Harder They Come

( 1 )

Overview

Reggae star Jimmy Cliff is the principal reason that The Harder They Come was one of the first truly successful films to come out of Jamaica. Cliff plays Ivan, a young would-be singer who finds the going rough when he hits the big city of Kingston. Jailed for participating in a knife fight, Ivan is exploited by a dishonest record-company executive upon his release. Turning his back on the establishment, Ivan becomes involved in the marijuana trade. He keeps the police at arm's length by offering them a slice of ...
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Overview

Reggae star Jimmy Cliff is the principal reason that The Harder They Come was one of the first truly successful films to come out of Jamaica. Cliff plays Ivan, a young would-be singer who finds the going rough when he hits the big city of Kingston. Jailed for participating in a knife fight, Ivan is exploited by a dishonest record-company executive upon his release. Turning his back on the establishment, Ivan becomes involved in the marijuana trade. He keeps the police at arm's length by offering them a slice of the action, but ultimately finds himself in the middle of a bloody raid. Ivan kills several cops and escapes, whereupon the duplicitous record exec releases Ivan's single "The Harder They Come," elevating the fugitive to the status of folk hero. The Harder They Come utilizes a take-no-prisoners approach to its material and presents an unadorned view of the seamier side of Jamaica life. The film resulted in an incredible upsurge in the popularity of reggae music in America; among the highlights in its hit-after-hit score are "You Can Really Get It If You Want It," "Sitting in Limbo," "Johnny Too Bad," and the title song.
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Special Features

Featurette: "One and All: The Phenomenon of The Harder They Come" and "Hard Road To Travel: The Making Of The Harder They Come"; Interviews with Jimmy Cliff, Arthur Gorson, and Director Perry Henzell; Slide Show: "The Wild Side Of Paradise" ; Music Video; Exclusive Preview of Perry Henzell's No Place Like Home
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
The ganja-fueled peace-and-love vibes of Bob Marley's best-known work have come to define reggae music in the minds of most Americans, but much of Jamaica's most potent music reflects a darker and tougher spirit that speaks of life in the Kingston slums where reggae first took root. Perry Henzell's The Harder They Come was the first independent feature film produced in Jamaica, and gave many Americans their first taste of reggae music; it's also a hard-edged story of poverty, crime, and outlaw culture that plays like a West Indian corollary to the classic gangster films of the '30s and '40s. Even though Jimmy Cliff had never acted before, he's superb and thoroughly convincing as Ivan, the country bumpkin turned public enemy who represents the flip side of every heartwarming story about the naïve kid who makes it big in the music business; and while Perry Henzell's directorial technique is rough around the edges, it captures both the grit and the deadly stakes of Kingston street life with the casual power of a hidden-camera documentary. Ivan's story never fails to ring true the scene where Ivan is offered a mere 20 dollars by a sleazy record producer for cutting his first single was based on Cliff's own early experiences; Bob Marley got the same deal for his first session, and if anything, this tale of a musician who rises to the top of the charts on the strength of his criminal record is even more relevant in the wake of the well-publicized legal troubles of Snoop Doggy Dogg, Puff Daddy, and other hip-hop stars. It's a shame no one thought to star Tupac Shakur in a remake. And the throbbing pulse of the film's music is powerfully hypnotic; after watching the chase scene edited to Toots & the Maytals' classic "Pressure Drop," you'll have a hard time imaging the song wasn't written for this film. Viewers should be aware, though, that some recent home-video releases of The Harder They Come are missing the periodic subtitles that were added for the film's initial U.S. release; while in English, the thick accents and heavy patois of some of the characters render them all but incomprehensible to American viewers.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/8/2010
  • UPC: 000799809822
  • Original Release: 1972
  • Rating:

  • Source: Xenon
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:45:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 24,040

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Janet Barkley Elsa
Bobby Charlton Hilton
Winston Stona Det. Ray Jones
Jimmy Cliff Ivan Martin
Carl Bradshaw Jose
Ras Daniel Hartman Pedro
Basil Keane Preacher
Technical Credits
Perry Henzell Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Seicland Anderson Editor
Jimmy Cliff Songwriter
Peter Jessop Cinematographer
David McDonald Cinematographer
Trevor D. Rhone Screenwriter
Robert Russell Asst. Director
John Victor Smith Editor
Richard White Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Harder They Come
1. From the Country [8:15]
2. Night Out [3:19]
3. Looking for Work [5:49]
4. The Preacher [11:07]
5. Just a Ride [2:10]
6. Studio Delivery [6:34]
7. The Ways of Sin [3:00]
8. Selling the Song [7:49]
9. Milk and Honey [4:31]
10. Getting Played [4:12]
11. Into Business [4:53]
12. Wronging Jose [7:44]
13. On the Run [7:38]
14. Enjoying Fame [6:37]
15. No Longer Running [6:56]
16. Soul Searching [4:18]
17. The Fall [6:35]
18. End Credits [1:09]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Harder They Come
   Play Feature
   Audio Setup
      2.0 English Stereo
      5.1 Digital Surround
      Original Mono Mix
   Special Features
      One and All: The Phenomenon of the Harder They Come
      Hard Road To Travel: The Making of The Harder They Come
      Interview with Jimmy Cliff
      Interview with Director Perry Henzell
      Interview with Arthur Gorson
      Slide Show: The Wild Side of Paradise
      "The Harder They Come" Music Video
      Exclusive Preview: No Place Like Home
   Chapter Selection
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    true classic

    this is one of the classic jamaican films of all time. jimmy cliff is the best. the scenes from kingston are true and real. (the subtitiles are distracting -but carl bradshaw's perfect dialogue should NOT be missed) the music is good for the soul. the 30 year edition is VERY informative about perry henzell and the making of this film. A MUST!!

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews