Canadian International Pictures

The Hard Part Begins

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This Partner Label release is distributed through Vinegar Syndrome's sister company OCN Distribution. Vinegar Syndrome had no part in, nor are responsible for, the restoration, extras, quality control or any content(s) of this release. We hope you enjoy our growing roster of Partner Labels and the expertise and curation brought to each release by their dedicated staff!


This special limited edition spot gloss slipcover (designed by Tony Stella) is limited to 2,000 units and is only available on our website and at select indie retailers. Absolutely no major retailers will be stocking them.

From arthouse to Canuxploitation, Canadian International Pictures (CIP) is devoted to resurrecting vital, distinctive, and overlooked triumphs of Canadian cinema. This label is focused on the country’s original cinematic boom years – spanning the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s – occasionally venturing past that period (and the country’s borders) to highlight the films of Canada’s most inspired actors and filmmakers. Vinegar Syndrome’s sister company, OCN Distribution, is thrilled to be representing CIP's brand new line of home video releases!

50th anniversary special edition!

Veteran country musician Jim King (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’s Donnelly Rhodes) has spent decades honing his craft, but he has yet to find success beyond the small-town touring circuit. With a prominent record label circling his current band, King and Country, Jim may be on the brink of a professional breakthrough, but the rest of his life is in disarray. From a suicidal son (Death Wish II’s David Daniels) and a terminally ill friend (Phobia's Neil Vipond) to a rocky romance with his bandmate Jenny (Pinocchio's Birthday Party's Nancy Belle Fuller), Jim’s life is hard – and it’s only getting harder.

The feature directorial debut of celebrated Canadian genre filmmaker Paul Lynch (Prom Night), The Hard Part Begins blends the vivid Canadiana of independent classic Goin’ Down the Road with the unsentimental moral complexity of New Hollywood staples like Five Easy Pieces. Featuring a career-defining performance by Rhodes and a collection of unforgettable original songs, The Hard Part Begins is a lost treasure that's finally getting the break it deserves.

directed by: Paul Lynch
starring: Donnelly Rhodes, Nancy Belle Fuller, Paul Bradley, Linda Sorensen, Robert Hawkins, Doug McGrath, David Daniels, Leslie Carlson, Neil Vipond
1973 / 87 min / 1.85:1 / English DTS-HD MA 1.0 

Additional info:

  • Region A Blu-ray
  • Newly scanned and restored in 4K from the original 16mm reversal by Canadian International Pictures with sound transferred from the original 16mm magnetic final mix
  • Audio commentary featuring director Paul Lynch and former TIFF senior programmer Steve Gravestock
  • Audio commentary featuring Paul Corupe of and film historian Jason Pichonsky
  • A Filmmaker Begins (2023, 26 min.) – New interview with Lynch
  • After the Hard Part (2023, 13 min.) – Lynch reflects on his body of work
  • Evolution of a Cinephile (2023, 9 min.) – Lynch discusses his passion for cinema
  • An Actor Begins (2023, 22 min.) – New interview with actor David Daniels
  • The Easy Parts Await (2023, 12 min.) – Film historian/filmmaker Daniel Kremer on the early career of Lynch
  • Reyes on Rhodes (2023, 12 min.) – Film historian/author Amanda Reyes on the career of actor Donnelly Rhodes
  • Interview with Donnelly Rhodes (1989, 4 min.)
  • New audio interviews with actor/associate producer Hugh Curry (17 min.) and editor William Gray (14 min.)
  • Alternate ending (1973, 1 min.)
  • Afterword featuring Lynch and Gravestock (2023, 9 min.)
  • Booklet featuring a new interview with actress Nancy Belle Fuller
  • Reversible cover artwork
  • English SDH subtitles