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Hardcore (1979) - Paul Schrader

Related: hardcore - 1979 - American cinema

Hardcore (1979) - Paul Schrader [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Hardcore is a 1979 film written and directed by Paul Schrader, and starring George C. Scott.

Jake Van Dorn (Scott) is a prosperous local businessman in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A single parent, Scott is the father of a seemingly quiet, conservative teenage girl, Kristen, who inexplicably disappears when she goes on a church sponsored trip to California.

Eventually, Scott learns that his daughter ran away and has entered the world of pornography in Los Angeles. The story is an odyssey of the upright and uptight Van Dorn as he journeys through the seedy world of pornography in California. Having no luck with the authorities, Scott retains the services of an eclectic private detective played by Peter Boyle to locate his daughter.

Fed up with no results from the PI, or the police, a desperate Scott ends up posing as a porno movie producer in the hopes that he will unearth information about his daughter. Along the way, he enlists the aid of a sometime porno actress/hooker named Niki, played by Season Hubley. The two form an uneasy alliance as Hubley helps Scott in trying to wend his way through the maze of smut from Los Angeles to San Diego and to San Francisco, eventually discovering that his daughter may be in the hands of a very dangerous porn player who deals in the world of "snuff movies".

The film takes its time in setting up the universe that Scott populates so the contrast and juxtaposition of his entry into the world of porn in California is justifiably shocking. The film thrives on the edge of a dark humor, taking its subject matter neither too lightly or seriously. The supporting cast is often regarded as excellent, including both Boyle and Hubley.

Writer-director Schrader had previously written the screenplay of Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver and the films share a theme of exploring an unseen subculture. One major criticism of the film at the time was that it utilizes the same sensationalistic elements of sleaze that it is attempting to criticize and comment upon. The film was released in 1979 and one might be hard pressed to find any aspect of it titillating by today's standards. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardcore_%28movie%29 [Aug 2006]

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