The Harder They Come (US Release)

The Harder They Come is a 1972 Jamaican crime film directed by Perry Henzell and co-written by Trevor D. Rhone, and starring Jimmy Cliff. The film is most famous for its reggae soundtrack that is said to have “brought reggae to the world”.


Ivanhoe Martin (Jimmy Cliff) arrives in Kingston, Jamaica, looking for work and, after some initial struggles, lands a recording contract as a reggae singer. He records his first song, “The Harder They Come,” but after a bitter dispute with a manipulative producer named Hilton (Bob Charlton), soon finds himself resorting to petty crime in order to pay the bills. He deals marijuana, kills some abusive cops and earns local folk hero status. Meanwhile, his record is topping the charts.

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Genre: Reggae
Release date: February 8, 1973 (USA)
Director: Perry Henzell
Initial DVD release: January 14, 2002
Music composed by: Jimmy Cliff
Cast: Jimmy Cliff, Janet Bartley
Screenplay: Trevor Rhone, Perry Henzell


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