Tag Archives: Rolling Thunder (1977)

The Nickel Ride

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Amid the well-deserved hype around the film version of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice was this interesting list of early seventies crime films set in California and its surrounds. One of these was a little known 1974 movie, which I re-visited recently after first seeing it years ago, The Nickel Ride.

Jason Miller (best known for his role in 1973 film, The Exorcist) is Cooper, a mid-level operative in the LA crime scene, who managers several downtown warehouses where the mob stash their stolen merchandise. This job has earned the nickname of ‘Key Man’ due to all the keys to various storage facilities he has to carry around. He is also involved in various other legal and illegal activities, including fixing fights, bail bonds and acting as a dispute solver of sorts for the members of downtown LA’s working class criminal milieu.

Cooper and his employers face a major problem. They are running out of space to store their pilfered goods and Cooper is under major pressure to finalise negotiations on large track of old commercial warehouse space that would be perfect for their needs. But there seems to be some sort of complication preventing him from closing the deal.

Cooper’s immediate boss, Carl (John Hillerman, instantly recognisable as Higgins in Magnum PI), is getting skittish and assigns Turner (Bo Hopkins), a cocky cowboy enforcer, to shadow him.… Read more

Wallace Stroby on the best 5 crime films you’ve never seen

Today I’m honoured to have New York crime writer Wallace Stroby guest post on his top 5 crime films you’ve never seen. 

For those of your not familiar with Wallace’s work, he is the author of five hardboiled works of crime fiction, including his most recent two featuring the female professional criminal, Crissa Stone, Cold Shot to the Heart and Kings of Midnight. I haven’t got around to Kings of Midnight yet, but I have read Cold Shot to the Heart and it’s terrific. 

In addition to being a great writer, Wallace is also a keen student of popular culture, particularly as it relates to crime fiction and film. I particularly like the way Wallace publicises and shares the more obscure gems of crime fiction and film. You can check out his books here and his ruminations on popular culture at his blog, Live at the Heartbreak Lounge.

Awhile back, I had the opportunity to guest blog about my picks for  ‘The Five Best Crime Novels You’ve Never Read’.  My thanks to Andrew Nette and Pulp Curry for agreeing to host this companion piece.

I’ve left out films I’ve written about at length in the past, such as Seven Ups,  The Outfit, Rolling Thunder and Across 110th Street. … Read more