Skip to main content

HARDCORE

USA, 1979 (MIFF 1979)

Director: Paul Schrader

Jake Van Dorn, a deeply religious Midwestern businessman lives a happy life, until his daughter disappears on a trip to Los Angeles.

He hires a seedy private detective, who finds a sex film in which the girl has participated, apparently against her will. When the father realizes that he can't trust the oddball detective, he decides to conduct the hunt himself. Posing as a porno film producer casting a new movie, he gathers clues with ferocious determination. His treacherous journey gives him a fast, hard lesson in big city street life and a close-up view of the flourishing porno industry its victims and exploiters.

To help him make his way on this dangerous odyssey, Van Dorn forms an agreement with a hardened parlor girl' (Season Hubley) who acts as his guide. From opposite ends of the social spectrum, they exchange views and develop an ironic, tender friendship which further dramatizes the topsy-turvy state of current moral values.

This authentic drama was filmed on locations in actual porno establishments in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, often enlisting real denizens of this sub-culture for atmosphere, small roles and technical advice.

Paul Schrader

Born: 1946. Studied at the UCLA Film School. Wrote nine scripts, including Taxi Driver.

Features: Blue Collar (1978), Hardcore, American Gigolo (1979).

See also...

THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS

Something is off balance here, quite intentionally. This quirky, playful psychological thriller - the story of an ordinary English couple lured into the sumptuous home and sinister clutches of a ... More »

LIGHT SLEEPER

... ... Paul Schrader is arguably one of the most vital figures of contemporary American cinema. An auteur in the truest sense, his vast body of work as a scriptwriter, director and crit­ic is an ... More »

BLUE COLLAR

Paul Schrader began as a film critic and went on to write the scripts for Taxi Driver, The Yakuza, and Obsession. This is his directorial debut. ... Zeke, Jerry and Smokey are close friends who work ... More »

BEST BOY

Ira Wohl's Best Boy is an Oscar-winning new feature-length film, again by a committed young film-maker, which is very much a part of the finest spirit of doctmentary film-making. It examines an ... More »

Nicaragua 1979: Scenes from the Revolution

This film documents the revolution in Nicaragua from the general strike in June '79 through the victory two months later and the first 100 days of reconstruction. A moving and human picture of a ... More »

DIRECT ACTION

"Direct Action" examines the use and consequences of civil disobedience in the anti-nuclear movement. Beginning production in 1977, the film follows a citizen's action group in San Luis Obispo ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director