The Nickel Ride (1974)

PG   |    |  Crime, Drama


The Nickel Ride (1974) Poster

Small-time criminal Cooper manages several warehouses in Los Angeles that the mob use to stash their stolen goods. Known as "the key man" for the key chain he always keeps on his person ... See full summary »


6.6/10
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  • Jason Miller in The Nickel Ride (1974)
  • Jason Miller in The Nickel Ride (1974)
  • Jason Miller in The Nickel Ride (1974)
  • Bo Hopkins in The Nickel Ride (1974)
  • Linda Haynes in The Nickel Ride (1974)
  • Jason Miller in The Nickel Ride (1974)

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6 May 2017 | dansview
7
| Slow Character Study with Fine Touches
I don't know if Jasom Miller was acting, or just being himself. His priest in The Exorcist seemed like a variation on the same character he plays here. So perhaps that's Miller's persona. He may just have an extremely intense way about him in real life that fits certain movie characters. Or he may have used technique. Either way, his intensity is always compelling.

I think the 70s was the last era when Downtown L.A. had neighborhood bars frequented by white working class men and people knew each other. In fact the film makers were trying to portray that transition here.

My favorite aspect of the film and many others from that era, was the slowness. Because you get to see that for most people, the daily routine of life is fairly mundane. There is nothing glamorous about this protagonist's daily existence.

All jobs require paper work or daily rounds, and solving problems. All romantic relationships involve eating and sleeping, and putting up with your partner's quirks.

If this is the first time Bo Hopkins appeared in a film as a cocky cowboy criminal, than I can see why it would be interesting. He pulls the same routine in some other films shortly after this one, so it gets old. But this may be the original appearance of that character. It's effective here, because his accent and clothes are so different from everyone else's.

I agree with the other reviewers that this Linda Haynes actress was good for the role. She had a weird accent and quirky looks, and seemed just the type that a guy like "Cooper" would pick up in his world.

I really liked Cooper's back story of having been a "Carny," and the girl's background as a dancer in Vegas. But I can't figure out the age dilemma. Apparently Miller was only 35 during the filming, yet he plays a guy who is basically a dinosaur in the crime world. It's said that he got started as a "kid" 19 years ago, but certainly he wasn't 16. I picture this character pushing 50, and I think Miller himself looked much older than 35. Is his birth date on IMDb an error?

If you have patience and appreciate dark character studies, you'll like this one. But don't lose focus as the plot develops, or you will not understand what our guy does for a living.

I don't know much about camera work or music, but both seemed classically 70s in their effect. Meaning real to the bone and stylish. It worked for me.

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