Hard Times (1975)

Walter Hill’s Hard Times is also known as ‘The Streetfighter’. This is a great film, muscular, raw and in a nice way (for today’s audiences) reserved – much like Bronson’s performance in the film.

When we see tough guy action hero’s today, they’re often sculpted in the gym – looking more like models/body builders – Bronson looks like a real fighter in this. In good shape, but not a model. The other fighters look the same too. More Tyson Fury than Anthony Joshua.

This is my favourite film with Bronson in the lead, it’s also one of my favourite Walter Hill films. The guy could direct – he’s still young enough to have another go, and make some more films.

James Coburn is (as always) a treat. Even Jill Ireland works in this one, and her look matches the look of the period perfectly.

This film for me, goes alongside Robert Rossen’s The Hustler from 1961 – it doesn’t have the complex psychological insight of The Hustler. But it is about a man making a living in a shadow world – it’s about boys playing games…

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on matcoop23@yahoo.co.uk or hire him on Peopleperhour