52 user 16 critic

Welcome to Hard Times (1967)

Approved | | Drama, Western | June 1967 (Austria)
2:56 | Trailer
A sociopathic stranger all but destroys a small hardscrabble town but the 'mayor' convinces its survivors to stay and rebuild.


Burt Kennedy


E.L. Doctorow (novel), Burt Kennedy





Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Fonda ... Mayor Will Blue
Janice Rule ... Molly Riordan
Keenan Wynn ... Zar
Janis Paige ... Adah
John Anderson ... Ezra Maple / Isaac Maple
Warren Oates ... Leo Jenks
Fay Spain ... Jessie
Edgar Buchanan ... Brown
Aldo Ray ... Man from Bodie
Denver Pyle ... Alfie - Stage Driver
Michael Shea Michael Shea ... Jimmy Fee
Arlene Golonka ... Mae
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Avery (as Lon Chaney)
Royal Dano ... 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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A town can be killed by a bullet...just like a man! See more »


Drama | Western


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This was originally announced for Gregory Peck and Rita Hayworth in 1965. See more »


Mayor Blue points to his diagonal right to where the miners are riding into town and Zar looks over his left shoulder in that direction. His "ladies" then look and start to wave though they are looking about 90 degrees off. They should be looking to their right, but are looking and waving straight ahead. See more »


Molly Riordan: Nice to find a man in these parts who knows the use of a gun the way you do, Mr. Jenks.
Deputy Marshal Leo Jenks: Thank you.
See more »


Buffalo Gals
("Lubly Fan") (uncredited)
Composed by John Hodges (1844)
Played in tent bar.
See more »

User Reviews

Faithful adaptation of a great book
1 October 2003 | by petersimcoxSee all my reviews

'This sparse and grim epic of the plains is loaded with character and with allegory as well. The bad man who comes down from the hills and destroys the town is analagous to Moby Dick, more about dark fate than satanic evil. The excellence of the film comes from its relative faithfulness to the book, a masterpiece by E. L. Doctorow, the storyteller who gave us Waterworks and Ragtime. I give the movie four stars out of the five, and the book all five. Henry Fonda is the big name star, but this is really an ensemble movie. Catch the late Aldo Ray acting up a storm. (If you have seen the movie, read the book. It adds some dimensions including graphic violence that wasn't put into film when this one was made.) I saw this film on TV late one night many years ago, and it stuck with me like a haunting.

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Release Date:

June 1967 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Welcome to Hard Times See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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