Hard Times [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Limited Edition of 3000 copies, Now Out of Print (OOP)
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Top Customer Reviews
Set during the depression era, this bare knuckle story of a down and out drifter, played by Bronson, who street fights to earn some money is never slow. The fight choreography is breathtaking, and to the director's and screenwriters credit (Walter Hill, Bryan Gindorf, and Bruce Henstell) they manage to not only write an entertaining story, but actually manage to create a variety of characters with interesting depth, highly unusual for a film of this genre.
In my opinion, and I am a Charles Bronson fan, this is his best film. He gives us not only great action sequences, but develops a character of intersting complexity and emotion. A true gritty hero during hard times!!
Also, special kudos have to go out to an exceptionally strong supporting cast. Great performances all around, from James Coburn and Strother Martin to Jill Ireland and Michael McGuire. However, special mention has to go out to Robert Tessier and Nick Dimitri, who not only conveyed scary and tough opponents to Bronson's character, but also showed impressive acting strength in being able to show their characters in more than a one dimensional framework. Especially in respect to Robert Tessier, whom I believe in this film, developed one of the most charismatic and memorable tough guys in cinematic history. A performance he should always be remembered for.
A truly great film.
Chaney wins a few tough illegal fights bare-fisted but Speed falls victim to his own careless wheeling and dealing and is unable to pay his debt to a gang of thugs. As a result, Chaney is forced to fight one last fight with Street ---- a big bear of a man played by Nick Dimitri. This is a climatic event in the movie with both fighters waging one of the most gripping fight scenes this side of Hong Kong. Even better ---- the fight scenes are choreographed the old-fashioned way without relying on special effects
Strother Martin provides a great supporting role as the languid and shady character known as Poe ---- he provides medical advice despite an opium addiction and his failure to finish medical school. Martin also played the prison warden in the movie, "Cool Hand Luke".Read more ›
If you watch the scene in the meat packing plant in Clint Eastwood's film Every Which Way But Loose, it seems like a direct rip-off of the Hard Times scene in Pettibon's joint--the manager of the defeated fighter won't pay up until a gun is produced. Also, in Eastwood's sequel Any Which Way You Can, Wilson, after scouting out Philo Beddoe's fighting ability, remarks "It's been a pleasure watching you work". This, to me, is a direct rip-off of Gandil's line to Chaney after the final fight in Hard Times. Interesting to note that Hard Times was released 3 yrs before Every Which Way... and 5 yrs before Any Which Way...
I happen to be a Bronson "fan" and own most of his starring role films as well as many of his supporting role films, but even if you are not all that interested in Bronson's work, you will still probably find this an excellent film in it's own right. The DVD is, in my opinion, crystal clear both in picture and sound, and gives you the added bonus of viewing in full or widescreen formats(the widescreen is 2.35:1 and is authentic widescreen). Towards the beginning of the film, there is a scene between Bronson and Coburn which takes place in an oyster bar.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This was typical Bronson at his best A mazing for a guy who was 54 at the time.I put him up there with the rest of the great ones.Published 15 months ago by Stan Bernard
Charles Bronson as a Bare-Knuckle Boxer in the early 20th Century, this should please fans of cage matches.Published 19 months ago by Chales V. Jones
Really enjoyed it, the fights were all very well done, for a film pushing 40 years old, I still found it entertaining, liked the costumes and cars it really looked like what I... Read morePublished on Dec 18 2012 by Peter Horlacher
This movie was made in the 70's and set in the 30's. It is a simple plot about redemption, from the point of view of a streetfighter (Chaney, played by Bronson) who makes money off... Read morePublished on July 15 2009 by H. M. Styranka
Hard Times is definitely Charles Bronson's greatest movie IMO. In fact it's one of my all time favorites overall. Some movies can be viewed and enjoyed several times. Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2008 by terry kelly
A real gem ! Contrary to another review (14JAN04)- 'Hard Times' stands-out as Bronson's finest action film. Read morePublished on May 11 2004 by Robert Brown