Hard Times stars Charles Bronson as a mysterious stranger whose fists make money for him and small-time gambler James Coburn in illegal slugging matches.

Hard Times stars Charles Bronson as a mysterious stranger whose fists make money for him and small-time gambler James Coburn in illegal slugging matches.

Coburn’s character lacks substance; he’s a likeable heel one minute, an unlikeable one the next. At fadeout, after Bronson has fought one last fight to save Coburn’s hide, Bronson meanders out of the film.

Jill Ireland is excellent in a touching performance as a down-and-out girl who has a brief affair with Bronson. Strother Martin is also excellent as a dope addict and unlicensed medic who works with Coburn. Michael McGuire is strong as a bigtime gambler.

The production has a very handsome mid-1930s New Orleans period flavour but the cast can’t lick the script.

Hard Times

Production

Columbia. Dir Walter Hill; Producer Lawrence Gordon; Screenplay Walter Hill, Bryan Gindorff, Bruce Hentsell; Camera Philip Lathrop; Editor Roger Spottiswoode; Music Barry De Vorzon Art Dir Trevor Williams

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1975. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Charles Bronson James Coburn Jill Ireland Strother Martin Maggie Blye Michael McGuire
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