5.8/10
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Take a Hard Ride (1975)

PG | | Western | 29 October 1975 (USA)
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After selling his cattle in town, ranch owner Morgan unexpectedly dies, and his foreman Pike has to deliver the payroll to Sonora, despite the perilous journey during which he's followed by many shady characters who want the money.

Director:

Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony M. Dawson)

Writers:

Eric Bercovici (screenplay), Jerrold L. Ludwig (screenplay) (as Jerry Ludwig)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jim Brown ... Pike
Lee Van Cleef ... Kiefer
Fred Williamson ... Tyree
Catherine Spaak ... Catherine
Jim Kelly ... Kashtok
Barry Sullivan ... Kane
Dana Andrews ... Morgan
Harry Carey Jr. ... Dumper
Robert Donner ... Skave
Charles McGregor Charles McGregor ... Cloyd
Leonard Smith Leonard Smith ... Cangey
Ronald Howard Ronald Howard ... Halsey
Ricardo Palacios ... Calvera
Robin Levitt Robin Levitt ... Chico
Buddy Joe Hooker ... Angel
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Storyline

Rugged trail boss and reformed criminal Pike promises his honest wealthy employer Morgan that he will venture across the desert to deliver $86,000 dollars in payroll money to a ranch in Sonora, Mexico. Pike makes an uneasy alliance with smooth, yet shifty gambler Tyree in order to successfully complete his dangerous mission. During their perilous trek Pike and Tyree encounter desperate prostitute Catherine and her loyal ace martial artist half-breed companion Kashtok. Meanwhile, ruthless bounty hunter Kiefer and numerous greedy others give dogged chase. Written by Woodyanders

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They're the most hunted men in the history of the West... but forget the odds... just count the bodies! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Spain | USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Italian

Release Date:

29 October 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La lunga cavalcata See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stewart Granger was announced for a lead role. See more »

Connections

Featured in Missing Reel: Blaxploitation (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Paella Pandemonium.
23 November 2013 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Take a Hard Ride is directed by Antonio Margheriti and written by Eric Bercovici and Jerrold L. Ludwig. It stars Jim Brown, Lee Van Cleef, Fred Williamson, Catherine Spaak and Jim Kelly. Music is by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by Riccardo Pallottini.

Trail boss Pike (Brown) promises his dying employer Morgan (Dana Andrews) that he will travel across the dessert to deliver $86,000 in payroll money to a ranch in Sonora, Mexico. Forming an uneasy alliance with dandy gambler Tyree (Williamson), Pike quickly realises that many other people are aware of his task and want the money; including Bounty Hunter Kiefer (Cleef).

What do you get if you take a large pan and throw in some Spaghetti and Paella, add some Blacksploitation beef and season with Kung-Fu? The answer is Antonio Margheriti's Take a Hard Ride.

It's a fun movie, even unique in some ways, but it ultimately doesn't add up to much more than a series of action scenes, some good - some poor, glued together by a very ordinary and adventurous screenplay. Cast are hugely watchable, with the leads supported by Western pros Barry Sullivan and Harry Carey Junior, and the Canary Islands location is beautifully utilised. Bonus is the score from Goldsmith, who tinkers with traditional Spaghetti Western strains and adds in his own harmonious grace. Apparently Margheriti rearranged much of the score to suit his own editorial purpose, it's testament to Goldsmith's skills that even though the chronological flow of his piece has been defiled, what exists still marries up superbly with the vistas.

It flopped at the box office and it has over the years been the source of much rib poking, however, from an action stand point it often delivers the goods. Bodies pile up, stunt-men and horses (PETA would go nuts!) fly about everywhere, and explosions are not in short supply. Yes it's poorly written and directed without due care and attention, but you may find it hard to dislike on account of its machismo and oddity value. I mean, if you can't enjoy a Western that has Jim Kelly suddenly turning into Bruce Lee and laying Kung-Fu down on some outlaws? Then entertainment is dead... 6/10


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