Nisha Rathode

Three the Hard Way (film)

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Director  Gordon Parks, Jr.
Music director  Richard Tufo
Language  English
6.4/10 IMDb

Genre  Action, Thriller
Country  U.S.A.
Three the Hard Way (film) movie poster
Writer  Eric Bercovici, Jerrold L. Ludwig
Release date  June 26, 1974
Screenplay  Eric Bercovici, Jerrold L. Ludwig
Cast  Jim Brown (Jimmy Lait), Fred Williamson (Jagger Daniels), Jim Kelly (Mister Keyes), Sheila Frazier (Wendy Kane), Jay Robinson (Monroe Feather), Marian Collier (Eva)
Similar movies  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman Begins, The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded, Ninja vs. Shaolin Guard, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Three the hard way crooked cops scene jim kelly 1974 action movie jim brown fred williamson

Three the Hard Way is a 1974 action blaxploitation film starring Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, and Jim Kelly, written by Eric Bercovici and Jerrold L. Ludwig and directed by Gordon Parks, Jr. The film features the three biggest black action stars of the 1970s in their first movie together. According to The New York Times, the theatrical version ran 93 minutes. A PG version distributed to television (and released on Xenon VHS tape) runs 105 minutes. The Warner DVD ("4 Film Favorites: Urban Action") runs 89 minutes and is missing a song (cut from the theatrical version) and some footage of boats, cars, etc.(cut from the TV version) but includes the language and nudity. The theatrical version contains scenes of three topless women, but these scenes were re-shot with them clothed for the TV version.


Three the Hard Way (film) movie scenes

Three the hard way 1974 english


Three the Hard Way (film) movie scenes

Jimmy Lait (Brown) and his girlfriend, Wendy, come across Jimmy's friend, House, wounded and dying. Lait learns from House that he had escaped from a secret medical experimentation facility. Later in the hospital, a delirious House tells Lait that there is someone who aims to "kill us all" and that they have a way of doing it. However, Lait has to return to the studio to supervise a recording session with a group he's producing, The Impressions. He leaves Wendy in the hospital.

Three the Hard Way (film) movie scenes

While Wendy talks to Jimmy on the phone outside of the room, two men climb through the window, assassinate House and kidnap Wendy. After finding out about her kidnapping, Jimmy begins a quest to find the whereabouts of his girlfriend, but a group of attackers ambush him. Lait survives with the help of his friend, Jagger Daniels (Williamson). Lait and Daniels join up with Mister Keyes (Kelly, named "Mister" by his mother so people would be forced to show him respect) after he wins a fist fight with several police officers attempting to plant drugs in his car.

Three the Hard Way (film) movie scenes

Lait is shot as they capture a member of Feather's gang, but are unable to force him to give up his secrets. Jagger calls three dominatrixes: The Countess (Pamela Serpe), The Empress (Irene Tsu), and The Princess (Marie O'Henry). The eager women ask Jagger if they can go all the way, meaning, torturing the captured man to death. Jagger tells them, only after the prisoner gives him the information he seeks. They agree and proceed to go upstairs to torture the tied up man. The three women at first excite the captive by baring their breasts, but they torture him while Keyes and Daniels wait. After some time the women emerge, and say the captive is ready to talk. He informs them of Feather's plot and dies from his torture.

There is a secret plot of black genocide concocted by the nefarious Monroe Feather (Jay Robinson), the leader of a secret Neo-Nazi, white supremacist organization. Their chief scientist, Dr. Fortrero (Richard Angarola), has developed a lethal poison that only affects African Americans. They plan to deploy the serum into the water systems of Washington D.C., Detroit, and Los Angeles, in order to wipe out their black populations.

The three heroes re-unite as Lait is leaving the hospital, and decide to stop the poisoning of the water supplies. "Three the hard way, three cities, the three of us."

Lait returns to Chicago. Mister Keys stops the poisoning in Washington D.C., as Jagger does in Detroit. They reunite again to stop Feather and arm themselves to the teeth. They raid Feather's compound and rescue Wendy after a huge shoot out, leaving Dr. Fortrero burned alive, Feather and many white supremacists dead.

Effects on popular culture

Along with director Gordon Parks Jr.'s other notable film Super Fly, Three The Hard Way had a lesser, but still substantial, effect on popular culture.

The plot of Three The Hard Way has been copied and parodied, most notably in the film Undercover Brother. In Undercover Brother, protagonist Eddie Griffin portrays "Undercover Brother", a soulful crime-fighting vigilante who must stop the white-run "Man" before he destroys the black population of the United States through an ingested toxin. Also, the Man's second in command is named Mr. Feathers, played by Chris Kattan, who is named after Monroe Feather from Three The Hard Way.

Black Dynamite, a satirical parody of the blaxploitation genre, contains quite a few plot elements reminiscent of Three the Hard Way. The title protagonist (played by Michael Jai White, is a kung-fu master, and the plot revolves around a malt liquor tainted with ingredients that shrinks black men's genitalia.


Performed by Curtis Mayfield's former group The Impressions, the soundtrack featured the songs "That's What Love Can Do" and "Three the Hard Way" plus "Make a Resolution". The album got mixed reviews from critics and was described as "quickly recorded with little feel". Most of the songs feature a sweet-sounding harmony over a light funk background.


  • Jim Brown as Jimmy Lait, record producer
  • Fred Williamson as Jagger Daniels, Chicago businessman
  • Jim Kelly as Mister Keyes, martial artist
  • Sheila Frazier as Wendy Kane, kidnapped girlfriend of Jimmy Lait
  • Jay Robinson as Monroe Feather, head of white supremacist group
  • Charles McGregor as Charlie
  • Howard Platt as Keep
  • Richard Angarola as Dr. Fortero
  • David Chow as Link
  • Marian Collier as Eva
  • Junero Jennings as House
  • Alex Rocco as Lt. Di Nisco
  • Corbin Bernsen as Boy
  • Renie Radich as Girl
  • Janice Carrol as Nurse
  • Irene Tsu as the empress
  • References

    Three the Hard Way (film) Wikipedia
    Three the Hard Way (film) IMDbThree the Hard Way (film)

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