Remembering the Movie ‘Hardcore’ Filmed in Grand Rapids
There have been many movies filmed in Grand Rapids, but possibly the most memorable one may have been Hardcore back in 1979, staring George C. Scott. It was written and directed by former Grand Rapid native and Calvin grad Paul Schrader. It was quite the movie!
The movie opened innocently enough with winter and holiday scenes in and around Grand Rapids in '79.
Peter Boyle and Season Hubley co-starred in this film about a father searching for his daughter, who has vanished only to appear in a pornographic film. Schrader had previously written the screenplay for Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, and both films share a theme of exploring an unseen subculture. Were we in Grand Rapids excited about that?
The local reviews were certainly mixed when it came out. Some thought Schrader had an axe to grind due to his Christian Reformed upbringing and made us look bad and very seedy. Others worried that it glorified child pornography. But, nationally, it got good reviews. Roger Ebert gave the movie a four-out-of-four star review for its "moments of pure revelation." Gene Siskel gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and called it "both a rich film of ideas and of strikingly real characters". He thought George C. Scott gave "one of his finest performances" in the film. Variety called it "a very good film."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 76% based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 6.86/10.
If you haven't seen it, it's worth a watch. It's a tough movie, for sure, and not for everyone, especially children. It's rated R for a reason!
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