Cannery Row

Synopsis: Monterey, California in the 1940's. Cannery Row - the section of town where the now closed fish canneries are located - is inhabited primarily by the down and out, although many would not move away even if they could. Probably the most upstanding citizen in the area is Doc, a marine biologist who earns a living primarily by collecting and selling marine specimens for research. He is a lost soul who is looking for his place in life. He is running away from his past, one where he is trying to make amends for what he considers a past wrong. But his current life isn't totally satisfying either. He believes that his recent collection of eight baby octopi will help him define that future in conducting research on their behavior. However, he is finding that research is not as easy as he had hoped, and that he is still feeling restless. Into the area comes drifter Suzy DeSoto. She too is a lost soul. With few job skills, she gets a job as what she calls a floozy in the local whorehouse, despit
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): David S. Ward
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min

Cannery Row has never been

like anywhere else.

Its people are different.

When the town died off,

most failed to notice.

Some say nobody would live here

unless they had to,

but some, like The Seer,

wouldn't live anywhere else.

Of all the people on Cannery Row,

Doc is probably the best known.

He makes his living

by collecting marine animals

and selling them

to colleges and museums.

Doc has become

a pillar of the community,

and its fountain of

science and philosophy.

He had friends

he didn't even know about

and some he would never forget.

Friends like Mack and the boys.

Mack leads a small group of men

who have in common no families,

no money and no ambition -

beyond the time

to discuss matters

of interest but little importance.

The youngest and strongest

of the group is Hazel.

A childhood illness left him with a

slightly diminished mental capacity.

As a result, he had the mind of

a small boy in the body of a bull.

Hey, Mack?

What is it, Hazel?

Mack, you said you was gonna

lead us in some exercise.

You said we was out of shape.

- I said that?

- Yeah, that's right.

- I must have been drunk as hell.

- Well, come on. We're waiting.

Here we go. Come on, Mack.

Okay, Mack.

- All right, you ready?

- Yeah.

Touch your toes. Swing your hips.

Jumping Jacks.

Mack, I'm going to La Jolla for a

few days. Feed my mice, will you?

- There's beer in the refrigerator.

- Don't worry about the mice, Doc.

- We'll take care of it.

- Okay.

Doc is a hell of a guy.

Give you anything he's got.

A hell of a guy. We ought to do

something nice for him sometime.

Despite the esteem

in which he was held,

Doc was not fully content.

He'd been afflicted with

a gnawing restlessness.

A sense of something unfulfilled.

So he planned a collecting trip,

hoping to smother his unease

with activity.

At first, he turned up very little.

But by the third day,

his luck began to change.

Under the boulders of the intertidal

zone, he found eight baby octopi.

It was a little bonanza for him,

if he could keep them alive.

He dedicated himself to building an

octopus world within walls of glass,

anticipating every octopus need,

and eliminating every danger.

Doc, I got something important

to talk to you about.

- How much do you need, Mack?

- Two bucks.

Here, take it out of that.

- What about my story?

- What story?

I had a story about

why I needed two bucks.

- You don't need a story.

- The hell I don't!

I worked all night on it.

Hazel cried when I tried it on him.

You see, my aunt in Salinas...

She lost both husbands in the flood.

- I didn't know you had an aunt.

- I don't have an aunt!

That's the goddamn story!

Doc, what is the matter with you?

I got a problem, Mack.

- How am I going to light them?

- Light what?

The octopi.

Octopi are afraid of light. How can

I light them without scaring them?

- Why don't you just give up?

- Mack, octopi are fascinating.

They have emotions like ours.

They show fear, anger and excitement

by colour changes in their bodies.

I need a wide-angle binocularscope.

- What?

- Binocularscope.

Even if I do get the right light...

Doc, look at me.

It's me, Mack, your friend.

What's wrong?

You've redone this tank five times.

I'm all right, Mack. Really.

I need to do something different

for a change. Something of value.

- You ain't done nothing up to now.

- That's just the point.

A man ought to make a mark.

Every year I go to the Congress of

Marine Biologists in San Francisco.

Every year I listen to guys reciting

papers on the stuff they know.

This year,

they'll listen to me for a change.

I know these animals

as well as anybody.

I must be able to find out something

about them that's worth knowing.

I think I'll call my paper...

"Symptoms In Some Cephalopoda...

..Approximating Apoplexy."

- Afternoon. What can I get you?

- Do you know of any work here?

No, not since the canneries closed.

Aren't any of them running?

This is Cannery Row, isn't it?

And we still got cans to prove it,

but no sardines to put in them.

- They disappeared a few years ago.

- What happened to them?

We'd all like to know that.

I think they fished them all out.

Now nothing happens till Mack and

the boys from Ft. Ord come over.

Can I leave my case here

while I look around?

- Sure. I'll put it back here.

- Thanks. What if you're off shift?

- Honey, I ain't never off shift.

- Thanks.

Would you like salami with that?

- I didn't know this was your bag.

- You're welcome to anything in it.

- You've had a rotten day.

- What makes you say that?

I'm a Seer. It's my business

to know these things.

I live alone.

I listen to the waves at night.

I follow the moon and in the depths

of my solitude, I see visions.

Anyone would. Is there anything

I can help you with?

- You expect me to believe all this?

- I don't expect anything.

I don't need anything. My friends

above provide food and lodging.

After you've eaten, come for a swim.

- It'll make you feel better.

- I have to be going.

- I don't even know how to swim.

- I don't, either.

I just go in up to my chest.

- So long.

- So long.

- I'd like to speak to the manager.

- Sure. Come on in.

The oyster fork

goes next to the salad fork.

Like hell. It goes next to

the cheese knife and soup spoon.

- It's the only fork on the right.

- You know nothing.

The table is set with the fork always

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John Steinbeck

John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (; February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author. He won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." He has been called "a giant of American letters," and many of his works are considered classics of Western literature.During his writing career, he authored 27 books, including 16 novels, six non-fiction books, and two collections of short stories. He is widely known for the comic novels Tortilla Flat (1935) and Cannery Row (1945), the multi-generation epic East of Eden (1952), and the novellas Of Mice and Men (1937) and The Red Pony (1937). The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath (1939) is considered Steinbeck's masterpiece and part of the American literary canon. In the first 75 years after it was published, it sold 14 million copies.Most of Steinbeck's work is set in central California, particularly in the Salinas Valley and the California Coast Ranges region. His works frequently explored the themes of fate and injustice, especially as applied to downtrodden or everyman protagonists. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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