The 2001 MGM Home Video DVD of Karel Reisz‘s Who’ll Stop The Rain has never looked great, and in some portions (particularly the opening passages in Vietnam) it seems to have been processed in barley soup. There’s now a high-def version available for rental on Vudu, and I’m telling you it’s a major revelation. For the first time since it opened in the spring of ’78 (it’s vaguely horrifying to think that was over 37 years ago) you can see what this film actually looked like — how it was truly meant to be seen by dp Richard Kline. All hail “Samurai Ray” Hicks — the greatest character ever played by Nick Nolte and arguably his finest performance. When I first began to self-describe as “samurai,” you can bet I wasn’t thinking of Toshiro Mifune. Created by “Dog Soldiers” author Robert Stone, Hicks is one of the great 20th Century American heroes, “semper fi”…and inspired, of course, by the legendary Neal Cassady. Here’s an absolutely vital Hicks dialogue clip.

HE’s own Svetlana Cvetko during a commercial shoot in Utah, taken a day or two ago

Illustration from Guy Peellaert‘s “Rock Dreams.”

During a press schmooze at the old Columbus Circle Paramount building (now the Trump Hotel) for Grease 2.