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"The Harder They Fall" Easter Egg Pays Tribute to Fallen Star in Epic About Reclaiming Cowboys' Black Past

Photo Credit: Netflix 
Rufus Buck (Idris Elba, center) escapes custody on a train with
the help of his gang associates Treacherous Trudy (Regina King)
and Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield) in “The Harder They Fall.”
"The Harder They Fall," the black-led western taking a fresh look at the genre is making a lot of noise on and off the screen for Netflix.

Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes at 87%, the movie which dropped Wednesday on Netflix following a limited theatrical run, has drawn high praise from critics, has a banging soundtrack and got co-producer Jay-Z to join Instagram — even if it was only temporary.

It certainly looks like director Jeymes Samuel has found the formula for success, though with talented
stars like Idris Elba, Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield and Jonathan Majors driving the action on the screen and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Jay-Z adding his clout to the soundtrack — the prospects of failure may have been somewhat lessened. 

Anytime you're dealing with a new take on a genre, especially one that involves race, America's not so politically correct path on the matter and redefining who and what people are and can be, using a mix of history and fantasy, the pressure is immense. Samuel's ability to rise above it and blend those elements into an empowering, educational and perhaps most of all fun piece of film is to be applauded.

And while the movie does an adept job of horning the past of black cowboys, albeit in a fictional framework, it is easy to connect the passions and problems that drive the protagonists with those Black people still are dealing with today.

So, it is only appropriate that in a nodding wink to the audience, almost too easy to miss if you're not looking for it, the film pays homage to the late Chadwick Boseman. The "Black Panther" star died in 2020 of colon cancer at the age of 43, and the filmmakers made sure the Disney/Netflix star was not forgotten.

The Twitter account for Strong Black Lead, Netflix's division dedicated to advancing Black stories, creators, and experiences, tweeted about the tribute:

Our favorite trivia from #TheHarderTheyFall might be the fact that the train is named after our forever king, Chadwick Aaron Boseman.

 Our favorite trivia from #TheHarderTheyFall might be the fact that the train is named after our forever king, Chadwick Aaron Boseman. ūüĖ§ pic.twitter.com/wahEALnftR

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