Hard to Hold (film)

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Hard to Hold
Hard to Hold FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Larry Peerce
Produced by D. Constantine Conte
Joe Gottfried
Dana Miller
Kurt Neumann
Written by Thomas Hedley Jr
Richard Rothstein
Music by Tom Scott
Cinematography Richard H. Kline
Edited by Don Guidice
Bob Wyman
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • April 6, 1984 (1984-04-06) (U.S.)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $11,113,806

Hard to Hold is a 1984 musical drama film directed by Larry Peerce. It was meant as a starring vehicle for Rick Springfield, who had a solid television acting resume and a blossoming rock-pop career, but had yet to break out in feature films. It stars Springfield, Janet Eilber and Patti Hansen. The film features many Springfield songs which are included on the soundtrack to the film.

Plot summary[edit]

James "Jamie" Roberts (played by singer, songwriter Rick Springfield), being a pop idol, is used to having his way with women. He meets child psychologist Diana Lawson (Janet Eilber) in a car accident, however, who not only doesn't swoon at his attentions, but has also never heard of him. He tries to win her affection, but it's complicated by the fact that his ex-lover, Nicky Nides (Patti Hansen), is still a member of his band.


Rick Springfield's music career was very successful at the time. He had been approached to act in the film The Right Stuff. He later recalled:

It was one of those guys that said, [Uses an old-time Hollywood voice.] “We can make some money on this, kid.” And I thought the script was so awful that I threw it across the room; I remember physically throwing it across the room and saying, “This is a piece of shit.” Then they offered me a lot of money and I remember picking it up and saying, “I can make this work!” [Laughs.] Which I didn’t, because it was still a crappy movie, but I did my best in it and I still make jokes about it actually... That’s probably the only time I’ll say my ego got the better of me was when I did that film. I said, “I can make this work” after turning down a chance to do The Right Stuff.[1]


Janet Maslin of the New York Times found the film an exercise in narcissistic excess:

Dripping sweat, with the backstage lights glinting off his jeweled belt and his single earring, James Roberts escapes to his dressing room, collapsing beside the Space Invaders machine. He's drained. He's exhausted. He's a very famous rock star, and he has just whipped another adoring audience into a lather. ...Hard to Hold is a movie for anyone who thinks this sounds like real behind-the-scenes rock-and-roll ambiance and for anyone who thinks Rick Springfield is a real rock star. It's not a movie for anyone else, except perhaps film students, who will find that Larry Peerce has included more weak transitions, conversational cliches, unflattering camera angles and ethnic restaurant scenes in this film's mere 93 minutes than some directors manage in an entire career.[2]

Rick Springfield would later make jokes about the film in his act. He said:

The fans and a lot of people say they don’t like it when I make fun of Hard to Hold because a lot of them liked it. I mean, it wasn’t War and Peace, and they took it for the light, romantic comedy it was. It had a lot of good music in it and a lot of guys and women have said, “You know, dude, I liked that movie! It was great!” But I was expecting more and it wasn’t the right mix involved, I think.[1]


External links[edit]