Netflix has created a Western that resonated with so many people that it’s ranked No. 2.
The new release, The Harder They Fall, was released on November 3. In less than 24 hours, it made it up to the second position in the United States Top Ten on the streaming platform. It also has an 88% score on Rotten Tomatoes, pretty impressive! Out of over 4,000 reviews on IMDB, it gained a 6.0 rating which can be quite the feat for the platform.
The story follows outlaw Nat Love who learns that his arch-enemy Rufus Black is being released from prison. The only logical thing to do as an outlaw is to assemble your gang to come together and get revenge. This is a new school Western that features memorable characters with a few twists and turns. Despite the story being fictional, it was inspired by real people from the American West in the 19th century. Jay-Z even produced the epic soundtrack. This is nothing like a typical Western.
The Harder They Fall features actors Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield, Delroy Lindo, Edi Gathegi, and Deon Cole. This marks one of the only Westerns to feature an all African American main cast.
How the Netflix Show Came About
Firstly, filmmaker Jeymes Samuel told IndieWire that this project has been a long time coming. He wanted to represent and relate to the characters on screen.
“As a child, you see all these things on television, and you just love what you’re given,” Samuel explained. “Then you get to an age where you want to start seeing yourself. The way I would see myself, I don’t relate to that. I can appreciate the story, but I can’t appreciate how you treat people of color. I can’t appreciate the depictions of these women in these Westerns.”
Samuel then began to do his own personal research on the genre. He found that something was missing and he wanted to change that.
“I would just start reading more and looking for Black cowboys in the Old West,” he added. It was there that Samuel unearthed the (true) stories of Buck and Love.
Samuel spent years creating The Harder They Fall, way before Netflix picked it up. He began writing the story in his head before taking to pen and paper (or fingers and keyboard).
“The reason I wanted to do that is because all of the people I was speaking to were telling me Black people did not exist in the Old West — Black people were telling me that. I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to dead this argument once and forever, because when I do this film, it’s going to have all real characters in it that really existed,’” he concluded.