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  1.  The Harder They Come is the first feature fully film produced by Jamaicans.
  2.  The movie was filmed over a three year period from 1969 to 1972.
  3.  Jimmy Cliff, the main star of the film had no professional acting experience which was the case for most of the actors.
  4. The budget for the film was estimated at US $200,000 and was financed by Perry Henzell’s family and Chris Blackwell.
  5. The script was written by advertising executive Perry Henzell who also directed it and playwright Trevor Rhone.  (Both now deceased)
  6. Loosely based on a true story of Vincent “Ivanhoe” Martin whose criminal acts terrorized Jamaica in the late 1940s.
  7. The movie used mostly hand held shots and natural lighting.
  8. One of the actresses was the then Beverley Anderson who later became the wife of Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley.
  9. On June 1, 1972, the film was released at the Carib Cinema.
  10. Its estimated that a crowd of 40,000 turned out to see the movie even though Carib could only hold 1,500 people.
  11. The movie was released in the United States in 1973 to mostly rave reviews which have continued over the years.  “Infinitely more intelligent than Last Tango in Paris” (which starred the legendary Marlon Brando), “This is my favourite film of the year”, “most unique cinematic masterpieces ever filmed”, “Must see not only for those interested in the early roots of reggae but also for anyone who is in for a truly unique experience.”
  12. Canadian critic Richard Crouse in his book “100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen” lists The Harder They Come.
  13. It is the first English language movie shown in the United States that required subtitles.                                                                                                                         
  14. The movie soundtrack featured songs by Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Toots and the Maytals among others and is rated 119 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 greatest albums of all times.  It was produced by Island Records.In the 1970s when midnight showings of non-mainstream movies was popular, The Harder They Come ran for 6 years, one of the longest runs of any midnight movie.  It is rated number 8 on http://listverse.com/2009/04/26/top-10-classic-midnight-movies/
  15. The title track has been covered by such music greats as Jerry Garcia, Keith Richards and Willie Nelson among others.
  16. A stage version of the movie was done at the UK’s Theatre Royal in 2006 and became that theatre’s most successful play.
  17. Perry Henzell’s vision of his film can be summed up in this quote: “I had a choice when I set out: to make for Jamaicans or for the rest of the world.  I chose to make a film for Jamaica”.
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