Thursday, December 24, 2020

Producer Of Westerns Believes In Them [archived newspaper article.]

The Idianapolis Star

Indianapolis, Indiana

July 15, 1975


A VISITOR from that other planet, Hollywood, visited Indianapolis the other day. He is Harry Bernsen, producer of the western, “Take a Hard Ride,” which is having what is said to be it world premiere currently at eight area hard top and drivein theaters.

     Bernsen found himself speaking on behalf of westerns in general because “Bite the Bullet” also opened last week. But he didn’t mind that, because he believes in them – you can tell the heroes from the villains and identify with them.

     HE SAID HE had three things in mind when he produced “Take a Hard Ride”: to make money for the studio, to turn out an entertaining film and to eliminate “color”.

     By that he meant he doesn’t want racial color to count. His cast is thoroughly integrated. It has a black hero, Jim Brown, but the good and bad guys are mixed.

     BERSEN MADE two interesting discoveries while producing “Hard Ride.” First is an Indian tribe, the Tarahumra, skilled in fighting with its feet. This gave his western a reasonable facsimile of kung-fu, now a necessary ingredient of action films.

     The other is the Canary Islands, off the northwest coast of Africa. He found they have rugged terrain ideal for western locations, but with a difference fans haven’t seen before. And they are near Spain, which has stunt men who don’t mind taking a hard ride.

     FOOTNOTE to history: Larry McKnight, who started last Tuesday to break the Guiness Book of World Records time for endurance in the saddle on behalf of “Take a Hard Ride” was reported victorious at noon Sunday. The mark he claims in 111 hours and 55 minutes.

[submitted by Mike Hauss]



  1. I plan on doing a sequel to the film "Take A Hard Ride" called, "One More Ride". If I can get Fred Williamson to do it with me, it will be successful. He's a big fan of Westerns surprisingly enough so this would interest him. In the sequel, the movie will take place in 1866, a year after the end of the American Civil War. I will play Donovan, a smooth-talking Southern gentleman gambler who is deadly with a derringer but charming with the ladies. Fred will play Clifford, a former slave who once belonged to a plantation owner that he was forced to kill in order to earn his freedom. If I can, I will get either Kevin Costner or Nick Jonas to play the main villain, Adam Larue, who is as ruthless as he is handsome. Graphic warning to anybody who may be offended: There WILL be a certain word that is used in the film constantly and that is the "N" word. Clifford's character will get mad every time he hears it and my character will have to defend him even though he at first doesn't like me. The mission of the film will be to get guns for the president of Mexico, Benito Juarez, who will be played by Antonio Banderas if I can afford him. Clifford and Donovan then have a few adventures along the way including one on a riverboat in Mississippi, one in a tavern in Louisiana, one on a plantation in St. Augustine, Florida, and one on a ranch in Texas. But we will only do the film on one condition. If I get Fred Williamson to do the film with me there are three rules you and I will have to respect. 1.You can't kill Fred. 2.Fred must win every fight. And 3.Fred gets the girl at the end. And then there are MY rules. 1.I write the script. 2.We do this film MY way. 3.I get to kill most of the bad guys. 4.If I get shot, it can't be in the back. 5.I take my medications by 8:00. 6.I pick my own costumes and guns. 7.I have my own reenactment group. 8.I don't do my own stunts.9.Show up on time or I'll fire you. 10.We film where I SAY we film. 11.I will make changes to the dialogue, not you. And 12.Fred and I pick the horses. Not that we understand each other, let's hope that in the future this film comes out. Fingers crossed. And good luck.

  2. Made a mistake. I wrote "not" instead of "now." I hate the Internet sometimes. Curse you brain fart.