Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : Hard Times

download (10)

A man hops off a train. It’s the dirty 30’s.  He grabs a cup of coffee at a cafeteria and then makes his way over to a warehouse where a bare knuckle fight is taking place. He watches the fight. Later on he catches up with the manager, Speed, of the losing fighter. The man, Chaney gets Speed to set up a fight for him. Reluctantly Speed makes the fight which Chaney wins in impressive style. Speed sees dollar signs and a chance to break into the big time. With his  new fighter the two head to New Orleans where the money is. Speed makes the rounds hustling up fights and getting his old cut-man on board. Chaney goes his way and turns up when a fight is arranged. The two men make a less than conventional partnership. Speed the fast talking hustler street savvy gambler. Chaney the stoic all business no bullshit fighter. We watch the two men as they make their way through the hard, tough times of depression New Orleans.

images (20)

images (18)

images (17)

images (15)

images (22)

CB caught this at one of the Saturday matinees he used to go to. Right from the start Walter Hill creates the time and place and pulls us into it. He keeps the story simple. It’s a tough world and people are trying to survive. So many things work in this film and the main one is the casting. Hill sprinkles in top notch support to back up the leads who are perfect. Strother Martin as Poe has never been better. A treasure in the film world. He gets to show off his talent in this fine film. He plays (under plays) a functioning junkie. He really is good.  James Coburn as Speed made me like his self centered hustler. He is a lovable prick and it’s no wonder half of New Orleans wants to kick the shit out of him. Very good performance.

Charles Bronson is one of the movies original tough guys.  He was the perfect and only choice for this role. You believe every second that he is the character. Whether he’s in a fight or when he’s interacting with others. His scenes with Jill Ireland are truthful and subtle. And unconventional. Again, in this role and film he was never better. Others would have been acting. Bronson just is.

images (19)

The fight scenes are realistic without a lot of unnecessary indulgence. Just short and brutal.  A real well done under the radar film that is worth a watch. I really liked this movie. A CB favorite. Strother, James and Charles are gold.

So hang out with Poe, Speed and Chaney in ‘Hard Times’ for a while. A hidden gem of a motion picture. No bells and whistles just a simple tale told well.

“Lets go get the cat”

Advertisements

15 comments on “Movie : Hard Times

  1. tref
    October 28, 2018

    Great Bronson flick. Maybe my favorite one. I love returning to it again every few years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Another Blogger
    October 29, 2018

    Hey CB. Somehow I never saw this movie. After reading your review I know I’d like it a lot. And I gotta say that I like these lines: “Others would have been acting. Bronson just is.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 29, 2018

      It’s a good one Neil. Simple story told laconically with not a lot of flash and dash. Thanks for acknowledging the line. I probably stole it from somewhere. Bottom line is I don’t want to see Charles doing a romantic comedy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. J.
    October 29, 2018

    I’ve never seen this, CB… but it sure does sound like something I should see. Hill, Coburn, and Bronson? Eh, aye!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 29, 2018

      Yeah it’s a good film. It’s a notch above the usual tough guy fighter genre. Simple, under played to a tee.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jim S.
    October 29, 2018

    CB has a knack for finding movies I’ve heard of but somehow never managed to see. Bronson comes from the same tough, Pennsylvania neck of the woods as my stepmother. She just turned 80, sprightly as she was at 40. Touch stock. I liked Bronson in Great Escape and Dirty Dozen, two faves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 30, 2018

      Cool story. Don’t forget his role in Mag 7. Hard Times is a good throw back if you ever get a chance. I think it’s his best staring role. I have a good Bronson story from a friend of mine. I tell it to you one day. Go Sox!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. BuriedOnMars
    November 2, 2018

    This seems like something that I would be right into. Adding to my *to watch* pile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 2, 2018

      The ever growing watch/listen pile. Easily the best Bronson flick for me. He had lots of support and fit this drifter perfectly. Tough guy for tough times. Sort of a ‘Postman Rings Twice’ feel. Not as sleazy except Coburn.
      I seen your take of ‘Cape Fear’ on Youtube. I just don’t go there much. I think I told you or wifey that I enjoyed it.

      Like

  6. mikestakeonthemovies
    November 10, 2018

    Well done. For me Bronson’s best role of the decade right in the middle of a good run of roles for the action icon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 10, 2018

      Charlie hits it out of the park with this one. He is perfect in this great flick. I’ve seen most of his stuff in the 70’s (most of his stuff period) and this one stands out for his work.
      Thanks for popping by Mike. I had a little peak at your takes. Big chunk. Anytime I see Charles McGraw, Cushing and Lee you have my attention. Bogie to boot. I’ll get over for a better look. Later. CB

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Chris
    November 13, 2018

    Feel I ought to have seen Hard Times but somehow I missed it! Charles Bronson is a good man to have on your side! I wouldn’t want him as an enemy. The simpler stories are sometimes the best and just added this one to my recommended by bloggers list

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 13, 2018

      Chris this is a well done film from top to bottom with Charles getting all sorts of top notch support. Strother Martin and James Coburn are perfect casting. Hill keeps it focused. The fight scenes are brutal but don’t feel over the top choreographed.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: