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Jake Van Dorn is a businessman from the American heartland who shares strong Calvinist convictions with most of his countrymen. His teenage daughter is missing from her church youth convention trip to California and Van Dorn hires a private investigator to find her. The result of the investigation is his daughter is spotted in a cheap X-rated movie. Van Dorn decides to bring her back personally and during the quest he becomes familiar with the pornographic underworld. Written by
Dragan Antulov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Jake has returned to L.A. and fires his detective, he creates a list of establishments to do his own research and that evening and drives around visiting places on his list. The first place he visits has a street number of 739 (visible in frame) but in looking at address detail in the long shot of the list itself, there are no references to a street number of 739 anywhere. See more »
Nobody makes it. Nobody shows it. Nobody sees it. It's like it doesn't even exist.
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Paul Schrader, who wrote and directed this film, also wrote the screenplay for "Taxi Driver"; both films were tips of the hat to the classic western, "The Searchers".
The excellent performances by George C. Scott and Peter Boyle are nowhere more apparent than in the scene where Boyle shows the porno flick starring Scott's daughter; he almost has a sadistic gleam in his eye as George C. Scott grips the arms of the chair and screams, "Turn it off... turn it off!!!".
Christians who complain that their faith is often ridiculed by Hollywood should see this movie, in spite of its disturbing subject matter. Scott deftly portrays a man whose religious convictions motivate him into risking his life for his daughter's sake. (Ironically, it may be those same convictions which drove his daughter from him in the first place.)
The only real drawback to this movie was that the "snuff film" element was not really necessary to create a sense of urgency. The urgency was captured perfectly in the "turn it off!" scene; there was really no need for a contrived life-or-death situation. Other than that, "Hardcore" is a gritty, brutal and poignant story.
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