×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Harder They Come

Jamaica has served for the background of various pix, and now comes up with its first indigenous pic. It has a sharp and racy rhythm, in keeping with the music of the isle, plus a social theme in the guise of a familiar tale of a man pushed into becoming a small-time underworld character and then popular hero before he is shot down by the police.

With:
Ivan - Jimmy Cliff Jose - Carl Bradshaw Elsa - Janet Bartley Pedro - Ras Daniel Hartman Preacher - Basil Keane Hylton - Bobby Charlton Detective - Winstone Stona

Jamaica has served for the background of various pix, and now comes up with its first indigenous pic. It has a sharp and racy rhythm, in keeping with the synchopated music of the isle, plus an underlying social theme in the guise of a familiar tale of an ambitious young man pushed into becoming a sort of small-time underworld character and then popular hero before he is shot down by the police.

Jimmy Cliff is jaunty , with charm as the provincial who comes to the big town after the death of his grandmother. He cannot find work as a singer of rock ballads, and ends up working for a harsh preacher. He takes a shine to the preacher’s ward and runs off with her.

For this, he gets whipped an begins to run drugs, manages to make a record, which catches on, but is kept from being exploited by a corrupt businessman who controls the music combines. He goes back to drugs, kills a policeman and becomes the public hero only to be finally shot down.

Perry Henzell emerges a director with a solid visual flair who can mix action and inchoate rage sans excess to give the film a taut pacing and use the local color and a basically predictable tale with a few new twists. The knife fight is a dramatic extension of the anti-hero’s rage at the corruptness around him and the whipping is rightly rugged sans any sadistic forcing.

It has the elements for playoff abroad and also legs for the so-called U.S. black market these days.

The Harder They Come

Jamaica

Production: International Films Ltd. Release and production. Directed by Perry Henzell. Screenplay, Henzell, Trevor Rhone.

Crew: Camera (Eastmancolor), Frank St. Juste, David McDonald, Peter Jessop; editor, John Victor Smith, Seicland Anderson, Richard White; art director, Sally Henzell. Produced by Henzell. Reviewd at Venice Film Fest, Aug. 24, '72. Running Time: 105 minutes.

With: Ivan - Jimmy Cliff Jose - Carl Bradshaw Elsa - Janet Bartley Pedro - Ras Daniel Hartman Preacher - Basil Keane Hylton - Bobby Charlton Detective - Winstone Stona

More Film

  • Glass trailer

    'Glass': Five Box Office Takeaways From M. Night Shyamalan's Thriller

    With his fifth No. 1 box office opening, M. Night Shyamalan has plenty to celebrate. “Glass,” the conclusion to a trilogy that consists of the 2000 cult hit “Unbreakable” and 2016’s box office sensation “Split,” topped the box office last weekend — though its win comes with a few caveats. James McAvoy reprised his role [...]

  • Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama

    Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama Title 'Family Members' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Patra Spanou has picked up world sales rights to “Los miembros de la familia” (Family Members), which will world premiere in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section. Variety has been given an exclusive first look of the film’s trailer. The film is the second feature from writer/director Mateo Bendesky, and is produced by Agustina Costa [...]

  • Great Point Media, The Development Partnership

    Great Point Media, Development Partnership Join Forces on Slate of Movies

    Great Point Media and The Development Partnership, the development and production arm of the talent agency the Artists Partnership, are joining forces to develop, package, and co-produce multiple films, kicking off with three projects, including “Chasing Agent Freegard,” starring James Norton (“War & Peace”). “Chasing Agent Freegard,” which is being produced by “Captain Phillips” co-producer [...]

  • Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’

    Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’ Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s Miami-based FiGa Films, a leading sales agent on the independent Latin American scene, has announced the acquisition of Brazilian doc “Landless,” and released a trailer for the Costa Rican-Spanish drama “El despertar de las hormigas.” Both features will play at this year’s Berlinale Forum and come from young Latin American filmmakers making their [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to

    Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to Promote 'Deadpool 2' in China

    Ryan Reynolds canceled surgery on his arm to fly to China and charm “Deadpool” fans in Beijing on Sunday ahead of the franchise’s unexpected China theatrical debut. Just last week, Fox suddenly announced that a re-cut, PG-13 “Deadpool 2” would hit Chinese theaters starting this Friday – the first time the notoriously blood-splattered and foul-mouthed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content