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Hard Times Reviews

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Christopher K.
May 28, 2014
This was a damn fine movie. Very well put together.
March 19, 2014
The quintessential Charles Bronson film. Here he plays a bare-knuckle fighter trying to make ends meet during the Depression, with the great James Coburn as his promoter. Everything about this film is tough: the fight scenes, the dialogue, even the spare look by Walter Hill (in his directorial debut).
March 8, 2014
Not bad film about Bronson becoming a bare-knuckle boxer during the depression, with huckster Coburn and addict Martin backing him. Aided by some very interesting characters.
Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

March 5, 2014
Riding on the coattails of the popularity of The Sting and Bonnie and Clyde before it, Walter Hill's Depression era tale, while Hollywood's picturesque version of the times (even the dirt is cleaner), and often with the puppeteer's strings very much in evidence, it still charms through the work of the familiar experienced cast that sells the by now cliche story of the iconic mysterious stranger coming to town to change everything. And Strother Martin!
May 16, 2013
During the Great Depression. Chaney (Charles Bronson), a down-on-his-luck loner, hops a freight train to New Orleans where, on the seedier side of town, he tries to make some quick money the only way he knows how-with his fists. Chaney approaches a hustler named Speed (James Coburn) and convinces him that he can win big money for them both. Chaney wins a few tough illegal fights bare-fisted but Speed's carelessness with his money and indebtedness to a gang of thugs forces Chaney to fight one last match with Street, a huge monster of a man.

also stars Jill Ireland, Strother Martin, Michael McGuire, Robert Tessier, Nick Dimitri, Felice Orlandi and Ed Walsh.

directed by Walter Hill.
February 17, 2014
One of Charles Bronson's better flicks. He plays an aging street fighter from the depression era. To the surprise of no one, Bronson's character is not much of talker. Instead he lets his eyes and presence do most of the talking. I would say that he is the perfect actor for a director that is mostly known for a minimalist meat and potatoes style type of filmmaking. Which Walter Hill was in his earlier years. You could honestly say that most of his scripts were fat free.

Just think about his other films like The Driver, 48 Hrs and The Long Riders for instance. This film really isn't all that different from The Driver at all. The protagonist has a different occupation, but the films are very much alike. The actual fighting was pretty solid for it's time, and the supporting cast does what they're supposed to do, but both James Coburn and Strother Martin have had more meaty roles in their careers. But it's a pretty good movie overall.
October 6, 2013
Not a lot to it, but what's there is gritty and grim, solid, tough as nails movie making.
May 28, 2013
Walter Hill's first film as a director is spare, elegiac and as tough as a nickel steak.
Critic Master
March 26, 2013
A true classic. Bare knuckles Bronson, in one of his best films. James Coburn and Strother Martin make welcome appearances and help give this film extra character. A shining example of how a depression era action film should be. A true masterpiece by the ever talented Walter Hill.
horse c.
February 26, 2013
A loner fights to stay alive

Super Reviewer

January 29, 2013
Charles Bronson, for me is one of Hollywood's classic bad ass actors. Along with greats like Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Lee Marvin and Henry Fonda to name a few, he has carved a niche in cinemas one of the finest tough guy actors ever. By the time he made this movie, Bronson had already assembled an impressive repertoire of films to his name. Film such as The Dirty Dozen, The Mechanic and Death Wish made him one of the best actors. Where does his role as bare knuckle boxer fit in? This is a compelling and well acted movie that relies on a great cast to tell its story. Bronson plays Chaney, the bare knuckle boxer who is hired by Spencer "Speed" Weed, brilliantly played by James Coburn. This is a well crafted film by Alien Screenwriter Walter Hill, who makes film in the director's chair. Bronson fans will certainly enjoy this change of pace, as he has mostly starred in action films. Hard Times is more of a drama. I thought that Bronson brought a unique charm to Cheney, who happens to be a drifter with great fighting skill. The fight scenes are great and well executed, and the cast do a fine job in their performances. Walter Hill is a great director, and he most certainly crafts a great first film with this one. If you love period pieces, then check this one out. With a great cast, and wonderful story, Hard Times is sure to be an entertaining picture that is worth your time. Hard Times delivers something different for fans of Charles Bronson, and if you enjoy a good drama with an engaging story, then this film is a must see. Walter Hill is a director that can create something raw, gritty and in your face, and that is how I would describe this power house movie. Hard Times is one of the best films starring Charles Bronson, and even with the fact that he has made several classics before this, Hard Times is one of of his most defining works in terms of acting and skill.
November 4, 2012
An awesome lone character piece, Bronson is the man.
October 1, 2012
For it being Hill's first - and his penchant for crossing Western formulas cross gen - it has the tone right, it has the Depression's sense of pressure, but this is Bronson's show and everything else is undermined for his severely undermanaged character development.
July 17, 2012
This movie will have no lasting impact on me, but I sure did enjoy watching it.
July 1, 2012
A lot of movies have stolen ideas from this classic.
June 29, 2012
YES!!! One of those amazing movies hidden in the cracks of cinematic history that you are bound to discover unintentionally on TV and love every moment of it.

Super Reviewer

February 23, 2008
Charles Bronson plays Chaney, a drifter who chances upon small time bare knuckle boxing manager James Coburn and they form a partnership to make some money in depression era New Orleans. A great sense of period in a similar vein to Bonnie And Clyde permeates this compelling streetfighting drama, directed with the usual no-nonsense approach of boy's own favourite and Peckinpah protege Walter Hill. To be sure, it's a veritable testosterone fest, but it's by no means your typical Van Damme style action nonsense. Bronson has never been better as the laconic fighter who sees his bouts as pure business; there's no malice in him and there's a total absence of the kind of glorification of violence you see in most boxing films. In this way it has far more in common with the likes of Raging Bull or On The Waterfront. Coburn is also excellent as the smart mouthed hustler he befriends and Jill Ireland's unsentimental love interest has never made the down at heel seem more glamorous. A simple but effective story that highlights Bronson's consummate badassery without the usual trashiness that accompanies most male-orientated tough guy films and easily one of Hill's best moments.
May 22, 2012
Charles Bronson faz muita falta. Ator subestimado e, ainda por cima, bom de briga. As cenas de luta sao otimas.
May 1, 2012
Charles Bronson is great the orginal tuff guy at his best
Dave J
April 6, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

(1975) Hard Times

Favorite Walter Hill film was also his first directorial debut before becoming a household name for directing "48 Hours" with Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy. An ordinary boxer, Chaney (Charles Bronson) and his manager Speed played by James Coburn boxes his way through 'The Great Depression' with a superficial ending. This is probably my favorite boxing film since the fights are used in a way of surviving and that it doesn't take it's subject matter too seriously in terms of it's storyline.
This film also inspired Clint Eastwood to make his film in similar fashion called "Any Which Way You Can" made in 1980.

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