Hard Times

Synopsis: During the Great Depression, the mysterious drifter Chaney befriends the promoter of illegal street fights Speed and they go to New Orleans to make money fighting on the streets. Speed is welcomed by his mistress Gayleen Schoonoverand invites his former partner Poe to team-up with them. Meanwhile Chaney has a love affair with the local Lucy Simpson. Speed has a huge debt with the dangerous loan shark Doty and borrows money to promote the fight of Chaney and the local champion Jim Henry, who is managed by the also promoter. Casey wins the fight, they make a lot of money but Speed is an addicted gambler and loses his share in the dice table. But Doty wants his money back and Speed's only chance is Chaney accepts to bet his own money that he is saving and fight a winner that Gandil brought from Chicago. Will he accept the challenge?
Genre: Crime, Drama, Sport
Director(s): Walter Hill
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
93 min

Third refill costs a nickle.


Twenty-five? Got it.

175 left.

Nobody wants to bet against my hitter?

I might as well sell tickets.

- I've got 3 on my side.

- I've got 10.

- Biggies... Anybody?

- I've got 30.

Real spenders we've got here...

You had your chance.

We're ready over here.

Remember, anything goes,

but no hitting when somebody's down.

Do you want it?...

Go get him.

Get in there!

Get in there!!

Come on, get up!

I think I can do

about six more of those.

And a couple of lemons, too.

- Start any time, pal.

- Chaney.

- So what?

- We can make some money.

I'm all ears.

- You set up that business tonight?

- It happens all the time.

Help yourself.

- You've been down the long, hard road?

- Who hasn't?

- Jail?

- Are you a policeman?

I just like to know

where a man comes from.

You look a little past it.

Besides, I already got a hitter.

- Yes, I saw him.

- He laid down on me tonight.

Every time you go to a bar,

somebody thinks he's tough.

But they all come to Speed for

the dough-re-mi. He's a bum, I lose.

I don't want your dough.

I've got six bucks and nothing else.

You bet it.

My old friend Speed is back

with another potential winner.

My old friend Speed is back

with another potential winner.

Anybody want to bet on this man?

I'll give two to one... three to one.

Come on, odds like that

do not come around every day.

I guess you boys aren't

as slow as he is.

There's $150 in the pot.

I've got another $150 for anybody

who expects a repeat. What do I hear?

Got it. I'll take it all. Anybody else?

- You got 15 more. Are you betting that?

- You're on.

Wait, we've got another six.

It's all we've got.

I did my part, he's all yours.

Hey, Pops, you're a little old for this,

aren't you?

Like everything else in this world,

it takes money to make money.

Here's your 12...

Another 10, just to have some fun on.

We'll work out a deal later.

Plenty more where that came from.

We don't have to worry about that.

Now, New Orleans...

Speed's coming home.

A little taste?


- Hello, Sugarplum.

- How did it go, Speedy?

A rough start, but a fast finish.

- How much?

- Even.

Always be pleasant around strangers.

This is Chaney.

Gayleen Schoonover,

my permanent fiance.

- Pleased to meet you, Mr Chaney.

- There she is, let's go.

- I'll say goodbye right here.

- Wait, we've got some plans to make.

- I want to feel my way around the city.

- What about our partnership?

- I don't like to rush things.

- What?

Always be pleasant around strangers.

Will we see you again, Mr Chaney?

I might turn up.

- Don't forget:
Number 11, Dolphin Street.

- Who was that guy?

I'll tell you who he was...

Money on the hoof.

It looks rougher than it is.

You get a lot of sun.

Fix the place up, it could be real nice.

I've got some furniture

down in the storage room you can use.

No, I like it the way it is.

A buck and a half a week.

In advance.

Mind if I sit down?

Would you like to talk...

or just sit?

What's your name?

- Who are you waiting for?

- Someone who'll buy me a cup of coffee.

Have mine.

You live around here?

- Didn't take you long to get to that.

- Maybe I can walk you home.

Not likely.

A girl had two choices in my home town:

Stay and be bored

or move out and take your chances.

- How has your luck been running?

- How can you ask? Look how I'm living.

- I've seen worse.

- Depends on what you're looking for.

How about you?

I don't look past the next bend

in the road. Want me to come in?

No... It's not that easy.

I've got a husband in jail.

No job and no prospects.

- I wasn't planning on bothering you.

- What was your plan?

Maybe I'll see you around.

- Get up.

- Speed...

Good to see you, pal.

Glad you found the time to stop by.

Come on, get things started right.

Don't mind Sleeping Beauty here.

She doesn't rush into the day's work.

We've got an important guest.

Why don't you fix us some breakfast.

I suppose you want to talk deal?

We'll go 50-50

on all scratch bets and expenses.

All side bets, I keep 75 per cent.

That's how it works.

60-40 in my favour on scratch,

side bets down the middle.

I'm telling you the going rate,

ask anybody.

- We'll do things differently.

- Why should we?

Because right now,

you've got a percentage of nothing.

That makes me even with you.

I put up all the money.

I take all the risks.

All right, all right.

We'll do it your way.

Gayleen! ...What does a man have to do

to get some breakfast around here.

I've got a good feeling about this.

I think we'll make real money.

I've got a couple of things in mind,

set something up next week.

We'll go in slow, quiet. About $4-500.

I only came down here to make money.

- And to fill in some in betweens.

- That's no kind of living.

It suits me. When I get enough change

in my pocket, I'm gone.

We just mark this one down to research.

Part of your education.

I want a long talk

with anybody betting against me.

A hundred dollars against Curly.

On a marker.

No markers.

Take it.

Who's the smoothie over there?

That's Chick Gandil,

one of the big moneybelts in town.

Son of a b*tch

has broken me off three times.

He's the one we're going to shake.

Somebody help this kid up.

That's why he's the best.

Nobody ever beats him.

Not many want to try.

What were you doing back there?

I've always been a student of

comparative religion.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Walter Hill

Walter Hill (born January 10, 1942) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is widely known for his action films and revival of the Western genre. He has directed such films as The Warriors, Hard Times, The Driver, Southern Comfort, 48 Hrs. and its sequel Another 48 Hrs., Red Heat, Last Man Standing, Undisputed, and Bullet to the Head, as well as writing the Steve McQueen crime drama The Getaway. He has also directed several episodes of television series such as Tales from the Crypt and Deadwood and produced the Alien films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Hard Times" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/hard_times_9633>.

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