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Welcome to Hard Times (1967)

 -  Drama | Western  -  June 1967 (Austria)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 892 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 8 critic

A sociopathic stranger all but destroys a small hardscrabble town but the 'mayor' convinces its survivors to stay and rebuild.



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Title: Welcome to Hard Times (1967)

Welcome to Hard Times (1967) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mayor Will Blue
Molly Riordan
Ezra Maple / Isaac Maple
Leo Jenks
Man from Bodie
Alfie - Stage Driver
Michael Shea ...
Jimmy Fee
Avery (as Lon Chaney)
John Bear
Alan Baxter ...
Jack Millay


In the town of Hard Times, a stranger rides in and terrorizes the small settlement. He kills a number of townsfolk, including Fee, the town's founder. Mayor Will Blue fails to stand up to the man, who rapes saloon whore Molly and burns down the town. Blue promises to rebuild the town after the stranger rides on, but the townsfolk give up and leave. A wagon load of prostitutes led by "entrepeneur" Zar shows up and together with Blue, they rebuild the town. But Molly's desire for revenge and her anger at Blue for not protecting her eat at her, and Blue promises that things will be different when the stranger returns. And return he does. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mayor | prostitute | saloon | revenge | rape | See more »


One bullet can kill a town - just like a man! See more »


Drama | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

June 1967 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Welcome to Hard Times  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally made for television in 1966, but released to theaters instead, before being shown on TV because of its violent content. See more »


Although there are seven barrels and crates on the stagecoach, John Anderson is able to unload them in the five seconds he is off-screen. See more »


Zar, Whiskey & Girls: Ghost towns always have names full of promise. You better not let that happen when they name our town.
Mayor Will Blue: We'll call it what we always called it - Hard Times.
See more »


Referenced in I Spit on Your Grave (1978) See more »


Little Brown Jug
Composed by Joseph Winner (1869)
Played in tent bar.
See more »

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User Reviews

This is the worst "Western" I have ever seen bar none.
25 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love Westerns. I have watched dozens of them and I continue to watch every one that comes on that I haven't seen. (Thanks to the IMDb 'My Movies' I can set them up and get alerted to them coming on, a very nice feature.) This has to be the all-time worst Western I have ever seen.

The townspeople in this movie are the direct ancestors of the families in the home security system ads, where they put a night stand up against the bedroom door and are talking to the security guy on the phone. "Is everything all right?" "No, there is a man coming up the stairs who wants to kill us all." "Don't worry, I'm calling the police right away." Whew! Close one! And how preferable it is to have the police arrive in ten minutes, with a killer ten seconds away, than to have any means of actually defending oneself. Right? It is THAT level of self-imposed helplessness that afflicts the people of the town in this movie. They stand by, afraid to do anything for fear that it might be wrong. And you can bet, if they DO do anything, it WILL be wrong, so best not to ever defend yourself or try and stop a bad guy. Just cower and hope he won't make it hurt too much for too long.

As another reviewer said, in the old West, any idiot who tried to do what 'the bad man' did in this movie would find himself dead in side of five minutes, because back then, people stood up for and defended their family and property and town. They did not stand by in horror, clutching a copy of Consumer Reports and watching as the women were raped and the town was burned. The person who wrote this trash movie has no clue what this country used to be about. The 'bad man' would have been the 'dead man' in no time, and a person as wimpy as the mayor played here by Fonda would have been disgraced and yanked out of office pronto.

This whole movie is written from the viewpoint that bad people will eventually stop being bad if we let them tire themselves out beating us up, so we should not do anything about them. It is not realistic, it is not dramatic, it is not riveting, it is not honest. It is a complete frantic fantasy from the viewpoint of a clueless, modern-day political liberal, plain and simple.

I can almost forgive Henry Fonda for appearing in this cow plop of a movie because his role in 'Once Upon A Time In The West' was so powerful. Here, he is nothing but a complete power failure.

Someone commented that Fonda's character was much more realistic than the type played by say Clint Eastwood. I totally disagree. Perhaps there is nobody as-such we can point to from history who was exactly what Eastwood portrayed, but look at the famous sheriffs and marshals and gunfights and bad guys who are well-recorded in history. Where are the pacifist hand-wringers? History did not note them, because they were nothing that anyone would want to remember. They died as ineffectual cowards, and their only legacy was the shame of being too afraid to stand up for themselves against the power of bad.

The 'bad man', riding through town, doing crazy things and cackling and laughing the whole time, is one of the most bizarre and totally unrealistic characters I have ever seen in a movie, let alone one around whom the story is supposed to revolve. Can this be a serious attempt at a Western movie? It is a sad, pathetic joke of a movie, designed to push a pacifist viewpoint from the perspective of someone who knows more about tofu than about the old West.

I hate this movie. Have I made that fact clear? This movie is GARBAGE. Thank you and good night.

13 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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