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The Harder They Fall Netflix Western Was Inspired by The Godfather II

The Harder They Fall editor, Tom Eagles, revealed that the film was inspired by The Godfather Part II. The Harder They Fall is an American Western film directed by Jeymes Samuel and starring  Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, and Lakeith Stanfield. The film follows outlaw Nat Love (Majors) as he gets a gang together to seek revenge on Rufus Buck (Elba), who killed his parents. The film has received largely positive reception for its unique premise and strong cast. While it is a fictional film, The Harder They Fall is based on real-life cowboys and outlaws of 19th-century America. In addition to the real-life inspiration, there was some inspiration from other films, as well.

In an interview with Slashfilm, Eagles revealed that The Harder They Fall found inspiration from a plethora of films, but particularly in The Godfather Part II. What truly inspired him was the narrative structure of the movie and how it cuts back and forth between Vito Corleone's life in 1917 and his son, Michael's, life in 1958. This film helped Eagles understand how to handle going back and forth between gangs in The Harder They Fall. A re-evaluation led the crew to realize that the cutting needed to be consolidated and not too frequent, so that viewers had a chance to follow each individual story. Check out Eagles' statement below:

Related: All Clues In Harder They Fall To The Idris Elba Twist

Even through the second act, we were constantly cutting back and forth between the two gangs. And there was a lot of positioning, everyone getting in place for the final confrontation. And it felt like it was more satisfying if we consolidated a lot of that. We took a lot of material out. Once we'd done that and the film was quite lean, we were crosscutting quite a lot. So we consolidated a lot of those storylines so we would go with one gang and stay with them for a while, for three or four scenes. And it just felt like a deeper, more satisfying approach. As we were doing that, I was watching 'The Godfather II' DVD and Walter Murch was talking about how they tested the film, that movie, with a lot more inter-cutting between the past and the present, the Pacino and the De Niro storylines. And they found the same thing, that they really needed to consolidate and allow people to settle into each story and follow that for a while before cutting back across to the other gang.

Eagles' revelation is intriguing to read as one considers how a crime drama from 1974 came to inspire a Western in 2021. In this case, it wasn't a specific story or character from The Godfather II that inspired Eagles, but simply the structure of the movie and how it handled transitions. Modern filmmakers have a plethora of ideas from Hollywood's past to draw from and it is always interesting to see how they choose to utilize them. The Harder They Fall was improved upon by merely viewing another film and seeing how that film handled the issue of cutting back and forth. Eagles' story of The Harder They Fall's inspiration illustrates how modern films continue to draw back upon true film classics.

More: The Harder They Fall Can Do For Westerns What Tarantino Couldn't

Source: Slashfilm

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