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Hardcore
Directed by Paul Schrader
Produced by Buzz Feitshans
John Milius
Written by Paul Schrader
Starring George C. Scott
Peter Boyle
Ilah Davis
Season Hubley
Dick Sargent
Music by Jack Nitzsche
Cinematography Michael Chapman
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) 9 February 1979 (USA)
Berlin International Film Festival
Running time 109 Minutes
Language English

Hardcore is a 1979 American drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader and starring George C. Scott. Writer-director Schrader had previously written the screenplay for Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, and both films share a theme of exploring an unseen subculture.

Contents

Plot

Jake Van Dorn (Scott) is a prosperous local businessman in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A single parent, Van Dorn is the father of a seemingly quiet, conservative teenage girl, Kristen, who inexplicably disappears when she goes on a church-sponsored trip to California. A strange private investigator Peter Boyle from Los Angeles is hired, eventually turning up a 8mm stag film of his daughter with two young men.

Eventually, Van Dorn learns that his daughter has run away to join California's porno underworld and is forced into an odyssey through this "adult" underground.

Getting no results from the PI or police or even Los Angeles' adult shopkeepers and "rap parlor" women, a desperate Van Dorn ends up posing as a porno movie producer in the hopes that he will find information about his daughter. A straggly actor called "Jism Jim", who was in the film with Kristen, knows where she might be and sends him to a sometime porno actress/hooker named Niki, played by Season Hubley. Their uneasy alliance takes them from Los Angeles to a brief visit in San Diego and ends in San Francisco, where Van Dorn finds that his daughter may be in the hands of a very dangerous porn player who deals in the world of "snuff movies."

Awards

Reception

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.

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