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Hardcore (1979)

George C Scott plays a Midwestern Christian fundamentalist trying to find his runaway daughter in LA’s seedy porno film-making precincts, where he enlists the help of a sympathetic young prostitute (Season Hubley).

The beautifully modulated scenes of Scott’s middle-class American home life – Bible readings, saying grace before dinner, strong religious faith in all matters of daily routine –  are of little consolation to him now in his rage and grief.

His emotional upheaval as he watches his daughter in a trashy porno film procured by a sleazy private detective (Peter Boyle) is a pure and telling moment.


Scott takes up the hunt, wandering from one gimmicky massage parlour to the next, pretending to be a rich porno-flick producer looking for a tax shelter.

From a putrid motel room in Van Nuys, he gets a hard look at the world of kiddie porn, smarmy personal ads in underground newspapers, skin flicks, drugs, and the kind of corruption and horror that feeds on the tenderloins of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.

Before Scott’s final reunion with his estranged daughter, the audience gets a guided tour of this world of sex for sale, where you can get child prostitutes, rapes, sexual tortures, even murder for a price.

It’s a bloody eye-opener for everybody and probably a stomach-turner for some. The faint of heart are forewarned.

Jake Van Dorn
George C Scott
Andy Mast
Peter Boyle
Season Hubley
Wes DeJong
Dick Sargent
Leonard Gaines
David B Nichols
Ed Begley Jr

Paul Schrader