The Harder They Come
The Harder They Come (1973)

Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff stars as Ivan Martin, an aspiring young singer who leaves his rural village for the capital city of Kingston, Jamaica hoping to make a name for himself. Robbed of his money and possessions his first day in town, he… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: February 8, 1973
DVD Release Date: January 14, 2002
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Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jay Cocks
TIME Magazine

The Harder They Come is always exuberant, and sometimes strong, as casually surprising and effortlessly sinister as the blade sliding out of a gravity knife.

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Melissa Anderson
Village Voice

The definitive postcolonial cult-movie musical.

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David Parkinson
Radio Times

Whatever the film's shortcomings, though, the music is superb.

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

With this 1972 cult hit, Jamaican filmmaker Perry Henzell produced a proud, forthright indictment of national and personal corruption.

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Variety Staff

Perry Henzell emerges a director with a solid visual flair who can mix action and inchoate rage sans excess to give the film a taut pacing and use the local color and a basically predictable tale with a few new twists.

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Rough 'n' ready but also rather wonderful.

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Stephen Garrett
Time Out

Atrocious acting, amateurish camerawork and a hackneyed story line all make for one painful slog.

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Tony Rayns
Time Out

The action is as gutsy as the well-integrated score, which makes the movie's Hollywood-style gloss a little anomalous, but the basic humour and toughness emerge unscathed.

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TV Guide

A gritty, realistic view of urban Jamaica that reveals the squalor of shantytowns tourists never see.

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More reviews for The Harder They Come

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
Chris Weber
This is probably the most well-known and important film to come from Jamaica. And, while it might not have been intentional, you could also lump this in as a… More
Cassandra Maples
Ivan is a country boy in Jamaica who comes to see his Grandmother and `make it big' by recording a record. However when he finds himself exploited by a… More
Graham Jones
A must see for anyone interested in Reggae music. A totally authentic look at Kingston in the early 1970's.
El Hombre Invisible
The film that introduced reggae to the U.S. in the early 70's. Soon after, Bob Marley entered the scene and the rest is history. Jimmy Cliff stars as Ivan,… More
Pierluigi Puccini
It makes up in talent what it lacks in budget. Amazing songs, feeling of sheer authenticity, social commentary and gripping guerrilla filmmaking
Mister Caple
Groundbreaking Jamaican classic film from the early 1970's that has become a cult classic in its own right and made Reggae icon Jimmy Cliff a international… More