Release date  August 11, 1978 (1978-08-11)
Writer  Robert Stone (novel), Judith Rascoe (screenplay), Robert Stone (screenplay)
Cast  Nick Nolte (Ray Hicks), Tuesday Weld (Marge Converse), Michael Moriarty, Anthony Zerbe, Richard Masur
Similar movies  The Salton Sea (2002), The Young Americans (1993), Homefront (2013), Super Fly (1972), Sacrifice (2011)

A jaded journalist, John (Michael Moriarty), and a Vietnam vet, Ray (Nick Nolte), are adrift after returning home from the war. With not much to lose, they hatch a scheme to smuggle heroin from Vietnam into the U.S., which stands to make them a fortune. Instead, the pair and Johns wife (Tuesday Weld) find themselves on the run from drug dealers and a crooked DEA agent (Anthony Zerbe). Along the way, Ray shows their opponents some of the useful combat skills he picked up in the war.


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Wholl Stop The Rain is a 1978 psychological drama film released by United Artists starring Nick Nolte. It was directed by Karel Reisz and produced by Herb Jaffe and Gabriel Katzka with Sheldon Schrager and Roger Spottiswoode as executive producers. The screenplay was by Judith Rascoe and Robert Stone from Stones novel Dog Soldiers. The music score was by Laurence Rosenthal and the cinematography by Richard H. Kline.

It was entered in the 1978 Cannes Film Festival.


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The film opens in Saigon at the height of the Vietnam War.

John Converse (Moriarty), a disillusioned war correspondent, approaches Ray Hicks (Nolte), a merchant marine sailor and acquaintance of Converse from back in the US, for help in smuggling a large quantity of heroin from Vietnam to San Francisco, where he will exchange the drugs for payment with Converses wife Marge (Weld), who has become addicted to Dilaudid. When Hicks discovers that he is being followed by thugs connected either to Converse or his suppliers, he goes on the run with Marge and the heroin, and is eventually pursued by the corrupt DEA agent (Zerbe) who initially set the deal in motion. As Marge is separated from her supply of prescription drugs, she experiences withdrawal, and Hicks decides to help her wean off her dilaudid addiction by using the heroin. Hicks also attempts to find another buyer for the heroin before his pursuers can catch up to him.


  • Nick Nolte as Ray Hicks
  • Tuesday Weld as Marge Converse
  • Michael Moriarty as John Converse
  • Anthony Zerbe as Antheil
  • Richard Masur as Danskin
  • Ray Sharkey as Smitty
  • Gail Strickland as Charmian
  • Charles Haid as Eddie Peace
  • David Opatoshu as Bender
  • Joaquin Martinez as Angel (as Joaquin Martinez)
  • James Cranna as Gerald
  • Timothy Blake as Jody
  • Shelby Balik as Janey
  • Jean Howell as Edna
  • Jose Carlos Ruiz as Galindez (as Jose Carlos Ruiz)
  • Background and production

    The film is based on Robert Stones novel Dog Soldiers, which had been winner of the National Book Award (US) for fiction in 1975. For its original US theatrical release it was re-titled Wholl Stop the Rain, after the song by Creedence Clearwater Revival, which features prominently (along with several other popular CCR tracks) on the films soundtrack. The film was released as Dog Soldiers for release in several foreign territories. Some copies of the DVD of Wholl Stop the Rain actually contain prints titled Dog Soldiers.

    Stone based the character of Ray Hicks on Beat writer Neal Cassady, with whom Stone became acquainted through novelist Ken Kesey, a classmate of Stones in graduate school at Stanford University.

    Hicks death scene on the railroad tracks at the films conclusion was directly based on Cassadys death along a railroad track outside of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in 1968. Also, the hippie commune setting, where lights and stereo speakers placed throughout the woods are utilized in Hicks escape plan, was partially based on Keseys home in La Honda, California, where Kesey and his friends — known as the Merry Pranksters — famously wired the surrounding woods with lights and sound equipment to enhance their experiments with LSD. Though technically not a commune, Keseys home was a frequent site for large parties attended by a mixture of literary luminaries such as poet Allen Ginsberg and journalist Hunter S. Thompson, music figures (including Jerry Garcia, whose group The Grateful Dead later became the house band for Keseys famous Acid Tests), and outlaws, especially members of the infamous Hells Angels motorcycle club. These parties are described intimately in works by Ginsberg and Thompson and in Tom Wolfes book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Mention of Ken Kesey, his Merry Pranksters, and Neal Cassady are also discussed in detail in Martin Torgoffs book Cant Find My Way Home.

    The Saigon scenes were actually also filmed on a set in Mexico. There was a casting advertisement in Mexico City for people of any Asian background to represent the Vietnamese.


  • Nominee Palme dOr Cannes Film Festival (Karel Reisz)
  • Nominee Best Actor National Society of Film Critics (Nick Nolte)
  • Nominee Best Adapted Drama Writers Guild of America (Judith Rascoe, Robert Stone)
  • Soundtrack

  • Del Reeves - "Philadelphia Fillies"
  • Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"
  • Don McLean - "American Pie"
  • Slim Whitman - "Ill Step Down"
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Hey Tonight"
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Wholl Stop the Rain"
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Proud Mary
  • The Spencer Davis Group - "Gimme Some Lovin"
  • Hank Snow - "Golden Rocket"
  • References

    Wholl Stop the Rain Wikipedia
    Wholl Stop the Rain IMDb