Welcome to Hard Times

Overview

Long before he scored with the epic Ragtime, novelist E.L. Doctorow wrote a minor novel upon which this stark 1967 film is based. It was adapted for the screen by veteran western director Burt Kennedy. In a forlorn town called Hard Times in the Old West, a cowardly mayor, Will Blue Henry Fonda, does little to protect the citizens from the rampages of a ruthless criminal known as The Man from Bodie Aldo Ray. The cold-blooded killer gets away with murder -- and then he burns down the town as he leaves. The citizens...
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Overview

Long before he scored with the epic Ragtime, novelist E.L. Doctorow wrote a minor novel upon which this stark 1967 film is based. It was adapted for the screen by veteran western director Burt Kennedy. In a forlorn town called Hard Times in the Old West, a cowardly mayor, Will Blue Henry Fonda, does little to protect the citizens from the rampages of a ruthless criminal known as The Man from Bodie Aldo Ray. The cold-blooded killer gets away with murder -- and then he burns down the town as he leaves. The citizens rebuild, and a newcomer named Zar Keenan Wynn injects some life into the desolate place by opening a saloon that attracts a bevy of interesting women, including Molly Riordan Janice Rule and Adah Janice Paige. However, things again look bleak when The Man from Bodie returns to town. ~ Michael Betzold
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Welcome to Hard Times is a film that tends to divide audiences. There are some who view it as a minor masterpiece of a Western. Like many other "oaters" of the 1960s, it's revisionist, looking at the Old West with a jaundiced eye and turning many of its formulas on their head for an examination of their inner workings, and putting them back together in a way that may be unexpected. Those who object to this treatment are unlikely to "get into" Welcome, especially because it's a "downer" that focuses so much attention on its message and method that many will feel it has left out entertainment value. Indeed, the film spends a lot of time setting up a villain so vile that viewers surely long for his comeuppance; yet when that comeuppance occurs, it's unsatisfying, leaving many viewers uncomfortable for wanting it so badly. This, of course, is intentional, but it's also understandable why some audience members will object to it. That said, for those who appreciate this style, there's a great deal to ponder and to study in Welcome. The cast generally pleases, with Henry Fonda an excellent choice to portray the morally ambiguous mayor and Aldo Ray an excellent sadist. Janice Rule's accent is annoying, but Keenan Wynn does quite well as the man whose brothel rejuvenates the town. There's also fine work from Warren Oates, Edgar Buchanan, Janis Paige and Denver Pyle.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/9/2012
  • UPC: 883316448113
  • Original Release: 1967
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 30,265

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Henry Fonda Will Blue
Janice Rule Molly Riordan
Keenan Wynn Zar
Janis Paige Adah
John Anderson Ezra/Isaac Maple
Warren Oates Jenks
Fay Spain Jessie
Edgar Buchanan Brown
Aldo Ray Man from Bodie
Denver Pyle Alfie
Arlene Golonka Mae
Lon Chaney Jr. Avery
Royal Dano John Bear
Paul Birch Mr. Fee
Dan Ferrone Bert Albany
Paul Fix Maj. Munn
Elisha Cook Jr. Hanson
Kalen Liu China
Ann McCrea Flo
Bob Terhune 1st Drinker
Ron Burke Young miner
Alan Baxter Jack Millay
Michael Shea Jimmy Fee
Technical Credits
Burt Kennedy Director, Screenwriter
Carl Anderson Production Designer
George W. Davis Art Director
Henry W. Grace Set Decoration/Design
Al Jennings Asst. Director
David Karr Producer
Franklin E. Milton Sound/Sound Designer
Hank Moonjean Associate Producer
Frank Roberts Costumes/Costume Designer
Aaron Stell Editor
Joseph J. Stone Set Decoration/Design
Harry Stradling Jr. Cinematographer
Harry Sukman Score Composer
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Max E. Youngstein Producer
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Welcome to Hard Times
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   Trailer
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