Cannery Row (film)

Cannery Row (film)

"Cannery Row" is the title of a 1982 film directed by David S. Ward. The movie is adapted from John Steinbeck's novels "Cannery Row" and "Sweet Thursday".

The movie is about the skid row citizens of Monterey, California, set on the row during World War II. As declining fish stocks are shutting down a previously rich fishery and the dependent fish canning industry, bums and hookers lead colorful and adventurous lives in a balmy seaside setting.

Nolte plays Doc, a marine biologist living in a dockside warehouse and researching octopuses. Winger is Suzy DeSoto, a girl at the local bordello. She's not very good at it, as she's only doing it out of necessity and she doesn't cover her feelings very well. Nolte's character was inspired by the life and personality of Ed Ricketts, American marine biology pioneer based in Monterey.


"Cannery Row" centers on Doc, a self-employed marine biologist who lives by the ocean and interacts with the neighbourhood citizens, trying to conceal a troubled past. He is well liked by the locals in this colourful but poor area.

A collection of linked vignettes describe the lives of the locals and the collective life of Cannery Row. Cannery Row is depicted as an impoverished area inhabited by a motley band of people who have experienced failures but somehow have found their niche and a community of strangely kindred souls. Doc and Suzy don’t quite fit in, but are accepted. Friendships and community abound and are explored in this unique movie. Even when good intentions turn bad,i.e. Mac and the boys surprise party for Doc turns into a brawl breaking Doc’s microscope (and Lab), they replace it with a telescope. Doc accepts it as the gesture it was intended to be.

The deeper mystery and message revolves around why Doc stays in Cannery Row. During the course of time Suzy discovers that Doc was once a professional baseball pitcher but quit to live in Cannery Row. Another character, the seer, spends his days on the waterfront, playing his horn and depends on the gifts that mysteriously appear for him (groceries). Suzy eventually puts the pieces together and understands that the Seer is another baseball player that Doc injured with a pitch to the head. Doc takes care of him, supplying him groceries and staying there for him.


*Nick Nolte ... Doc
*Debra Winger ... Suzy
*Audra Lindley ... Fauna
*M. Emmet Walsh ... Mack
*Tom Mahoney ... Hughie
*John Malloy ... Jones
*James Keane ... Eddie
*Sunshine Parker ... The Seer
*Rosanna DeSoto ... Ellen Sedgewick
*Frank McRae ... Hazel
*Santos Morales ... Joseph and Mary
*John Huston ... Narrator


Raquel Welch was originally cast to play Suzy, but was fired after five days' filming. It was alleged she was taking too long to get ready each day. Welch sued the studio, MGM, and won a multi-million dollar settlement in the mid-eighties, but by then her film career was badly damaged. Because Turner Entertainment owned the film when she won the settlement, Turner had to pay it.


Doc: The only thing we have in common is that we're both wrong for each other.

Hazel: I love Doc! He was a character witness for me, and I ain't got no character.

Mack: Hazel! Hazel! I just came from the hospital. Doc's got a broke arm. You know somethin' about it, don't ya?
Hazel: You gonna be mad at me, Mack?
Mack: Naw, Hazel. I promise.
Hazel: I didn't have no choice, Mack. Suzy said she wouldn't go see him unless he got sick or had a broke arm. I tried, but I couldn't figure out how to get him sick. There was no other way! You sure you ain't mad, Mack?
Mack:Hell, no! 'course, we don't know how she'll all work out, but it's a step in the right direction.
Hazel: Mack, I can't do it. Fauna's gotta get somebody else for President of the United States. I tried, I practiced - but I just ain't got the poop! I'll mess up the whole country!
Mack: Hazel, ya sweet little bastard! We'll get ya off, don't you worry! You done noble stuff. Wasn't nobody with the guts, but you. You just sit there and take it easy. You got the ball to the one-yard-line. Ol' Mack's gonna carry it in, for ya!

Suzy: I don't understand it. We get along great when we're not together.

Fauna: The stars say that you are gonna be - oh... that you are gonna be President of the United States!
Mack: I don't believe it.
Hazel: I don't wanna be no President!
Fauna: You got no choice; the stars have spoke. You'll just have to go to Washington.
Hazel: But I don't want to! I don't know nobody there!
Fauna: I'm sorry, Hazel.
Hazel: Ain't there any way I can tell 'em I won't do it?
Fauna: No.
Hazel: [sobbing] A thing like this could ruin my whole life!

Narrator: [Last lines] The party didn't slow down 'till dawn. The crew of a San Pedro tuna boat showed up about One, and was routed. The police came by at Two, and stayed to join the party. Mack took their squad car to go get more wine. A woman called the police to complain about the noise, and couldn't get anybody. The crew of the tuna boat came back about Three, and was welcomed with open arms. The police reported their own car stolen, and found it later, on the beach. Things were finally back to normal, on Cannery Row. Once more, the world was spinning in greased grooves.

External links

*imdb title|id=0083717|title=Cannery Row

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