The Harder They Come Reviews

  • Feb 05, 2020

    I've seen better acting. None of the cast were actors at the time that the film was made and the soundtrack ranks as one of the best ever.

    I've seen better acting. None of the cast were actors at the time that the film was made and the soundtrack ranks as one of the best ever.

  • Mar 25, 2019

    Okay movie, AMAZING soundtrack. The acting was pretty good, some of the movie was cheesy, some of it didn't make any sense. But wow, the music was awesome.

    Okay movie, AMAZING soundtrack. The acting was pretty good, some of the movie was cheesy, some of it didn't make any sense. But wow, the music was awesome.

  • Feb 17, 2018

    Started with promise, but failed in the direction, writing and acting. It all wanted to be something that was implausible. Too bad though, the cultural side of Jamaica in those days was fascinating.

    Started with promise, but failed in the direction, writing and acting. It all wanted to be something that was implausible. Too bad though, the cultural side of Jamaica in those days was fascinating.

  • Dec 28, 2017

    a nice looking film and its an interesting setting. i wouldnt call this a masterpiece though. also its the only jamaican movie from the 70s i know of

    a nice looking film and its an interesting setting. i wouldnt call this a masterpiece though. also its the only jamaican movie from the 70s i know of

  • Dec 14, 2016

    Great soundtrack, terribly made movie that barely makes any sense.

    Great soundtrack, terribly made movie that barely makes any sense.

  • Nov 04, 2016

    A groundbreaking movie when released in the 70's bringing Reggae to the rest of the World. still a great watch in 2016. A no frills movie with a good storyline and good editing and direction. Some good songs too, as expected !

    A groundbreaking movie when released in the 70's bringing Reggae to the rest of the World. still a great watch in 2016. A no frills movie with a good storyline and good editing and direction. Some good songs too, as expected !

  • Sep 25, 2016

    Reading Danny Peary's review in the 1980 book Cult Movies, and trying to tease out how much my reading of both is confounded by coming 36 years later: -Peary finds Cliff "too sexual for most whites to feel comfortable with". Reminds me that he also hit an odd note harping on Bruce Lee as 'sexual.' -talks about the apolitical black American audience. The movie's distribution aimed it at them, and they failed to be interested in this movie. -subheadings about Ivan's contact with "the island's major cultural influences" - Christianity, the record business, the ganja trade, the Rastafarians, the police/government, and outlaw mythology - and gives some great contextual information. Speaking for myself, it was a bit hard to sit through, watching late at night. Often because I couldn't make sense of a lot of Ivan's actions: wheeling around a golf course? Sometimes they seemed real enough, but really unfortunate: wheedling to get the keys to the church, where you know he'll get caught. Buying ever flashier clothes despite being skint. Shooting Jose's girl. But Peary totally nails it: he's not an easy protagonist to get on board with, and maybe that's especially true if you're white and middle class.

    Reading Danny Peary's review in the 1980 book Cult Movies, and trying to tease out how much my reading of both is confounded by coming 36 years later: -Peary finds Cliff "too sexual for most whites to feel comfortable with". Reminds me that he also hit an odd note harping on Bruce Lee as 'sexual.' -talks about the apolitical black American audience. The movie's distribution aimed it at them, and they failed to be interested in this movie. -subheadings about Ivan's contact with "the island's major cultural influences" - Christianity, the record business, the ganja trade, the Rastafarians, the police/government, and outlaw mythology - and gives some great contextual information. Speaking for myself, it was a bit hard to sit through, watching late at night. Often because I couldn't make sense of a lot of Ivan's actions: wheeling around a golf course? Sometimes they seemed real enough, but really unfortunate: wheedling to get the keys to the church, where you know he'll get caught. Buying ever flashier clothes despite being skint. Shooting Jose's girl. But Peary totally nails it: he's not an easy protagonist to get on board with, and maybe that's especially true if you're white and middle class.

  • May 12, 2016

    Good music but weak plot and performances. Jamaica. A young man from the country, Ivanhoe "Ivan" Martin (played by Jimmy Cliff) heads into the city after his grandmother dies. He tries to get work, with little success, but his dream is to become a music star. He gets a single recorded but, though the song is popular, he doesn't get much out of it - the record company has the upper hand. In desperation he turns to crime. A reasonably historic film in that this was the first feature film produced in Jamaica. The movie also introduced reggae music to a wider audience. On that note, the music in the movie is great, and gives the movie a great vibe. However, the rest of the movie leaves much to be desired. Plot is pretty basic. It started off struggling to find a focus, but then when it does, it is pretty unoriginal, predictable and one-dimensional. No real character depth. You don't really feel that engaged with the character of Ivan. What little engagement you had goes out the window once he starts shooting people. Jimmy Cliff is okay in the lead role but the remaining cast are pretty wooden. Some quite cringeworthy acting at times.

    Good music but weak plot and performances. Jamaica. A young man from the country, Ivanhoe "Ivan" Martin (played by Jimmy Cliff) heads into the city after his grandmother dies. He tries to get work, with little success, but his dream is to become a music star. He gets a single recorded but, though the song is popular, he doesn't get much out of it - the record company has the upper hand. In desperation he turns to crime. A reasonably historic film in that this was the first feature film produced in Jamaica. The movie also introduced reggae music to a wider audience. On that note, the music in the movie is great, and gives the movie a great vibe. However, the rest of the movie leaves much to be desired. Plot is pretty basic. It started off struggling to find a focus, but then when it does, it is pretty unoriginal, predictable and one-dimensional. No real character depth. You don't really feel that engaged with the character of Ivan. What little engagement you had goes out the window once he starts shooting people. Jimmy Cliff is okay in the lead role but the remaining cast are pretty wooden. Some quite cringeworthy acting at times.

  • Nov 11, 2015

    Not a bad flick, great music for sure. A real Jamaican feel to it.

    Not a bad flick, great music for sure. A real Jamaican feel to it.

  • Apr 28, 2015

    Similar to Scarface/Goodfellas- but independent and with much less production. Has real heart(instead of loyalty-first) and less glitz- also with funky bass instead of Tony's killer lines.

    Similar to Scarface/Goodfellas- but independent and with much less production. Has real heart(instead of loyalty-first) and less glitz- also with funky bass instead of Tony's killer lines.