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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Hard Western
Along with 55 Days at Peking (see my review), this is one of those films I had not been able to add to my collection (started from about 9 years), until now.

A fantastic quality transfer in it's correct 2:35.1 ratio and in anamorphic, makes this pressing of The Last Hard Men, so realistic that you can almost taste the dust in the hot desert air and feel the...
Published on 25 Oct. 2009 by Greg Peck

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very average revenge western and a poor hang gliding thriller in a James Coburn double-bill
...at least if you're talking about the double-bill of two mid-70s James Coburn films released by Shout Factory on NTSC Region 1 DVD in the US, though please bear in mind that, as is their wont, Amazon have bundled the reviews for the double-bill with the reviews for the solo release of The Last Hard Men. This review refers to the double-bill release.

"I...
Published on 26 Feb. 2012 by Trevor Willsmer


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Hard Western, 25 Oct. 2009
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This review is from: The Last Hard Men [1976] [Dutch Import] [DVD] (DVD)
Along with 55 Days at Peking (see my review), this is one of those films I had not been able to add to my collection (started from about 9 years), until now.

A fantastic quality transfer in it's correct 2:35.1 ratio and in anamorphic, makes this pressing of The Last Hard Men, so realistic that you can almost taste the dust in the hot desert air and feel the clothes sticking to your back as Charlton Heston tracks James Coburn & his gang across country, leading to the heart-racing climax in which the two old enemies confront each-other for the final showdown.

Buy this version, not the cheaper one (that won't be widescreen)and spend your hard-earned cash on this, while you can still get it !

Saddle-up for the best western of the 70's
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars overlooked classic., 15 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: The Last Hard Men [1976] [Dutch Import] [DVD] (DVD)
i had never heard of the last hard men until i read the above review and what a great film it turned out to be . its about a retired sheriff whose daughter is kidnapped by a bunch of escaped convicts looking for revenge , because it was the sheriff who put them in prison . its a violent western that reminded me in certain parts of ulzana's raid and the wild bunch in its grittieness and appearance .the dutch import version i bought was in english and you can get english subtitles if you choose ,the front cover was in english only the back cover was in dutch , hardly any difference at all really .the other reviewer said its probabley the best western from the 70's and i wholeheartedly agree with that , if you have never seen this western before then i will strongly recommend adding it to your collection , it really is a very good film indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very average revenge western and a poor hang gliding thriller in a James Coburn double-bill, 26 Feb. 2012
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
...at least if you're talking about the double-bill of two mid-70s James Coburn films released by Shout Factory on NTSC Region 1 DVD in the US, though please bear in mind that, as is their wont, Amazon have bundled the reviews for the double-bill with the reviews for the solo release of The Last Hard Men. This review refers to the double-bill release.

"I thought you was dead?"
"I ain't dead, I'm retired!"

70s Westerns were judged by a different standard than their predecessors - they had to either make a statement that seemed relevant to the troubled times or at least come up with a twist to the old tried-and-trusted formulas that had lost their box-office potency. Unfortunately beyond a mean streak, 1976's The Last Hard Men, a workmanlike adaptation of a much better novel by Death Wish author Brian Garfield, never really finds one, half-heartedly putting some end of an era trappings on that old genre favorite, the bad man who comes after the lawman who put him away - or, in this case, the daughter of the lawman who put him away. It's the kind of thing that needed a great script or a great director to really lick it into shape, but that didn't happen here.

To be fair there's nothing particularly wrong with Andrew V. McLaglen's old-school direction even if it's not one of his better days, it's more Guerdon Trueblood's very thin script that promises more than it delivers that's the film's fatal flaw. The last half hour is pretty dreary as the chase stops and its two deadly rivals just wait each other out and it's doubtful that any director could have done much with it. Charlton Heston's pretty solid but one-note as the legendary lawman, and it's a note he'd played too often before, leaving James Coburn to dominate proceedings with an angry and menacing performance that makes his driven and purposeful vengeance more compelling than the hero's attempt to save his daughter (Barbara Hershey), but it's not enough to make the film take off. There are some okay moments along the trail, but overall it's all set-up but not much payoff.

The clearest sign that all did not go well in post-production is the replacement of Leonard Rosenman's original modernistic and atonal score with a patchwork quilt of Jerry Goldsmith Western scores from earlier Fox pictures 100 Rifles, Rio Conchos and the 1966 Stagecoach: the music is fine, but it's so clumsily edited and dropped in than you almost suspect that bits of the film got damaged and the frames around them were quickly taped back together.

Nothing dates a movie more than the fads it exploits. In the early 70s it seemed like everybody had a gratuitous hang-gliding sequence in their movies - James Bond in Live and Let Die, Jimmy Wang Yu in The Man From Hong Kong, even Robinson Crusoe gave it a shot in a charmingly anachronistic sequence in Man Friday - but it took producer Sandy Howard to come up with the idea of building an action movie around it with 1975's Sky Riders. Unfortunately the result isn't half as much fun as the silly premise promises. When millionaire Robert Culp's wife Susannah York and her children are kidnapped by murderous terrorists, the boy's natural father James Coburn tracks down the kidnappers to what looks like the same remote Greek mountaintop monastery seen in For Your Eyes Only and decides the only way to rescue them is with a crack squad of hang gliders. Seriously.

