Critic’s Choice: ‘The Harder They Come’ changed the way the world saw reggae


Some films are such knockouts you remember exactly where you saw them for the first time. Perry Henzell’s culture-changing “The Harder They Come,” starring Jimmy Cliff as a Jamaican underdog who achieves legendary outlaw status, was very much that for me.

With a soundtrack that included classic songs from the Maytals, the Melodians, the Slickers, Desmond Dekker and Cliff himself, the 1972 film introduced reggae to the widest possible world, so it’s especially satisfying that a three-disc collector’s edition will be released by Shout! Factory next week.

The new reissue features a full six hours of bonus features, with the most enticing being Henzell’s previously unseen second feature, “No Place Like Home,” whose negative was thought lost for 25 years. It’s been newly restored, complete with songs recorded by the likes of Bob Marley and Toots and the Maytals.