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Originally made for television in 1966, but released to theaters instead, before being shown on TV because of its violent content.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


Mayor Blue points (to Zar) to the miners riding into town and lowers his arm. The shot moves to one from behind Blue to his left & his arm is still pointing (& again lowers it). See more »


Molly Riordan: Were you any good with a gun, you might teach the lad a little manliness.
Mayor Will Blue: That's not manliness.
Molly Riordan: How would you know? How would you know anything about bein' a man?
See more »


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


O, Come, O Ye Faithful
("Adeste Fideles")
Composed by Frederick Oakeley
Played at Christmas in tent bar.
See more »

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User Reviews

The Viewer is in for some hard times
19 January 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Burt Kennedy who made so many good comic westerns back in the day, tried his hand at a serious realistic western and fell flat on his face with it. Henry Fonda must have felt like Tyrone Power in Nightmare Alley, he and the film got great critical reviews and the public stayed away in droves.

No accident, western fans expect certain things in their films and Welcome to Hard Times delivers none of them. It is a realistic depiction of the growth of a western town, maybe too realistic.

Henry Fonda is the mayor of this little burg and purportedly the hero of the piece. Problem is that there is nothing heroic about Fonda nor the town's people.

Aldo Ray is the silent Man from Bodie, the villain of the story. He's about the worst villain on screen since Liberty Valance, without any redeeming characteristics. He defiles some of the women, shoots some of the men, and sets fire to the town. A few including Henry Fonda try to stop him and fail. Fonda fails in a moment of weakness.

Fonda's girl friend Janice Rule is among the defiled and she grows understandably bitter. The main story line is the conflict between Rule and Fonda, especially over young Michael Shea whose father was killed by Aldo Ray and who Fonda has now taken over raising.

Some veteran players like Keenan Wynn, Warren Oates, Denver Pyle, Edgar Buchanan, and Lon Chaney, Jr., make things interesting as the story drags on. There is of course a final and very bloody confrontation again with Aldo Ray that has some unexpected consequences.

Somebody should have told the town of Hard Times what the town in Johnny Concho did about William Conrad who was in the Aldo Ray role in that film. The solution to the problems of Hard Times was right there.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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