Maybe Raquel Welch will have the last laugh after all. Cannery Row, pic from which she was ignominiously dismissed, gets somewhat better as it lurches along from vignette to vignette, but this long-in-the-works adaptation of John Steinbeck's waterfront tomes [Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday] displays more appreciation for the values inherent in the material than it does ability to breathe life into it.

Maybe Raquel Welch will have the last laugh after all. Cannery Row, pic from which she was ignominiously dismissed, gets somewhat better as it lurches along from vignette to vignette, but this long-in-the-works adaptation of John Steinbeck’s waterfront tomes [Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday] displays more appreciation for the values inherent in the material than it does ability to breathe life into it.

Highly anecdotal in nature and tied together by some personable, literary narration by John Huston, 1940s tale centers mostly upon the sketchy activities of a self-employed marine biologist named Doc (Nick Nolte), who lives at ocean’s edge, consorts with floozies, counts local bums as his best friends and conceals a troubled past behind his handsome physique.

Across the way stands the neighborhood bordello, into which comes mixed-up drifter girl Suzy (Debra Winger), who has eyes for Doc but little knowledge of how to pursue him or improve her lot in life. The two sort of get together and break up numerous times.

Nolte seems ideally cast as Doc and has no trouble carrying the film, but is nevertheless hampered by incomplete nature of the part as written. Winger’s winning personality and great cracking voice carry her through here, but she relies unduly on a few pat mannerisms.

Cannery Row

Production

M-G-M/United Artists. Director David S. Ward; Producer Michael Phillips; Screenplay David S. Ward; Camera Sven Nykvist; Editor David Bretherton; Music Jack Nitzsche;; Art Director Richard MacDonald

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1982. Running time: 120 MIN.

With

Nick Nolte Debra Winger Audra Lindley Frank McRae M. Emmet Walsh Tom Mahoney
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