"One of the things that excites me most about the human condition

is how we can find beauty and truth in unlikely places." - Ralph Waite

 

A remarkable independent feature film, produced, directed by,

and starring Ralph Waite (The Waltons, NCIS, Cool Hand Luke, Five Easy Pieces...)


ON THE NICKEL presents the story of Sam (Donald Moffat), a recovering alcoholic who becomes disillusioned with his life of sobriety. Sam ventures back to the streets in search of the good times he enjoyed with his old friends living on Los Angeles' Skid Row (5th Street, hence the film's title). Eventually locating his old best friend, "C.G." (Waite), still living on the Nickel, the two men reminisce, and Sam gets an eye-opening look at the lifestyle he had once vigorously abandoned. The film is a multi-level odyssey through the slums of L.A., as Sam re-evaluates the nostalgia he had felt for the free and bohemian lifestyle of a street person.

 

Official Trailer:

 

Featuring original music by Tom Waits

 

 

In a daring departure from Hollywood tradition, Waite (a recovering alcoholic) drew on personal experience and single-handedly financed and guided the production of this motion picture. It is a moving exploration of the depths of alcoholism, life on the streets, and rebirth through recovery.

 

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Click HERE to order your copy with FREE SHIPPING for just $26.50.

ON THE NICKEL is also available on Amazon.

 

 

Ralph Waite drew upon his own network of established Hollywood talent

and assembled a stalwart cast of familiar actors to co-star:

 

DONALD MOFFAT (The West Wing, Clear and Present Danger, The Right Stuff)

JACK KEHOE (The Sting, Murder, She Wrote, Serpico, Reds)

JAMES GAMMON (Grey's Anatomy, Natural Born Killers, Young Indiana Jones, In the Heat of the Night)

ELLEN GEER (NYPD Blue, E.R., CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Patriot Games, Star Trek: The Next Generation)

PENELOPE ALLEN (The Crossing Guard, Dog Day Afternoon)

 

On location - L.A.'s Skid Row:

 

ON THE NICKEL passed out of general distribution in the 1990s, but regular TV showings have kept viewer interest high. Waite subsequently restored and remastered the film from the 35mm print preserved in the United States Library of Congress for independent distribution on Blu Ray disc.

 

 

 

"I think one of the things that excites me most about the human condition

is how we can find beauty and truth in unlikely places." - Ralph Waite

 

ON THE NICKEL reviews:

 

IT REVEALS IN A ZIGZAG WAY THE SUBTLE, SNEAKY, AND IMPORTANT REASONS WHY LIFE IS WORTH LIVING.

Ralph Waite's film looks like a documentary about winos on skid row but feels like a morality play about Everyman. It is the kind of release that appears on the cultural scene to show us how beautiful and profound personal filmmaking can be when it is done by an individual who cares equally about the craft and conscience. In this sensitive and touching story, we are brought face-to-face with questions regarding the nature of friendship, change, love, freedom, and human dignity.

 

HEARTFELT, NON-RIGHTEOUS, IRONICALLY FUNNY LOOK AT SKID ROW LIFE IN LOS ANGELES.

On The Nickel is a forgotten film which I was lucky enough to tape from the "Z Channel" (now defunct) in Los Angeles many years ago. The brainchild of actor Ralph Waite (of Waltons), it was independently made on a very low budget. In it, Waite manages to balance the tragedy of skid-row life with humor and irony, and in spite of an easy, fellini-esque ending, tells a moving story of a man (Donald Moffat) a former alcoholic and skid row dweller, struggling to "put his demons to rest" as he searches the "Nickel" (Fifth Street) for his old pal, C.G., played by Ralph Waite. The movie is bookended by the Tom Waits song, "On The Nickel," written for the movie, and has a score that quotes the song frequently. Maybe the Independent Film Channel will consider running it.

 

AN HONORABLE GLIMPSE INTO THE BUNG OF THE BOTTLE.

On The Nickel pays homage to the cameraderie and last-ditch decency among the dying – in this case, late-stage alcoholics. Eking out a life of sorts on Los Angeles' Skid Row, the characters, for the most part, are not only chemically dependent but also homeless and, often, mentally ill. They also constitute one of the many sub-groups of society which the dominant culture prefers to keep invisible; the movie shows them as human beings with personalities and passions, and their own codes of honor.

 

BRINGING IT UP-TO-DATE!

I saw the film many years ago,and thought it was wonderful! I recently talked with someone who had been involved with the picture and as a result, my interest was rekindled. I rented it (not easy to do) and watched it twice. It's as fresh as it was twenty years ago, the performances are outstanding,and worth seeing.A simple story of skid row which seems totally real.

 

LINK

 

Click HERE to order your copy with FREE SHIPPING for just $26.50.

ON THE NICKEL is also available on Amazon.

 

 

 

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