Hands on a Hard Body (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hands on a Hard Body (1998)

Hands on a Hard Body (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Hands on a Hard Body Photos

Movie Info

Twenty-four people congregate at a Longview car dealership with the same goal: winning a new, option-packed Nissan Hardbody pickup. To do so, they must keep their hands constantly on the vehicle, minus brief scheduled breaks, until all their competitors drop out from pain or fatigue. A bunch of people standing around for nearly four days may not sound like the most compelling subject matter for a documentary, but S.R. Bindler's masterful film easily kept a packed Texas Union audience riveted (and laughing hysterically) for a full 96 minutes. By letting the contestants tell their own stories before and during the event, Bindler transcended its inherent visual monotony with a steady focus on personalities.
  • Rating:
    PG (for some brief language)
  • Genre:
  • Directed By:
  • In Theaters:
  • On DVD:
  • Runtime:
  • Studio:
    Legacy Releasing Corporation


News & Interviews for Hands on a Hard Body

Critic Reviews for Hands on a Hard Body

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (6)

On the one hand, the Hands on a Hard Body contest seems a horrible exploitation of needy people as a publicity stunt to promote a car dealership; on the other, the film reveals an endearing piece of Americana.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

These may not be people whom moviegoers think they want to spend time with, but this is accomplished documentary making, finding universal lessons in determination, struggle, planning, persistence and the relationship of mind and body.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

It's engaging as a non-drama of people doing nothing, but suffering a lot.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Scrappy, likable, and immensely absorbing.

January 1, 2000
Village Voice
Top Critic

Bindler's attitude is absolutely right. He doesn't satirize: he observes, and leaves the satirical view as an option for us.

January 1, 2000
The New Republic
Top Critic

Tales of Texas don't get any weirder than true-tales of Texas, and Hands on a Hard Body joins the ranks of well-done, weird documentaries.

June 15, 2001

Audience Reviews for Hands on a Hard Body


1/6/16 Sundance Doc Club Only in Texas, particularly East Texas would people endure this type of pain to win a truck. However, the film maker does a great job of pulling the viewer in and making you want to stay till the end to see who wins, like the contestants but without the pain. It is a testament to perseverance and achievement, not only a marketing gimmick but a beautiful human interest story. Well done and worth watching.

Nick Ueber
Nick Ueber

Quirky but surprisingly absorbing Hands on a Hard Body relishes in its east-Texas influence and gets a lot of interest in its stationary subject though its conclusion comes off as anticlimactic.

Cameron Metrejean
Cameron Metrejean

Having watched this and Hard Gun within a couple weeks people may think, "Man, that Chris sure has gotten into hardcore gay pornography". Well, they're wrong. How do you like them apples? This is a great doc about a contest in Texas where the contestants need to remain standing with their hands on a Nissan truck until everyone else gives up or goes crazy. The filmmakers introduce you to this group of contestants individually and then follows them through the contest. What struck me most is the goodwill they had towards their competition while trying to outlast them. In today's world of reality TV it is almost expected that when you compete against someone you badmouth them, try and psych them out or just regard them as the enemy. This doc is certainly refreshing after all the crap competitions we see played before us on TV daily, and the people are a lot more relatable. Also, the way the filmmakers use the contest as a metaphor for life in general is great. An excellent documentary. Now I got to get back to my gay porn.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

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