Who'll Stop the Rain

An ambitious action film by Karel Reisz, successful to the degree that it is an action film from a director whose specialty has always been introspective psychodrama (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Gambler). Instead of brooding, his characters can now take out their angst on each other by means of fists and machine guns. Still, Reisz's intentions in this story of two amateur heroin smugglers (Nick Nolte and Michael Moriarty) are fairly cloudy, and his elliptical way with a plotline is more pretentious than helpful. The subject seems to be the cheapening of human emotions, and with it, human life, but Nolte's instinctual brute of a hero is glorified too unthinkingly to support the thesis. With Tuesday Weld, Anthony Zerbe, Richard Masur, Ray Sharkey, and Gail Strickland; from Robert Stone's novel Dog Soldiers.

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