The Nickel Ride (1975)

PG | 114 mins | Drama | 29 January 1975

Director:

Robert Mulligan

Writer:

Eric Roth

Producer:

Robert Mulligan

Cinematographer:

Jordan Cronenweth

Production Designer:

Larry Paull

Production Company:

Boardwalk Productions
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HISTORY

According to a 21 Jan 1974 DV news item, principal photography began 17 Sep 1973 in the Los Angeles, CA, area and completed shooting 13 Nov 1973. The cabin scenes were shot on 18 Sep 1973 in Big Bear, CA, as reported in a 14 Sep 1973 DV. A 2 Dec 1973 LAHExam article stated that interiors of Copper’s office and apartment where shot in the Rosslyn Hotel located at 112 West 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA.
As announced in the 21 Jan 1974 DV, The Nickel Ride was acquired for distribution by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., with an intended 1974 release date.
       A 16 Jun 1975 LAT article stated that the film was shown at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival to good reviews, and was immediately previewed in Paris, France. However, poor box office results there and in the rest of Europe caused director Robert Mulligan to re-edit the film in an attempt to speed up the pace of the narrative. The 11 Sep 1978 Village Voice reported that two scenes, in which Cooper’s younger brother admonishes an elderly crime boss for his lifestyle, were eliminated.
       LAT reported that in spite of an intensive media campaign, this new version was not well received in New York City and other East Coast cities. Different advertising campaigns were utilized for releases in the South and in San Francisco, CA, but the box-office gross did not ...
More Less

According to a 21 Jan 1974 DV news item, principal photography began 17 Sep 1973 in the Los Angeles, CA, area and completed shooting 13 Nov 1973. The cabin scenes were shot on 18 Sep 1973 in Big Bear, CA, as reported in a 14 Sep 1973 DV. A 2 Dec 1973 LAHExam article stated that interiors of Copper’s office and apartment where shot in the Rosslyn Hotel located at 112 West 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA.
As announced in the 21 Jan 1974 DV, The Nickel Ride was acquired for distribution by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., with an intended 1974 release date.
       A 16 Jun 1975 LAT article stated that the film was shown at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival to good reviews, and was immediately previewed in Paris, France. However, poor box office results there and in the rest of Europe caused director Robert Mulligan to re-edit the film in an attempt to speed up the pace of the narrative. The 11 Sep 1978 Village Voice reported that two scenes, in which Cooper’s younger brother admonishes an elderly crime boss for his lifestyle, were eliminated.
       LAT reported that in spite of an intensive media campaign, this new version was not well received in New York City and other East Coast cities. Different advertising campaigns were utilized for releases in the South and in San Francisco, CA, but the box-office gross did not improve.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1973.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jan 1974.
---
Daily Variety
17 May 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 1973
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 1973
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Sep 1974
p. 3, 9.
LAHExam
2 Dec 1973
pp. 1-2.
LAHExam
16 Jun 1975.
---
LAHExam
16 Oct 1975.
---
Los Angeles Times
16 Jun 1975.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Oct 1975
p. 23.
New York Times
30 Jan 1975
p. 26.
Time
17 Feb 1975.
---
Variety
22 May 1974
p. 19.
Village Voice
11 Sep 1978.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Robert Mulligan production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
2nd asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Key grip
Gaffer
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 January 1975
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 29 January 1975
Los Angeles opening: 15 October 1975
Production Date:
17 September -- 13 November 1973 in Los Angeles, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
24 January 1975
Copyright Number:
LP44012
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by Deluxe®
Duration(in mins):
114
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When a gang of thieves try to unload a tractor trailer full of stolen loot, Harry, the warehouse foreman, tells them there is no room, but promises that his boss, Cooper, is working on a new deal for a whole city block of storage units. The thief informs Harry, rumors on the street suggest that if Cooper does not close the deal soon, he will be out of the mob. Later in the morning, Cooper telephones Ellas O’Neil, who is accepting bribes to broker the deal with the city and is told Ellas needs more time to convince his bosses to sell the warehouses. Cooper tells him he has a week, and hangs up. As he gets dressed, Sarah, Cooper’s young girl friend, wishes him a happy birthday. Cooper goes to his office and is irritated to find Bobby, a low level member of the mob, sleeping in his chair. Bobby tells him that Carl, their boss, wants him to fix a fight. When Cooper tells him to talk to Paulie, their fight fixer, Bobby informs Cooper that Carl ordered him to personally handle it as the last two fighters Paulie “fixed,” did not take a dive. Cooper meets with Paulie, who confesses he has lost his touch and wants out of the rackets. Cooper volunteers to fix the fight for him, and then goes to the park to explain to Tonozzi, the boxer, that unless he takes a dive, Paulie will get hurt. The boxer reluctantly agrees. Cooper returns to office to find a line of people demanding warehouse space for their stolen goods. Although Cooper explains ... +


