Watch Now: TAKE A HARD RIDE
One year after starring side by side in Gordon Parks Jr.’s Three the Hard Way , actors Jim Brown, Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly shared the screen a second time, in Take a Hard Ride (1975), part spaghetti Western, part blaxploitation film. Anthony M. Dawson (real name Antonio Margheriti) sat in the director’s chair, whereas the screenplay was penned by Eric Bercovici and Jerrold L. Ludwig, the same writers that brought us Parks Jr.’s aforementioned movie. Dawson’s highly entertaining hybrid follows former criminal Pike (played by Brown) as he makes his way through the desert to deliver $86,000 to Sonora, Mexico in the wake of his boss’ death. On his dangerous journey, Pike encounters many a suspicious character trying to get their hands on the money, while gambler Tyree (Fred Williamson) is here to help Pike with his objective.
Brown and Williamson’s breezy chemistry is off the charts, with the two actors even going so far as to choreograph their fight scene that takes place within the film’s first hour. Jim Kelley is fantastic as mute Indian Kashtok who displays some impressive martial arts skills, whereas Lee Van Cleef perfectly embodies bounty hunter Kiefer. Apart from having an impressive cast, Take a Hard Ride is both nicely shot (courtesy of cinematographer Riccardo Pallottini) and well-written, making it an exciting piece of 70s cinema that would be a shame to miss.