The Harder They Come
Directed by Perry Henzell. Starring Jimmy Cliff, Janet Barkley, Carl Bradshaw, Ras Daniel Hartman, Bobby Charlton, Basil Keane, Winston Stona. (1973, NR, 98 min.)
Not reviewed at press time. It's hard to believe that 25 years have passed since Jimmy Cliff blazed his way into cinematic legend in The Harder They Come. It's a showbiz story, Jamaica shantytown style; it's a rebel-boy story, reggae style; it's an eternal story about a country boy on his way to doom in Babylon. The Harder They Come is the movie that popularized reggae music in America, and the film's score – with classics such as “Many Rivers to Cross” and “You Can Get It if You Really Want” – is still one of the great movie soundtracks of all time. And the movie's critiques of the music industry, the ganja trade, and organized religion still ring true. Director and co-writer Perry Henzell is currently working on a The Harder They Come sequel and has also recently authored a novel titled Power Game, which is described as a Caribbean political thriller.