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Welcome to Hard Times (1967)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Mayor Will Blue
... Molly Riordan
... Zar
... Adah
... Ezra Maple / Isaac Maple
... Leo Jenks
... Jessie
... Brown
... Man from Bodie
... Alfie - Stage Driver
Michael Shea ... Jimmy Fee
... Mae
... Avery (as Lon Chaney)
... John Bear
... Jack Millay
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

One bullet can kill a town - just like a man! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

June 1967 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Killer on a Horse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally made for television in 1966, but released to theaters instead, before being shown on TV because of its violent content.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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mayor Will Blue: What can we do for you?
Brown, Territorial Governor's Rep.: It's the other way around. The name's Brown... from the Governor's office. Every time somebody puts a little capital into this territory, I'm called into the office and sent on my way. It don't make no difference that I suffer from rheumatism or that I'm past the age to ride a mule's back. A man who files a claim that yields, it's a town. If he finds grass, it's a town. If he digs a well, it's a town. And I have to charter them all. If the claim pitches out, the grass ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Silent Night
(uncredited)
Composed by Franz Gruber (1859)
Played at Christmastime in tent bar.
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User Reviews

 
The Viewer is in for some hard times
19 January 2006 | by 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.


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