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The Hard Guy (1930)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Short  |  6 September 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 356 users  
Reviews: 16 user

An unemployed man hangs around his flat.



(story), (adaptation)
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Complete credited cast:
Katharine Alexander ...
Ellen (as Katherine Alexander)


Married couple Guy and Ellen, who live in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, are having a hard time making ends meet since Guy can't find a job. It is especially difficult for them as they have to worry about providing for their daughter, Doris, who is suffering from vitamin deficiency due to malnutrition. As Guy reads through the want ads in the newspaper often reading of crimes on the street instead, and as he searches through his old army trunk looking for his warm winter coat to pound the pavement while finding other army related items in the trunk, he may have other ideas on how to provide for his family. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Short






Release Date:

6 September 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Tough Guy  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This short film is available as a bonus on the Warner DVD of Little Caesar (1931). See more »


Guy refers to his automatic handgun as "the old Army revolver". See more »


Ellen: Guy, you're getting hard-boiled again.
Guy: [standing at window] Well, I been in hot water long enough to get hard-boiled. Look at 'em... Boy, what a goofy world - a lot of guys bent from too much work and other guys going crooked for the lack of it.
See more »


Featured in Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

early Spencer Tracy one-reel short--of historical interest
1 May 2006 | by (south Texas USA) – See all my reviews

If you haven't seen this yet, don't read the plot summary. It starts off as a grim, naturalistic story of a starving urban family and the father's struggle to do something to make a change. How surprising to see Spencer Tracy so young and unformed as an actor! I won't give away the surprise ending because, frankly, without the surprise ending the short has little to offer. In only six minutes or so, it has no time to go into depth. Every time I see one of these early 1930's depression-era films that treat the underdog working man with such sympathy, I wonder what has changed so much in our society. Can you imagine any major studio project--other than a foreign import--set in the present time that sides with a working-class character who robs and pulls guns on his victims? Yes, it's another era, isn't it? That's not exactly what happens here, but this short plays on our expectation that that is what WILL happen. An interesting curio. Because TCM does not list shorts on its schedule, I just happened to be setting my TV to tape something on TCM later in the day when I caught the "one reel wonders" intro, and thought I'd hang around to see what it was. And after this, TCM ran an obscure 1930 interview with D.W. Griffith as filler! Great stuff, but is there any way we could find out about them IN ADVANCE, TCM???

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