Cannery Row

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"You don't have to be crazy to live here... but it helps."
  • PG
  • 1982
  • 6.6  (4,102)
  • 52

Cannery Row is a 1982 American comedy-drama film directed by David S. Ward, based on the novel of the same name by John Steinbeck. The film stars Nick Nolte, Debra Winger, and Audra Lindley. Set in the 1940s, the film revolves around the diverse inhabitants of Cannery Row, a street of rundown fishing shacks and warehouses in Monterey, California. Doc (Nolte) is a marine biologist who operates a lab in a converted boiler room, studying specimens collected from Monterey Bay. His assistant, Suzy (Winger), is a former prostitute who now works as a maid at a local brothel. In their spare time, they roam Cannery Row, mingling with the eccentric locals.

The film depicts the colorful characters that make up the community of Cannery Row, including Mack (M. Emmet Walsh) and the boys, a group of bums who reside in an abandoned warehouse and pass their days drinking and devising schemes to acquire more alcohol. They have a mischievous plan to throw a party for Doc, an eccentric man who rarely interacts with anyone. The boys involve Suzy in their plan, and she agrees to help them organize the party.

Meanwhile, Doc is struggling with his experiments, and he turns to his friend, Lee Chong (John Huston), a Chinese grocer with a reputation for being a shrewd businessman and a man of his word. Lee Chong is impressed by Doc's dedication to his work and lends him money when he needs it most. Their friendship is one of the most touching aspects of the film.

The film also follows the relationship between Suzy and Doc, who begin to fall in love with each other. However, Suzy is hesitant to pursue a relationship with Doc because of their different backgrounds and social classes. She is also afraid of being hurt again, having left a painful past behind.

The film's narrative is simple, but it is beautifully executed, with a richly detailed depiction of Cannery Row and its inhabitants. The film perfectly captures the mood of Steinbeck's novel, which is known for its vivid description of the place and the characters that inhabit it. The performances of the lead actors are exemplary, particularly Nolte's portrayal of Doc, a man harboring a deep passion for marine biology and respect for all creatures of the sea.

Cannery Row explores themes of friendship, love, and the struggle to survive in a society where people are judged by their appearance and background. It is a touching and heartwarming film that will leave viewers with a deep appreciation for the strength of the human spirit and the power of humanity to triumph over adversity.

Overall, Cannery Row is a cinematic masterpiece that deserves its place as one of the greatest adaptations of a John Steinbeck novel. Anyone who loves the work of Steinbeck or wants to explore the richness of American literature should watch this film. It is a poignant and uplifting tale that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who watches it.

Cannery Row is a 1982 drama. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 52.

Cannery Row
Where to Watch Cannery Row
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  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (4,102)
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