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Hard Times

“This first feature directed by the young screenwriter Walter Hill (the second being The Driver) is unusually effective pulp - perhaps even great pulp. Looking like an authentic Depression worker, Charles Bronson plays an aging itinerant who hooks up with a gambler (James Coburn) and fights - bare-fisted, no-holds-barred - for gambling stakes. Hill gets our hearts pounding in fear that this loner-hero will be hurt or vanquished; the big fight sequence, with Bronson pitted against a boulder of flesh (Robert Tessier), makes you feel the way you did as a kid at the movies. You don't resent the film's grip on you, because Hill respects the loner-underdog myth. Shot on locations in and around New Orleans....”

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