A lot of films like to claim that they’re a “cult classic”. But, in reality, only
a few can rightly claim that crown, and one of them is The Harder They Come.
The Jamaican-made film was the only film directed by Perry Henzell,
a white Jamaican whose family ran sugar plantation for weathy owners in Antigua and Jamaica, and was released in the U.S. to practically no notice in 1973.
However, as time went on, it became more popular through midnight
screenings, achieving its cult status, and making the film’s legendary soundtrack
a huge bestseller, introducing reggae music for the first time to millions.
Starring Jimmy Cliff, and Inspired by the real life story
of a notorious Jamaican gangster in the 1940’s known as Ivanhoe “Rhyging’ Martin, who was killed in a shootout with police
officers in 1948, the film deals with a struggling
reggae singer who is swindled out of his share of a hit song he made, and turns to a
life of crime before he’s brought down by the police.
The film is a rough-hewn, frantic and compelling picture, and
though there have been stories of planned remakes over the 40 years since it
first came out, none of them have come to light. And most likely, if there was,
it won’t come close to the original.
So, in celebration of the film’s 40th
anniversary, Syndctd Entertainment
and International Films Management
are releasing a newly re-mastered and restored version of The Harder They Come back, into theaters for a limited time, in a series of one night only screening in the U.S. and U.K., starting on Sept. 5.
To find your city, screening dates and to buy tickets, go HERE.
But once it’s completed its theatrical run, Xenon Pictures will be releasing the
film on blu-ray DVD later this year on a date to be announced soon.
Here’s the trailer for the new release: