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  • Hard Times (1975) [Blu-ray]
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Hard Times (1975) [Blu-ray]

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One of Bronson and Hill's very best in a beautiful Blu-ray transfer Oct. 13 2013
By Trevor Willsmer - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
Filmed as The Streetfighter but changed to Hard Times in the US to avoid confusion with Sonny Chiba's movie (though still called The Streetfighter in the UK to avoid any raised eyebrows at Bronson trying his hand at Dickens), this is a terrific little movie that never quite got the attention it deserved in the mid-70s. In many ways it's almost a kind of Depression-era Midnight Cowboy with bare-knuckle brawling replacing the sex-for-sale, as James Coburn's ducking and diving street fight promoter teams up with Bronson's drifter and sees his chance at the big time. Naturally it doesn't work out that way, but en route to the inevitable fall debuting director Walter Hill draws a vivid portrait of people trying to survive in brutal times any way they can - with added brutal fights.

The plot and characters aren't particularly complex, but they're vividly drawn, from Coburn's ability to seize financial disaster from the jaws of triumph when his passion for losing his winnings on the crap tables and borrowing from one loan shark to pay another to Strother Martin's eloquent `cut man' who patches up fighters in return for enough money to indulge his drug habit ("This month's financial condition has prevented certain journeys of the imagination"), while Bronson, as ever, says the most without words as the kind of man who never puts down any roots and never looks past the next bend in the road. There's a rich cast of familiar 70s faces among the supporting cast - Robert Tessier, Bruce Glover, Frank McRae, Felice Orlandi - and an elegant turn from Michael McGuire as Coburn's upmarket rival, almost literally a big fish in a little pond who isn't best pleased that he no longer has the best streetfighter in New Orleans. The plotting, like Hill's visual framing, is straightforward but eloquently economical with no sense of padding or waste, so perfectly crafted that you're never left feeling that you haven't got more than your money's worth.

The kind of film that people seem to have forgotten how to make these days, it's definitely more than the sum of its parts, and Twilight Time's Blu-ray release offers an outstandingly good and detailed transfer that really compliments Philip Lathrop's excellent Scope cinematography. Also included are the original trailer, isolated score track and booklet.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
My first ever Charles Bronson bluray Oct. 2 2013
By Patrick Lukassen - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The transfer is absolutely incredible, so sharper than my dvd-version and the sound and the soundtrack is unbelievable good, I give toprating for the transfer, the movie, well I am a big fan of Bronson and Hill so it says it all I think.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Worth It. Sept. 9 2013
By Steven P. Troy - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
although this is a limited release,it is a must have for Bronson fans.previous version was a full screen sham,and this Blu-ray is wonderfully done in widescreen will want this in your Blu-ray collection.Highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
One of Bronson's best Aug. 25 2014
By Carl O'Shea - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Twilight Time Blu Ray.Picture quality is great.No commentary though.There has to be someone out there who was involved with the making of this film who could have given commentary...such a missed opportunity!They could have told us what Charles Bronson was like to work with,his preparation for the movie and how he stayed in shape etc(the guy was nearly 55 when he made this and looked as fit as a professional athlete). "You had better get the money." and "you owe me money." Two lines delivered by Bronson in the movie in true superstar fashion.Would love to see the deleted fight scenes one day..the DVD has stills of Charlie fighting two opponents that do not appear in any version I have seen(would have been nice if those actors had given their input on the blu ray edition)!Think Charlie should have accepted Walter Hill's "The Driver" after this as he would have been perfect in it.Check out St Ives which Bronson made just after Hard Times which by the way was called "The Streetfighter" here in the Uk.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bronson at his middle-aged best. He & Coburn go together like beer & ... Aug. 23 2014
By M. Bigg - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Bronson at his middle-aged best. He & Coburn go together like beer & pizza. It's a hard-knuckled punch-fest with great character and a beautifully rendered depression-era New Orleans - just marvelous to watch. The transfer to Blu Ray is immaculate - I can only hope other Charles Bronson classics such as Chato's Land & The Mechanic get the same Blu Ray treatment when officially released.

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