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  • Director

    Perry Henzell

  • Starring

    Jimmy Cliff, Carl Bradshaw, Basil Keane, Janet Bartley, Winston Stona, Bob Charlton

  • Run Time

    109 mins

  • Release Year


  • Country of Origin


  • Certificate


  • Language


  • Format


The Harder They Come


Ivan (Jimmy Cliff), a young aspiring singer from the Jamaican countryside, arrives in Kingston with high hopes of becoming a recording star. Work is hard to come by, however, and after a rude awakening on the city streets, Ivan becomes a handyman for a local preacher. When an argument over a bicycle escalates into a knife fight, Ivan is sent to jail. After his release he pursues the island's biggest record producer, Hilton, and eventually gets the chance to record 'The Harder They Come', but Ivan balks when Hilton offers him a paltry $20 for the song. The producer retaliates by releasing the record without any promotion. Penniless, Ivan has no choice but to get involved in the lucrative but dangerous marijuana trade. As his criminal notoriety grows so do his record sales.

The Harder They Come is a gritty, realistic view of urban Jamaica that reveals the squalor of shantytowns tourists never see. Cliff delivers a charismatic and memorable performance as a young man who is determined to become famous, and the soundtrack is a joy.

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