Unfortunately, even with expectations set low and brain put on autopilot, parts of it are astonishingly shoddy, particularly the opening kidnapping which mixes clumsy direction with atrocious dialogue. It's not even funny atrocious dialogue, more pointless filler like "Mummy, they're wearing hockey masks!" uttered by poor Simon Harrison (the film was certainly a bit of a step down for him, going from being kidnapped by Sean Connery in The Wind and the Lion to being kidnapped by anonymous Eurotrash terrorists). Of the cast, Charles Aznavour comes off best as the Greek cop on the case, but he's hardly stretched by the part - but then, no-one is.

It's a flat movie that never really puts the audience in the middle of the action but just does what it says in the script, sometimes with anonymous professionalism, at others with barely the minimum competence you'd expect from a studio feature. The script never puts any meat on the story or the characters' bones either, giving the whole thing a distinct bottom of the bill feeling - which is appropriately exactly where it's ended up on DVD. The finale does add a bit of excitement with some unfaked shots of Coburn hanging on under a chopper flying at great height and great speed, but the hang gliding itself is a bit of a non-event in the stunt stakes. All in all it's hard to shake the feeling that, while this was made with the grindhouse and drive-in market in mind, it's the kind of thing best suited to an in-flight movie - and one on the Eastbound return flight when everyone's trying to catch some sleep.

Both films have indifferent, slightly soft 2.35:1 widescreen transfers with TV spot and trailer as extras.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Print, 14 May 2012
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This review is from: The Last Hard Men [1976] [Dutch Import] [DVD] (DVD)
As a western fan since the fifties I was pleased to add this film (Dutch Import) to my DVD western collection. I had not seen this film previously either on TV or at the cinema and was quite pleased with the film storyline itself but especially the print quality transfer to DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For collectors of Heston and Coburn., 16 July 2014
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Tense action packed western adventure starring Charlton Heston and James Coburn. Somewhat formulaic but no less entertaining for that. A bit violent but if you like the principle actors you will enjoy the film. Plays ok on UK machines and is a full English version.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars R1 NTSC LAST HARD MEN AND SKY RIDERS, 30 April 2013
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Sky riders 2.35.1 ratio,good picture,film paper thin plot susannah york waisted,robert culp waisted and james coburn.no build up just straight into the rescue.these guys are using schmeiser sub machine guns.as the rescuers die or not as the case maybe you just dont care.the action scenes are quite good.makes me wonder if douglas hickox just took the money and ran,this man directed brannigan,and sitting target,zulu dawn.Just put it on and watch the pictures worse ways to kill 90 mins.last hard men .2.35.1 ratio good picture,Charlton heston is heston,Coburn plays bad real bad and dose it well.this is a good film and for when it was made tough stuff.with rape used as a weapon.fair amount of blood and a slomo peckinpah climax witch will make you wince.good acting all round.good 2 film set for a reasonable price.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An average western, 28 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Last Hard Men [1976] [Dutch Import] [DVD] (DVD)
Dissapointing film with some rather nasty violence particularly a rape scene which
is not necessary A waste of the stars talents
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 18 May 2013
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This review is from: The Last Hard Men [1976] [Dutch Import] [DVD] (DVD)
Again I bought the for my husband, he has been searching for this fillm for years. A truly great performance from screen legends.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring Revenge Western., 21 Dec. 2011
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Last Hard Men [1976] [Dutch Import] [DVD] (DVD)
That quaint old Dutch saying "if it ain't Dutch it ain't much" doesn't hold much water with this Dutch import, but to be fair any blame should be laid at the door of the uninspiring director Victor McLaglen. Constructed on the tired old revenge theme cliche, this one has the evil James Coburn out to get good retired marshal Charlton Heston who was responsible for imprisoning him. Does it sound familiar? Well it should! Unfortunately this film does not have a Fred Zinneman, who was able to add bucket loads of suspense to his superior revenge western "High Noon". In this one McLaglen attempts to use a 'passing of the old West theme' to deflect from his obvious deficiencies, but is no artist like Sam Peckinpah. Just showing a few automobiles does not cut the mustard. He is also overly reliant on extreme violence.

The film is based on a novel by western aficianado Brian Garfield. Charlton Heston who was no great actor at the best of times, simply goes through the acting motions and provides a monolithic presence. Coburn merely snarls a lot and plays Mr nasty, which is well within his ample abilities. The support cast is a poor one, with none of the usual veteran stalwarts on show. Bob Mitchum's son Chris provides lightweight backup for Chuck. The film contains one nasty scene involving the fair sex that takes a few giant strides past the boundaries of good taste. Despite having worked with McLaglen, this is a film that John Wayne, who was particular about wholesome content, would have avoided like the plague. There were no quality issues with this DVD. This is a bare bones budget release with no extras.
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The Last Hard Men [1976] [Dutch Import] [DVD]
The Last Hard Men [1976] [Dutch Import] [DVD] by Andrew V. McLaglen (DVD - 2007)
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