ON THE BOWERY chronicles three days in the drinking life of Ray Salyer, a part-time railroad worker adrift on New York’s skid row, the Bowery. When the film first opened it 1956, it exploded on the screen, burning away years of Hollywood artifice, jump-starting the post-war American independent scene and earning an Oscar nomination. Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna, ON THE BOWERY is simultaneously an incredible document of a bygone era and a vivid and devastating portrait of addiction that resonates today just as it did when it was made.
For songwriter Woody Guthrie, his guitar was a machine that “kills fascists.” For Lionel Rogosin, the weapon of choice was a movie camera and his first battle was waged on the streets of New York City. Exploring the underworld of the city’s skid row, Rogosin developed his signature style. After months drinking with men he met on the Bowery, Rogosin worked with them to write a screenplay that reflected their lives and then cast his drinking buddies as themselves.
Selected: 2008 National Film Registry by the Library of Congress
Also on the BluRay and DVD:
GOOD TIMES, WONDERFUL TIMES was Rogosin’s plea for humanity and against war and fascism. For two years, Rogosin traveled to twelve countries to collect footage of war atrocities from their archives. He interspersed these harrowing images with scenes of a London cocktail party’s mundane chatter. GOOD TIMES, WONDERFUL TIMES was released in 1964, at the height of the Vietnam War, and became one of the great anti-war films of the era.
OUT, a documentary by Rogosin made for the United Nations, tells the plight of Hungarian refugees fleeing to Austria in the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
Three films by Lionel Rogosin’s son Michael: THE PERFECT TEAM: THE MAKING OF ON THE BOWERY, A WALK THROUGH THE BOWERY and MAN’S PERIL: THE MAKING OF GOOD TIMES, WONDERFUL TIMES.
BOWERY MEN’S SHELTER, directed by Rhody Streeter and Tony Ganz (1972).
STREET OF FORGOTTEN MEN (1935)
Also available in 35mm prints for Theatrical and Nontheatrical screenings. Contact Milestone for more information.
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