The Harder They Come

Movie Moments


Ivan's mother
 It seems that Ivan is betrayed by many women throughout the course of this movie - two of which are his own mother and a lover.


The lover


The cowboy movie
  One very interesting theme that appears in this movie is the cowboy. At the beginning, Ivan is in a movie theater watching a cowboy movie. This scene that we, the audience, is shown is mirrored in the final scene of The Harder They Come when Ivan is killed. In fact, to increase this effect, the director even added short clips of people responding to a movie as Ivan tries to escape from the men who finally kill him.



 The soundtrack of The Harder They Come includes most notably, the title song and another tune called "You Can Get It If You Really Want." The latter is heard three times in different places in the movie - one of which is when Ivan steals a white convertable from outside a resort and drives it around.


Ivan and the white convertable


Notable Quotations

Regarding the Film

Is this "sadomasochistic, homosexual pornography"?

Judge for yorself.

 "The sequence in which [Ivan] sings the title song in a recording studio comes almost immediately after the sequence in which he is punished for slashing Langa. The punishment sequence amounts to little less than sadomasochistic, homosexual pornography... As he subsequently sings his phallic song in the recording studio, he is framed as a phallus, upright in the middle of the screen with a dark collumn-like space behind him and light colored panals on either side."

- Kenneth Harris, Sex, Race Commodity, and Film Fetishism

Is he "framed as a phallus"?

Judge for yourself.


 "Attend showings of a Tarzan film in the Antilles and in Europe. In the Antilles, the young Negro identifies himself de facto with Tarzan against the Negroes. This is much more difficult for him in a European theater, for the rest of the audience, which is white, automatically identifies him with the savages on the screen... The Negro learns that one is not Black without problems."

-Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks


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