When a gang of thieves try to unload a tractor trailer full of stolen loot, Harry, the warehouse foreman, tells them there is no room, but promises that his boss, Cooper, is working on a new deal for a whole city block of storage units. The thief informs Harry, rumors on the street suggest that if Cooper does not close the deal soon, he will be out of the mob. Later in the morning, Cooper telephones Ellas O’Neil, who is accepting bribes to broker the deal with the city and is told Ellas needs more time to convince his bosses to sell the warehouses. Cooper tells him he has a week, and hangs up. As he gets dressed, Sarah, Cooper’s young girl friend, wishes him a happy birthday. Cooper goes to his office and is irritated to find Bobby, a low level member of the mob, sleeping in his chair. Bobby tells him that Carl, their boss, wants him to fix a fight. When Cooper tells him to talk to Paulie, their fight fixer, Bobby informs Cooper that Carl ordered him to personally handle it as the last two fighters Paulie “fixed,” did not take a dive. Cooper meets with Paulie, who confesses he has lost his touch and wants out of the rackets. Cooper volunteers to fix the fight for him, and then goes to the park to explain to Tonozzi, the boxer, that unless he takes a dive, Paulie will get hurt. The boxer reluctantly agrees. Cooper returns to office to find a line of people demanding warehouse space for their stolen goods. Although Cooper explains he will have the new warehouses shortly, the thieves threaten to find another broker. Paddie, Cooper’s friend who runs a nearby bar, arrives and declares that some “wise guy” is demanding to see Cooper. When they arrive at the bar, Cooper is greeted by friends singing “Happy Birthday.” As Cooper receives gifts, Bobby enters the bar and tells him Carl is waiting outside, then sticks his finger in the cake. Cooper grabs Bobby by the shirt, and demands he show respect. When Cooper goes to meet Carl, his friends shove Bobby’s face in the cake. Later, Bobby drives Cooper and Carl to look at the warehouse, and Carl insists he needs an answer on the warehouse deal by Saturday. Afterward, they go to a boxing arena, where Carl introduces Cooper to Turner, a young punk dressed like a cowboy. Carl explains that his bosses want Turner trained in the operation and he is assigning Cooper to be the boy’s mentor. A disgruntled Cooper leaves to continue his birthday celebration with Sarah at Paddie’s bar. They are interrupted when Paulie arrives, announcing Tonozzi won the fight, and begging Cooper to help him. Cooper advises Paulie to leave town until he can smooth it over with Carl. The next day, Cooper visits Ellas at a barbershop to close the warehouse deal, but Ellas demands another $15,000 for bribes. Cooper agrees to pay out another $10,000, but Ellas questions his authority to do so as he heard rumors that Cooper is on the way out. At a community swimming pool, Cooper meets Carl and gives him the weekly pay offs. As Cooper gets in the elevator to leave, Bobby joins him and brags that he killed Paulie. After a brutal fight, Cooper beats Bobby senseless. Later, as Sarah wraps Cooper’s broken ribs, Turner arrives and tells him. Turner drives, and explains that because Bobby is in the hospital, he is Carl’s new driver. At the office, Turner goes to the bathroom, allowing Cooper to slide a gun from his desk and hide it under his coat. Turner returns and asks questions about Cooper’s days as a carnival barker, but Cooper does not answer and goes outside just as Carl drives up. Carl authorizes the extra $10,000 for the warehouse, but warns Cooper the he better have a “yes” by Saturday. Carl then chastises Cooper for beating Bobby, stating that Cooper is the syndicate’s “computer” and they cannot afford for him to break down. Later, Cooper and Sarah drive to his cabin in the woods, and he notices a car following them. He pulls to the side, pushes Sarah down and draws his gun. When the car drives by, Cooper apologizes, saying he is tired and cannot think straight. For the next couple of days, Cooper and Sarah relax and make love. One day, Sarah discovers wet footsteps inside the cabin and Cooper discovers his gun is missing from a drawer. After searching the cabin and finding no one, Cooper buys new locks and a shotgun. Saturday afternoon, Cooper drives to Ellas’s hotel, only to find he is not registered there. He telephones Ellas, but gets no answer. Returning to the cabin, Cooper finds Turner waiting for the warehouse answer. Cooper responds that when he gets the answer, he will call Carl himself, and sends Turner away. After Turner leaves, Sarah demands to know what is going on, but Cooper will only say it is “business.” Enraged, Sarah slaps Cooper, who then punches her in the face. Embarrassed, Cooper puts her on the bed, explaining that there are new people that want to take his job away, and without his work he is nothing. As there is no telephone in the cabin, Cooper goes to a nearby bait shop and calls the hotel. Upon learning Ellas never arrived, Cooper drives back to the cabin and falls asleep holding his shotgun. He dreams Turner is there, holding a rifle. Cooper aims his shotgun, causing Turner to drop the rifle, and scream that he only wants the “message.” Cooper hits him with the gun, and, just as he is about to pull the trigger, Sarah appears, distracting Cooper long enough for Turner to grab the rifle and shoot Sarah. Cooper awakens and tells Sarah they have to return to the city. After dropping off Sarah, Cooper goes to Ellas house and learns that the deal has fallen through and Carl already knows. Cooper puts Sarah on a train for Las Vegas, Nevada, promising to join her later. He then finds Carl at an elegant restaurant and threatens to kill him if he does not take the contract off his head. Carl insists that the mob cannot lose their “key man” and they will find other warehouses. Later, Cooper is home shaving when Turner appears with a gun. Cooper slams the bathroom door shut as the slugs rip through the wood, then charges out of the bathroom, punches Turner in the face, and strangles him to death. The next morning, Paddie arrives at the bar to find Cooper dead on his doorstep. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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