The adventures of a drifter turned illegal prize-fighter during the Depression Era in New Orleans.

Director:

Walter Hill

Writers:

Walter Hill (screenplay), Bryan Gindoff (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Chaney
James Coburn ... Speed
Jill Ireland ... Lucy Simpson
Strother Martin ... Poe
Margaret Blye ... Gayleen Schoonover (as Maggie Blye)
Michael McGuire ... Gandil
Felice Orlandi ... Le Beau
Edward Walsh Edward Walsh ... Pettibon
Bruce Glover ... Doty
Robert Tessier ... Jim Henry
Nick Dimitri ... Street
Frank McRae ... Hammerman
Maurice Kowalewski ... Caesare
Naomi Stevens ... Madam
Lyla Hay Owen Lyla Hay Owen ... Waitress
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Storyline

During the Great Depression, the mysterious drifter Chaney befriends the promoter of illegal street fights Speed and they go to New Orleans to make money fighting on the streets. Speed is welcomed by his mistress Gayleen Schoonoverand invites his former partner Poe to team-up with them. Meanwhile Chaney has a love affair with the local Lucy Simpson. Speed has a huge debt with the dangerous loan shark Doty and borrows money to promote the fight of Chaney and the local champion Jim Henry, who is managed by the also promoter. Casey wins the fight, they make a lot of money but Speed is an addicted gambler and loses his share in the dice table. But Doty wants his money back and Speed's only chance is Chaney accepts to bet his own money that he is saving and fight a winner that Gandil brought from Chicago. Will he accept the challenge? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

NEW ORLEANS, 1933. In those days words didn't buy much. [Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was profitable and in 2009, Walter Hill said he was still receiving money from it. See more »

Goofs

Cheney rides into town at the beginning of the film on a train pulled by a diesel electric locomotive that did no exist at the time the film is set. Later Speed and Cheney ride back to New Orleans on a steam train that would be correct for the time. See more »

Quotes

Pettibon: This has come as quite a setback for us; it was too easy.
Speed: Ain't nothin' in the rules about *easy*, Mr. Pettibon.
Chaney: [putting on his shirt] Anything wrong?
Pettibon: What's wrong, Mr. Chaney, is that you're too good. You're a ringer, Mr. Chaney.
Speed: Dammit, my man won fair and square; give us our money, goddammit!
Poe: [noticing several Cajuns walking up behind Pettibon] Steady on, Speed. These boys are not refined.
[notices one of the Cajuns has a pistol]
Poe: Somebody always brings a gun.
Speed: [...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Omen Legacy (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
(uncredited)
Written by Henry Creamer and Turner Layton
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User Reviews

Hard To Beat
26 December 2000 | by ttbrowneSee all my reviews

A depression era drifter (Bronson) gets involved in the world of street fighting for big bucks. Good vehicle for Bronson who, like Eastwood, can say more with a look than with 20 words. He's the epitome of a hard edged, down but not out, tough guy. James Coburn plays his seedy, gambliholic, money hungry, 'manager' to the hilt. If you're looking for an actor who can make it look easy, watch Coburn in this film. Strother Martin plays a mulatto, hop-head Doctor (kicked out of Med school) they hire to treat Bronsons wounds. This is a man's movie. And the grit is captured perfectly by Director Walter Hill who would go on to direct 48 HRS. Throw in love interest (and Bronson wife) Jill Ireland, New Orleans and The Mob and you've got one hellava film. Don't look for any phony special effects which would have to be included for today's audience, just good acting, plot and grit.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 August 1975 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Street Fighter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,700,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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