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Courtesy of Milestone Films

Law Building
1001 Bissonnet
Map & Directions
 

Directed by Lionel Rogosin

1956

USA

B/W

65 minutes

Showtimes

Restored 35mm print!

This Oscar-nominated film uses a cinema verité style to chronicle three days on New York’s skid row, the Bowery. Noted for offering the flip side of the 1950s “American dream,” the film’s stark realism is evoked by a combination of documentary and scripted footage. The storyline follows railroad worker Ray as he visits bars, sleeps on the streets, and is victimized by a thief, with whom he ends up bonding.

“A milestone in American cinema. . . . On the Bowery is . . .  so true to my memories of that place and that time. Rogosin accomplished his goal, of portraying the lives of the people who wound up on the Bowery, as simply and honestly and compassionately as possible. It’s a rare achievement."
—Martin Scorsese

Followed by The Perfect Team,
a documentary on the making of On the Bowery.
The Perfect Team
Directed by Michael Rogosin
2009 (France/USA/Italy)
46 minutes