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During the Great Depression, the mysterious drifter Chaney befriends the promoter of illegal street fights Speed and they go to New Orleans to make money fighting on the streets. Speed is welcomed by his mistress Gayleen Schoonoverand invites his former partner Poe to team-up with them. Meanwhile Chaney has a love affair with the local Lucy Simpson. Speed has a huge debt with the dangerous loan shark Doty and borrows money to promote the fight of Chaney and the local champion Jim Henry, who is managed by the also promoter. Casey wins the fight, they make a lot of money but Speed is an addicted gambler and loses his share in the dice table. But Doty wants his money back and Speed's only chance is Chaney accepts to bet his own money that he is saving and fight a winner that Gandil brought from Chicago. Will he accept the challenge? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I first saw Hard Times with my Father when it was title "Streetfighter". I was 16 years of age.
Ever since then I would have to say that it still is my favourite Movie, mainly because of the character that Charles Bronson portrays. The Movie basically begins with Bronson (Chaney) stepping of a freight train. If you study his face before he steps of the train you can basically see the hard if not troubled life he has lived up to that moment. One wonders how many of these situations that is about to confront him, has he already been through.
Throughout the film Bronson portrays a loner who knows what he has to do and he does it with complete style. Chaney is a man on a mission and James Coburn (Speed) is the perfect person to assist him. Although he does not show hard earned money enough respect, Speed does know how to make it and he see's Chaney as his biggest chance.
Strother Martin is perfectly casted as Poe, Chaneys mender, although most of the time Poe is never required.
The fight scenes are brilliant and can be watched time and time again, mainly due to Chaneys style, confidence and skill. The last two fights really show his skill, not only as a hitter but as a blocker and tactical fighter.
The final match-up draws out to be a fight of complete tactics with many moments of respect shown between the two fighters.
The "In-betweens" are very interesting and fall into place around Chaneys lifestyle.
The setting of the Movie is perfect, and the remainder of the cast play their parts precisely.
I think Chaney is the type of person most men would want to be. Strong, confident with no strings attached. Look carefully at the condition of Bronson's physique at age 54!
I wonder if Poe and Speed do go back and take care of Chaneys Cat!
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