MCM: The Hotties of The Harder They Fall


As I wrote in my review, The Harder They Fall is a fun, stylized Western with a whole lot of pretty people … in particular, there were a lot of HOT HOT MEN. So let’s appreciate that hotness, and look back at any historical films/TV shows the main and supporting actors have done!



RJ Cyler

I’m Dying Up Here (2017-18)

Yep, I’ll be going outside of our usual period to include the 1970s here. This series is about the stand-up comedy scene in 1973.

2017-18 I'm Dying Up Here


The Harder They Fall (2021)

As the fun and sweet James Beckwourth, who prides himself on his quick draw gun skills.

2021 The Harder They Fall

Hangin’ with the lay-deeze.


Freedom’s Path (coming 2022)

A soldier and runaway enslaved man form an unlikely friendship in the mid-19th century.

2022 Freedom's Path

The only (blurry) pic so far.




Idris Elba

HOW HAS THIS BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL MAN NOT DONE MORE PERIOD STUFF? Well, because of a dearth of good historical roles, I’m sure. Apparently he had a bit part on an episode of Bramwell back in 1995 (a TV series about a late 19th-century female doctor), but I can’t find any pics. Here’s the rest:


American Gangster (2007)

Set in the late 1960s (and maybe the 1970s too?), a New York City cop tries to bring down a drug lord. Elba plays “Tango.”

2007 American Gangster



Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)

As Nelson Mandela in this biopic of the famed South African leader.

2017 Mandela- Long Walk to Freedom

DAMN he can wear a suit.

2017 Mandela- Long Walk to Freedom

Color me impressed!

2017 Mandela- Long Walk to Freedom


Guerrilla (2017)

A British TV series set in early 1970s London against the backdrop of the Black power movement. Elba plays Kentoro “Kent” Abbasi.

2017 Guerilla

That shirt is a look! Photo: Sky UK Limited/SHOWTIME

In the Long Run (2017-20)

A comedy set in 1980s East London and loosely based on Elba’s childhood.

2017-20 In the Long Run

I love all the color!


The Harder They Fall (2021)

Elba plays lead baddie Rufus Buck. In real-life, Buck led a mixed Indian/African American (he was of mixed heritage himself) band in a crime spree against whites in the hopes of inspiring an uprising.

2021 The Harder They Fall

A man in black?

2021 The Harder They Fall

Still in his prison uniform. | CR: DAVID LEE/NETFLIX © 2021

2021 The Harder They Fall





Edi Gathegi

Gathegi was born in Kenya and grew up in the U.S.


Life on Mars (2008)

Gathegi was in one episode of the 1970s-set sci-fi/crime drama.

2008 Life on Mars

That flared jacket silhouette!


Into the Badlands (2015)

A sci-fi/martial arts/post-apocalyptic TV show, but he’s wearing pseudo-Victorian dress here, so what the hell!


2015 Into the Badlands

Is that a velvet cravat?


The Harder They Fall (2021)

As Bill Pickett, real-life cowboy and Wild West show performer — in the film he’s part of the “good” gang.

2021 The Harder They Fall

He’s a man of little words.

2021 The Harder They Fall

But he’s solid.




Delroy Lindo

He’s been acting since the mid-1970s, and played roles in several historical films, including 1970s-set Crooklyn (1994) and More American Graffiti (1979), plus:

Mountains of the Moon (1990)

British explorers “discovering” the source of the Nile. Lindo played Mabruki.

Mountains Of The Moon 1990


Malcolm X (1992)

As “West Indian Archie,” a gangster in 1940s Harlem.

Malcolm X 1992

SO dapper! (Although hats indoors is a no-no!)


L’exil du roi Behanzin (1994)

A film about the 1890-94 war between the French colonial army and Ahydjere Behanzin (Lindo), king of Dahomey.

1994 L'exil du roi Behanzin

Lindo plays the king. Sadly this is the only photo I can find.


Soul of the Game (1996)

Lindo played Satchel Paige, real-life baseball pitcher who played in the Negro and Major leagues.

1996 Soul of the Game


Glory & Honor (1998)

As Matthew Henson, an American explorer who participated in the 1908-09 expedition to the North Pole.

1998 Glory & Honor

Another one that’s hard to find!


The Cider House Rules (1999)

A man who grew up in an orphanage during World War II explores life. Lindo plays Arthur, a migrant worker who crosses his path.

1999 The Cider House Rules


Wondrous Oblivion (2003)

A young Jewish boy befriends the Jamaican family next door in 1960s London. Lindo plays the patriarch of the Jamaican family.

2003 Wondrous Oblivion


Lackawanna Blues (2005)

A TV movie about a boy growing up in 1960s New York.

2005 Lackawanna Blues


The Harder They Fall (2021)

Lindo plays Bass Reeves, a real-life legendary lawman who was responsible for over 3,000 arrests in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory. In the movie, he joins up with the “good” gang to get the lead baddie.

2021 The Harder They Fall

His clothes are made of more formal/traditional materials than the outlaws.

2021 The Harder They Fall

The bow tie also sets him apart.




Jonathan Majors

When We Rise (2017)

A docu-drama about the LGBTQ rights movement, spanning the 1970s through the 2010s. Majors plays a young Ken Jones, a real-life activist.

2017 When We Rise

Jones was awarded several medals for his service in Vietnam.

2017 When We Rise


Hostiles (2017)

Majors has a bit part in this Western that’s sadly un-nuanced about race.

2017 Hostiles


Lovecraft Country (2020)

As the lead in this TV series about a man in the segregated 1950s U.S. who encounters some supernatural horrors along the way.

