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
A local New Orleans dealer and restorer of antique cars provided several autos for "Hard Times," including James Coburn's beloved black 1936 Packard One-Twenty Sedan [120B] car. The dealer, Gabriel Puccio, was such a frequent visitor to the set, that he was eventually cast as a hood on the payroll of James Coburn's rival. But Puccio's interest in "Hard Times" would apparently carry over beyond the end of location shooting as he planned to display the Packard in the lobby of the New Orleans Theater where the film would be shown. See more »
When Bronson starts shooting up Pettibons place he uses his left hand - cut - and he uses his right hand at the end of the scene. See more »
Chaney, I'd like you to meet my old friend Poe. He'll fix up your cuts, bruises - all sorts of good things.
I have two years of medical school to recommend me.
Two years doesn't make a doctor.
Well, in my third year of studies a small black cloud appeared on campus; I left under it.
What he's trying to say is that he's a dyed-in-wool hophead.
I have a weakness for opium.
That's a habit that's hard to quit.
Some are born to fail, others have it thrust upon them. Could I see your hands?
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A depression era drifter (Bronson) gets involved in the world of street fighting for big bucks. Good vehicle for Bronson who, like Eastwood, can say more with a look than with 20 words. He's the epitome of a hard edged, down but not out, tough guy. James Coburn plays his seedy, gambliholic, money hungry, 'manager' to the hilt. If you're looking for an actor who can make it look easy, watch Coburn in this film. Strother Martin plays a mulatto, hop-head Doctor (kicked out of Med school) they hire to treat Bronsons wounds. This is a man's movie. And the grit is captured perfectly by Director Walter Hill who would go on to direct 48 HRS. Throw in love interest (and Bronson wife) Jill Ireland, New Orleans and The Mob and you've got one hellava film. Don't look for any phony special effects which would have to be included for today's audience, just good acting, plot and grit.
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