52 user 69 critic

The Harder They Come (1972)

2:18 | Trailer
Wishing to become a successful Reggae singer, a young Jamaican man finds himself tied to corrupt record producers and drug pushers.


Perry Henzell





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy Cliff ... Ivanhoe "Ivan" Martin
Janet Bartley Janet Bartley ... Elsa
Carl Bradshaw Carl Bradshaw ... Jose Smith
Ras Daniel Hartman Ras Daniel Hartman ... Pedro
Basil Keane Basil Keane ... Preacher
Bob Charlton Bob Charlton ... Hilton
Winston Stona Winston Stona ... Detective Ray Jones
Lucia White Lucia White ... Mother
Volair Johnson Volair Johnson ... Pushcart Boy
Beverly Anderson Beverly Anderson ... Housewife
Clover Lewis Clover Lewis ... Market Woman
Elijah Chambers Elijah Chambers ... Longa
Prince Buster Prince Buster ... DJ at Dance
Ed 'Bim' Lewis Ed 'Bim' Lewis ... Photographer
Bobby Loban Bobby Loban ... Fitz


With dreams of becoming a successful Reggae singer, a young Jamaican man finds corruption from his record producers and the drug pushers they're connected to. Rather than fail his dreams Ivan lets nothing stand in his way, not even the law. Written by Daniel Jos. Leary

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail in shanty town (British DVD tag-line) See more »


Crime | Drama | Music


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The movie Ivan watches at the Rialto theater the first night he arrives in town is 1966's "Django" See more »


DJ: You know, this is show *business*, Baby. No business, no show!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Because of the thick accents, and the extensive use of Jamaican slang, the U.S. release prints contained English subtitles. See more »


Referenced in Versus (2000) See more »


Johnny Too Bad
Performed by The Slickers
Composed by Hylton Bexford, Winston Bailey, Sydney Crooks and Derric Crooks
See more »

User Reviews

awesome, timeless film
10 June 2004 | by rrrinaSee all my reviews

amazing film. i'd seen it in the movies when it first came out. this is the film that really introduced me to reggae music. for a film that was obviously made on a limited budget, it has everything. it touches every emotion and teaches many life lessons with a beautiful backdrop of real and raw Jamaican life. the plot is basically a poor boy who dreams of becoming famous through his music - regardless of the price. to me it represents the epitome of human nature. i think it also typifies the music industry worldwide and the frustrations and obstacles artists must overcome. i've recently purchased the film on DVD and now, years later, it's just as awesome as the first time i saw it!

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

14 April 1976 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Harder They Come See more »

Filming Locations:

Kingston, Jamaica See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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