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The hard word (Blood and guts)

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

All it takes is a little persuasion.

Three prisoners are about to be released on bail - Dale (Guy Pearce), Mal (Damien Richardson) and Shane (Joel Edgerton). Meet the Twentyman brothers. Hard experience and an unspoken bond of family have made them masters of their craft - armed robbery. It's a job and they do it because they're good at it. Their only rule is, no one gets hurt.

Keeping the wheels of crime turning is their long-time criminal lawyer, Frank Malone (Robert Taylor), who combines flashy arrogance with a complete disregard for the proper process of the law. Frank's network of contacts, reaches the highest level, enabling him to play the brothers and the system to perfection. But success has clearly gone to his head when he begins an affair with Dale's wife, Carol (Rachel Griffiths). Dazzled by her physical attractiveness, Frank has severely underestimated the brain underneath the blonde. Carol is one of life's greatest operators and she is determined to get what's hers, even if it means jeopardising the intense bond she shares with her husband.

Theatrical propaganda posters

The hard word image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film Australia butcher crime bank armed robbery police sausages sex prison lawyer

Persons of interest

  • Guy Pearce .... Dale
  • Rachel Griffiths .... Carol
  • Robert Taylor .... Frank
  • Joel Edgerton .... Shane
  • Damien Richardson .... Mal
  • Vince Colosimo .... Kelly
  • Rhondda Findleton .... Jane
  • Kate Atkinson .... Pamela
  • Greg Fleet .... Tony
  • Kym Gyngell .... Paul
  • Dorian Nikona .... Tarzan
  • Paul Sonkkila .... O'Riordan
  • Scott Roberts .... Screenwriter
  • Scott Roberts .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

  • The hard word official movie site
  • The hard word QuickTime movie trailers
  • Awards and film festivals:
    • Film Critics Circle of Australia 2002: Nominated: Best actor (Guy Pearce), best editing (Martin Connor), best music score (David Thrussell), best supporting actor (Joel Edgerton)
    • if Awards 2002: Won: Best Sound (John Schiefelbein, Phil Judd, Julius Chan, Angus Robertson); Nominated: Best Editing
    • Cinematic Intelligence Agency Trenchcoat Awards 2003
  • See also Two hands
  • Studios and distributors:

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

A good, hard-edged, gritty crim movie with an assortment of bad guys from all levels of society. In this Australia everyone is guilty, it's just that some of them haven't been caught yet.

On the surface, The hard word is yet another rip-off of Lock, Stock and two Smoking Barrels, pitting criminal against criminal in a world where loyalty is a less reliable form of cash. Underneath it, however, is a darkness to which even the British cannot aspire: it takes generations of convicts in a land that tries to kill you to make sausages out of your business partner.

Everyone in this film is a friend of The Boys and well known to yer old mate Chopper. It's a known fact that the "lower" classes are a breeding ground for crime (the "upper" classes are a breeding ground for politicians: six of one...) and The hard word makes no bones about it. Dale, Shane and Mal are as bogan a bunch of blokes as you'll ever meet. Guy Pearce does a great job of disappearing into his character, much of the earnestness that often marks his performance is gone, leaving a tightly strung, adrenaline fuelled, wiry bloke of the sort you don't want to meet in a dark alley. Joel outdoes himself, going the road of the testosterone poisoned Shane: tough, mean and running on a short fuse. Damien Richardson rounds out the group with a slower, more grounded character but no less aggressive for it. They're a good mix of men from the one family: the sort of assortment that makes you wonder whether their father was involved in any of it.

The hard word is a good Aussie film for not so good Aussie boys: lots of bad behaviour, lots of violence, lots of money and lots of hard knocks. Go for broke.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level violence, medium level language)

Surveillance time

103 minutes (1:43 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 30 May 2002

Cinema surveillance images

The hard word imageThe hard word imageThe hard word image

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