Hard Times - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hard Times Reviews

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½ May 4, 2017
Apart from the Death Wish franchise and The Great Escape and one or two others I realised that there was still a great many Charles Bronson films I wanted to watch so the opportunity to catch Hard Times (or Streetfighter in some territories) was to hard to resist.
I'm glad I watched this great 1975 film that I had never heard of to be honest.
In the year that perhaps launched director Steven Spielberg to the cinema premier league with Jaws. The director of Hard Times, Walter Hill was also a debutant in directing.

The film is set in depression era 1930s New Orleans, US and follows the story of a drifter Chaney (Bronson) entering the city via a goods train and rising up the underground bare knuckle streetfighting fraternity.
Amongst the fighting a secondary character, a hustler called Speed (played by another Great Escape veteran James Coburn is also featured.

Featuring great cinematography of the period setting and New Orleans location the film has several memorable scenes.

As well as director Walter Hill I noticed the editor as Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies).
May 3, 2017
Awesome debut for Walter Hill, The whole cast shines in this, except for maybe Bronson's girlfriend... Bronson is tough as nails and short on patience as the wandering Street fighter with a code. And Coburn and Martin are super charming as always.
½ October 12, 2016
Pour son premier film en tant que réalisateur, Walter Hill dirige Charles Bronson et James Coburn dans une comédie dramatique sur un promoteur véreux et un combattant à mains nues pendant la Grande Dépression. A travers le périple des deux amis, Hard Times raconte surtout une Amérique qui ne jure que par le moindre petit dollar qui peut être extorqué au débile du coin. En ce sens, le film est assez intéressant. Il l'est aussi lorsque Charles Bronson combat les plus gros malabars de l'époque et lorsque James Coburn use et abuse de son bagou pour se sortir des pires situations. Au-delà de ça, Hard Times tisse quelques lignes romantiques absolument inintéressante et finit de manière abrupte alors qu'on aurait aimé une petite demi-heure en plus. C'est dommage car il y a un grand film dans Hard Times. Ce n'est pas celui livré.
July 28, 2016
I have always enjoyed a Charles Bronson movie, but this one is by far my favorite of his. Simply A+ in every category. LOVED IT!
July 13, 2016
one of my all time favorites
May 8, 2016
Just a terrific feel good movie during some real wink wink hard times. If you like boxing and a great story during the depression then this is for you!
January 29, 2016
Never again can they make a movie this rustic and cast with such authentic actors. These were guys who stumbled into the acting "profession". Many of Bronson's contemporaries had a flippant view on acting, which made sense considering the impoverished upbringing they had. They lived through the Depression as children, so that salt-of-the-earth flare bleeds through in these Steinbeckian characters.

Barry DeVorzon's finest piece opens up the film as we see Bronson riding a boxcar into town.
January 2, 2016
1/2/2016: Meh. Nothing real memorable or great about the film.
October 18, 2015
Pretty good Old Flick. I think it could use a remake .
August 18, 2015
Brilliant movie. Excellent script, storyline & development, gritty realism and great attention to period detail, not to mention first-class acting from all involved. This movie really showcases Charles Bronson at his absolute best, both in terms of acting, and action, and all of the supporting actors turn out great performances. This is the sort of movie where you can really get involved in the storyline, which deals with the bare-knuckle fighting circuit of the 1930's depression era. I first saw this movie 35 years ago, and owned it on VHS back in the eighties, and now have it on DVD. Having just watched it again (having last watched it about 3 years ago), I'm still amazed at how great this movie is.
½ February 18, 2015
Before there was Bloodsport there were Hard Times! Bronson is a hard hitting good hearted fella who just needs a few dollars. Coburn is a slick man with money and all the connections in the underground fight scene.
Together they form the 1 - 2 of depression era underground fighting complete with gambling and easy come easy go money.
For a film from 1975, Hard Times has some really good fight scenes. Sure there are a few fake looking punches thrown but for the most part, this film truly delivers on classic bare knuckle brawling.
Easily recommended for fans of fisticuffs and period pictures. Doesn't hurt that it takes place in New Orleans either.
January 5, 2015
This movie is made for Bronson and just rolls steady.
September 25, 2014
Charles Bronson beats the crap out of a bunch of guys even though hes fifty and those smackers would break his bones,great period movie set in new orleans
August 20, 2014
Worth the watch. Relationships developed.
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).
½ 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.
Super Reviewer
½ 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!
March 4, 2014
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.
½ February 22, 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.
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