Lovecraft Country

The man has SHOULDERS.

2020 Lovecraft Country

See what I mean?


The Harder They Fall (2021)

As the lead “good” outlaw, Nat Love. The real-life Love was a celebrated cowboy who wrote an autobiography; in the film, he’s out to get the lead baddie because of Reasons(TM).

2021 The Harder They Fall

That leather jacket suits him © DAVID LEE/NETFLIX © 2021

2021 The Harder They Fall


Devotion (coming soon)

An upcoming film set during the Korean War.





LaKeith Stanfield

This rising actor has received a well-deserved Oscar nomination (for Judas and the Black Messiah). In addition to these films, he played Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton (2015).


Selma (2014)

Stanfield had a small part as civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was murdered by Alabama state troopers.

2014 Selma

That’s him, facing down the trooper.


Miles Ahead (2015)

A biopic about musician Miles Davis. Stanfield plays “Junior.”

2015 Miles Ahead


Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

I HIGHLY recommend this film about Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, his work and his murder, from the perspective of the informant (Stanfield) who helps the FBI. Stanfield was nominated for an Oscar for this role, and he deserves it.

2021 Judas and the Black Messiah 2021 Judas and the Black Messiah


The Harder They Fall (2021)

As Cherokee Bill, one of the baddie outlaws. In real life, Cherokee Bill was a mixed-race outlaw who led his own gang.

2021 The Harder They Fall

Stanfield is perfectly subtle in the role.

2021 The Harder They Fall




Damon Wayans Jr.

Harder is the first historical role for this long-time actor/comedian!


The Harder They Fall (2021)

Wayans plays the small role of Monroe Grimes, who helps to launch the movie plot.

2021 The Harder They Fall



I hope you enjoyed all the boys!


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

25 Responses

  1. Frances Germeshausen

    seeing a gun pointed directly at the camera is much more disturbing now . . .

  2. Heather Ripley

    I have been enjoying Lindo’s character in “The Good Fight”, a non FF series. Now I have more of his performances, and other hoties, to explore – thank you!

  3. M.E. Lawrence

    Elba and Lindo in the same film–bliss. Coincidentally, I saw that “Bramwell” episode a few months ago. (Via Roku; probably still there: series 1, episode 3.) He was very effective in the role, a petty criminal evading the law in order to claim his child. Is it just me, or was Elba born looking 40 and super-capable?

    • florenceandtheai

      That’s a hysterical (and accurate) description! I first saw him in Luther-I was late to the game-and just went “Damn, he’s good.”

    • florenceandtheai

      I could listen to LaKeith Stanfield read stock prices and still fall asleep, his voice is that soothing. He doesn’t say much in Harder, but you listen when he does. Which, BTW I watched because of the blog. Thanks for the recs, ladies!

      • Jacqueline Goodman

        I enjoyed watching and looking at Lakeith Stanfield. I loved watching His gestures and the he looks at the person when he is talking to them. I enjoyed the picture so much, I did a study on each of the characters. The history behind this picture “The Harder They Fall” it is a lot of real history. I have watched the movie 7 times and going to be still counting. Love the picture It’s got to be a sequel. Because Trudy Smith, she’s still alive.❤

  4. Lily Lotus Rose

    Oh, God. I LOVE this MCM!! Hell yes, to Idris Elba. Delroy Lindo is always commanding. What I love about Lakeith Stanfield is that he looks so mischievous that you can’t resist him! Gotta give a plug for Delroy Lindo’s film “Wondrous Oblivion.” It opens your eyes to the racism felt by Black immigrants to the UK in the 50s or 60s something that we see a little bit more on screen now in some of the British detective shows that I watch, but you didn’t really see that too much on screen back when the movie came out. It’s well acted and does NOT fall into the White Savior trope. It’s worth viewing. FrockFlicks-wise, one of the characters is a tailor (or runs a garment-shop); it’s not a huge part of the movie, though. It might be a good film to evaluate for the children’s clothes, as children are the main characters of the film.

  5. Lily Lotus Rose

    Oh, I forgot to say that to me, the actor Edi Gathegi will always be the vampire in Twilight–in which he looked smokin’ hot (even though I am not a fan of dreds)!

    • Kendra

      YES! I searched in vain to see if he was ever in any of the historical flashbacks so I could include a pic, but no dice.

  6. steelyseamstress

    Wondrous Oblivion was filmed in a street where I used to live in St Albans (not in London, but in Hertfordshire). I watched the scene where the little girl comes round the boy’s house with a birthday present being filmed one evening. The house where I lived isn’t actually in the film (possibly because of the double-glazed windows), but I did have to move my motorbike to make sure it wasn’t in any of the takes! It’s a charming film and well worth a watch.

      • Lily Lotus Rose

        I agree, steelyseamstress. It’s so cool that you have a connection to the film. It’s a little-known gem that I discovered on the DVD shelf at my local library.

  7. M.E. Lawrence

    Does anyone know whether Colin Salmon has done any/many costume roles? He is gorgeous, suave, a skilled actor, and my personal choice for the FBB (First Black Bond); just Google-Image the guy.

    • Susan Pola Staples

      I agree with your assessment of Colin Salmon. And I would definitely share and marry him.

  8. Roxana

    Idris Elba has such a powerful presence that I’m happy to overlook the incongruity of a black Heimdall.

    • florenceandtheai

      You could’ve commented on literally anything, and that’s the aspect you chose?

      • Roxana

        For what it’s worth I think the white actors cast as Egyptian gods are equally egregious.


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