The Pittsburgh Courier
September 27, 1975
“Take a Hard Ride,” a new kind of western starring a host of superstars in the current attraction at the Stanley.
Jim Brown stars in the 20th Century-Fox release as a rugged, loyal and brave cowboy thoroughly determined to do what he believes is right – and that’s battling to get $86,000 to the rightful owners. He challenges the tremendous odds of other men’s greed and a brutal Mother Nature.
Fred Williamson, the new black make sex symbol, and controversial actor, co-stars along with karate expert Jim Kelly. Both add character and dimension to the story and film.
“Take a Hard Ride” also stars Barry Sullivan, Lee Van Cleef, Catherine Spaak and special guest Dana Andrews.
Charles McGregor who played Freddie in “Superfly” offers a welcome and hilarious departure from the normal western by bringing a unique comic style to the days of cowboys and gunsmoke.
Produced by Harry Bernsen. “Take a Hard Ride” is directed by Anthony M. Dawson (well known in his native Italy as Antonio Margheritti) from an original screenplay by Eric Bercovici and Jerry Ludwig, with music by Jerry Goldsmith.
Also appearing are Harry Carey Jr., Robert Donner, Leonard Smits, Ronald Howard, Ricardo Palacios and Robin Levitt.
This action-packed movie follows the classic line of Westerns in being about a brave man’s determination, courage and strength. However, it differs from Westerns in one important way: the hero is black and the bad men are both white and black.
Filmed in the Canary Islands, “Take a Hard Ride” makes history in another way by being the first major film to be shot off the coast of Africa. According to producer Harry Bernsen, the varied scenic beauty the islands, ranging from volcanic mountains and canyons of Tenerife and Lanzarote to the timeless dunes of Gran Canaria, give new visual and dramatic dimensions to the western tale.
The star, Jim Brown, in what some sneak-previewers consider his best performance in a motion picture to date, will surprise most movie-goers by not falling in love with the leading lady. And this is one of the few movies that Brown has starred in where he does not sacrifice his life for what he believes in. Fred Williamson plays the scheming card sharp and big-time cheat with comical inflections that help to male “Take a Hard Ride” both an excellent comedy and dramatic film.
Jim Kelly, the mute half-breed takes karate and today’s kung-fu back to the days of cowboys and Indians.
In addition to the beautiful scenery and blue skies of the Canary Islands, the acting in “Take a Hard Ride” is superb, Although the leading actors are black this is not a black exploitation movie. It has mass appeal and should have a tremendous impact on the movie industry and movie goers alike in that it shows blacks making heart-warming contributions to the building of the West.
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