Welcome to Hard Times (film)
|Welcome to Hard Times|
|Directed by||Burt Kennedy|
|Produced by||David Karr
Max E. Youngstein
|Screenplay by||Burt Kennedy|
|Based on||Welcome to Hard Times (novel) (1960)
by E. L. Doctorow
|Music by||Harry Sukman|
|Cinematography||Harry Stradling, Jr.|
|Editing by||Aaron Stell|
|Release dates||May 1, 1967|
|Running time||103 min.|
Welcome to Hard Times is a 1967 Western film based upon a novel by E. L. Doctorow. The movie was directed by Burt Kennedy. It stars Henry Fonda as the leader of a dying town who is too weak to stand up to a brute terrorizing the few remaining residents.
A vicious stranger, the "Man from Bodie" (Aldo Ray), terrorizes the small settlement of Hard Times. He kills the only men who stand up to him, town founder Mr. Fee (Paul Birch) and town undertaker Mr. Hanson (Elisha Cook, Jr.), as well as raping and killing Fee's girlfriend Flo (Ann McCrea). Before he leaves, he burns down the handful of buildings.
Only a few people stay, among them Will Blue (Henry Fonda). Blue takes in Fee's young orphaned son Jimmy (Michael Shea) and convinces his woman Molly (Janice Rule) to stay there with them. A few other people arrive. Zar (Keenan Wynn) and his four saloon girls settle in to serve the nearby miners. Isaac Maple (John Anderson) comes looking for his long-gone storekeeper brother, so Blue persuades him to reopen the general store. A drifter, Leo Jenks (Warren Oates), also lazes around town.
Blue tries hard to build a family and a prosperous community, but Molly despises him for not standing up against the Man from Bodie and is obsessed with revenge against him for what he did. They both expect the Man will return in the spring. Molly works on Jenks, a fine shot, and even infects Jimmy with her consuming hatred, getting him a shotgun.
Finally, the villain shows up and resumes his terrorizing ways. Molly persuades Jenks to go after him. Jenks ends up killing Zar by mistake and is gunned down. Blue is wounded in the shoulder, but then the Man runs out of bullets and Blue shoots him several times.
Blue carries the body home to show Molly. When she gingerly approaches, the dying Man revives and grabs her hand. Her panicked yell for help brings Jimmy running with his shotgun. Blue tries to grab the weapon, but it goes off, hitting the Man in the face killing him, but also hitting Molly in the stomach. Just before she dies, she asks Blue to hold her. Later, from her gravesite, Blue and Jimmy see a growing town.
- Henry Fonda as Will Blue
- Janice Rule as Molly Riordan
- Keenan Wynn as Zar
- Janis Paige as Adah, one of Zar's girls
- John Anderson as Ezra and Isaac Maple
- Warren Oates as Leo Jenks
- Fay Spain as Jessie one of Zar's girls
- Edgar Buchanan as Brown, the territorial governor's representative
- Aldo Ray as Man from Bodie
- Denver Pyle as Alfie, the stagecoach driver
- Michael Shea as Jimmy Fee
- Arlene Golonka as Mae, one of Zar's girls
- Lon Chaney, Jr. as Avery, the saloonkeeper
- Royal Dano as John Bear
- Alan Baxter as Jack Millay
- Paul Birch as Mr. Fee, Jimmy's father
- Dan Ferrone as Bert Albany, Blossom's man
- Paul Fix as Major Munn C.S.A.
- Elisha Cook, Jr. as Hanson (undertaker)
- Kalen Liu as China aka Blossom
- Ann McCrea as Flo, Fee's woman
- Welcome to Hard Times at the Internet Movie Database
- Welcome to Hard Times at allmovie
- Welcome to Hard Times (film) at the TCM Movie Database
- Welcome to Hard Times at the American Film Institute Catalog