February 17th, 2012: Three the Hard Way (1974)

Cast and Crew:  Gordon Parks Jr. (Director);  The Impressions (Theme and Special Guest Appearance); Lucien Ballard (Cinematographer); Hal Needham (Stunt Coordinator); Bob Minor (Stunts); Alex Rocco, Corbin Bernsen

What It’s About: Only three men can stop the plot of a group of white supremacists.  Those men?  Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, and Jim Kelly.

Why Watch it Today?: Sure, I could tell you about the character each man plays but aside from casting football/lacrosse great and birthday boy Jim Brown as a record label owner, each of the leads is basically playing their usual screen persona (Williamson: charismatic bad-ass lady’s man; Kelly:  martial arts guy who makes funny Three Stooges noises while completely kicking your ass; Brown:  guy you  know you don’t want to mess with who whose barely restrained righteous fury is primed to go off any second).  Brown was in better movies (The Dirty Dozen, for one), but rarely in a lead role.  Three the Hard Way is easily the most entertaining of Brown’s early 1970s blaxploitation action flicks, with the three biggest African-American action stars of the day stopping super-villainy right out of the funny books. 

Where to Get It: Amazon

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