6.3/10
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Three the Hard Way (1974)

Blaxploitation film about three martial-arts specialists who prevent white supremacists from tainting the U.S. water supply with a toxin that's only harmful to black people.

Director:

Gordon Parks Jr.

Writers:

Eric Bercovici, Jerrold L. Ludwig (as Jerry Ludwig)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Brown ... Jimmy Lait
Fred Williamson ... Jagger Daniels
Jim Kelly ... Mister Keyes
Sheila Frazier ... Wendy Kane
Jay Robinson ... Monroe Feather
Charles McGregor Charles McGregor ... Charley
Howard Platt ... Keep
Richard Angarola Richard Angarola ... Dr. Fortrero
David Chow David Chow ... Link
Marian Collier ... Eva
Junero Jennings Junero Jennings ... House
Alex Rocco ... Lt. Di Nisco
Corbin Bernsen ... Boy
Renie Radich Renie Radich ... Girl
Janice Carroll Janice Carroll ... Nurse
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Storyline

The story involves a white supremist plot to taint the United States water supply with a toxin that is harmless to whites but lethal to blacks. The only obstacles that stand in the way of this dastardly plan are Jim Brown, Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly, who shoot, kick and karate chop their way to final victory. Written by <gilesw@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The big three are on this case! They're the only ones who can save their race! See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 June 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les démolisseurs See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,275,072, 15 July 1974
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Allied Artists Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (television)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The comedy, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) was heavily inspired by this film, and features Jim Brown, along with 70's icons Bernie Casey, Clarence Williams III, and the late Isaac Hayes. John Vernon portrays the main villain and the late Steve James playing a martial arts expert like Jim Kelly in this film. It also featured the gag where Jim Brown never reloads his gun like in this film only in a more comedic setting. See more »

Goofs

The blue van alternates from shot to shot between two very different models. See more »

Alternate Versions

Additional scenes were added to the TV version to pad out the running time and for content. See more »

Connections

Referenced in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

That's What Love Will Do
Music by Richard Tufo
Lyrics by Lowrell Simon
Performed by The Impressions (as Impressions)
Courtesy of Buddah and Curtom Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good fun for fans of the genre.
1 August 2016 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Blaxploitation icons Jim Brown, Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, and Jim Kelly team up for this ass kicking feature. They play old buds who discover an insidious plot being bankrolled by white supremacist Monroe Feather (Jay Robinson). The scientist (Richard Angarola) being employed by Feather has devised a chemical that will infiltrate the water supply of three major cities and affect only blacks. Fortunately, The Hammer and the two Jims are formidable opponents and take the fight to any and all henchmen standing in their way.

As directed by Gordon Parks, Jr., "Three the Hard Way" isn't perfect. Admittedly, there's some obvious padding on this thing, and the story might not be meaty enough or altogether satisfying for some viewers. But there are still undeniable pleasures to be had. The action scenes are first rate and sometimes are seen from both great height and distance; the photography is aces as well. The movie does earn its R rating, but at the same time isn't THAT graphic with its violence, so more squeamish viewers may find it agreeable. The eye candy is delectable, with three "specialist" type female characters brought in to interrogate one of many bad guys. As followers of this genre come to expect, the music is most groovy. The pace may not always be consistent, but things do eventually build to a smashing finale where our heroic trio of bad asses stage grand scale destruction. There's a whole lot of shooting and explosions going on.

Obviously, the main reason to watch is to see three charismatic men bring their style to the proceedings. They're well supported by an effectively odious Robinson, a feisty Sheila Frazier as Browns' love interest, and the ever likable Charles McGregor. Alex Rocco is utterly wasted in a non crucial role as complaining detective Lieutenant Di Nisco. Corbin Bernsen (whose father Harry produced the movie) makes his first credited appearance in a motion picture, as the young man helping "House" (Junero Jennings) make an escape. Pamela Serpe, Marie O'Henry, and Irene Tsu are amusing as the sexy torturers. Jeannie Bell of "T.N.T. Jackson" has a small role.

Definitely a must if you're a blaxploitation completist.

Seven out of 10.


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