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Hollywood 1978: 12 Neglected Features

Wednesday, July 11, 1979
9:30 p.m. Who'll Stop the Rain (Dog Soldiers)
Karel Reisz (USA,1978)

British director Karel Reisz (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Morgan, The Gambler) has turned Robert Stone’s National Book Award winner, “Dog Soldiers,” a look at the American Vietnam legacy (it opens in Saigon and moves to Berkeley), into “a hallucinogenic nightmare involving three unlikely losers in an ill-fated attempt to smuggle two kilos of pure smack out of Vietnam. There’s Converse, a quivering, ineffectual journalist who has run out of moral objections to the war and decides, in a moment of desperation, to take advantage of it, like everyone else; Hicks, a self-styled zen military man who reads Nietzsche and runs dope, usually grass; and Converse’s wife, Marge, who has been left alone in Berkeley with their young daughter while her husband searches for ‘inspiration’ in Vietnam.”
—Leigh Charlton, The Village Voice.

Though “Dog Soldiers” was adapted for the screen by author Robert Stone and Judith Rascoe, the film is not entirely faithful to the book, and a considerable amount of criticism has been aimed at the discrepancies. But as Leigh Charlton notes in his Village Voice review, it is “a violent, visceral film that is true to the intent - if not the letter - of the novel.”

• Directed by Karel Reisz. Screenplay by Judith Rascoe and Robert Stone, based on Stone's novel, "Dog Soldiers." With Michael Moriarty, Tuesday Weld, Nick Nolte, Anthony Zerbe, Richard Masur, Ray Sharkey. (1978, 126 mins, color, 35mm, Print from United Artists)