Today we conclude an interview special with reggae icon Jimmy Cliff. HPR All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence spoke to him in a discussion centered around the newly released Collector’s Edition of the landmark Jamaican film The Harder They Come. From the late Director Perry Henzell, Jimmy Cliff played the lead role as Vincent "Ivanhoe" Martin, also known as Rhyging, a 1940’s real-life Jamaican criminal in the island nation. The 1972 film not only started Jimmy’s professional acting career, but is credited with bringing reggae to the world.
In each of the segments, we hear about the many ways Jimmy's own musical voyage helped influence the film. He shares how the movie changed his life going forward, too, and why it was important for bringing reggae to the world. JImmy shared how he feels The Harder They Come had an impact on other films, like Scarface, starring Al Pacino. Through many stories, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member explained the role moments in his own journey ended up providing inspiration for specific scenes. He even sings the song that launched his career during one story, and in another tells about helping to launch the careers of Bob Marley and Desmond Dekker. The complete unedited forty minute interview that served as the basis for these specials is also included below.
Jimmy Cliff fans may also find his previous appearances on HPR's All Things Considered useful in understanding his fascinating life story. He was a guest twice in 2012, first in an advance phone interview, and again during a follow-up discussion that was recorded for video when here in Honolulu.
Hear the complete unedited interview for these features:
See some interesting photos and clips from the movie:
Watch Jimmy performing "The Harder They Come" from the movie: