Hands On A Hard Body

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: +2

A very unusual contest takes place each year in the small town of Longview, Texas. The Jack Long Nissan dealership invites all those interested in winning a brand new pickup truck to enter a drawing. They pick 23 contestants to stand alongside the truck, keeping one hand always on the truck with no leaning against the truck or squatting permitted. Five-minute breaks are allowed once an hour and 15-minute breaks once every six hours. The last contestant to drop out wins the truck. This documentary records the 1995 event, beginning with 23 eager, energetic people of all shapes and ages taking their places around the truck. Benny won the truck in 1992 and is sure he can do it again until a Marine steps into the fray. A pleasingly plump 40-something woman who also happens to be a passionate evangelical Christian doesn't have a chance - or does she? When others are too fatigued to smile, she is laughing and moving to the music of gospel songs on her tape recorder. Two young women eating bananas and peanut butter, and a candy-bar eating jovial black man are all sure they will win. The wife of the oldest of the group massages her husband's feet and legs, then feeds him vitamins on every break. Hands on a Hard Body is heart-breaking, funny and uplifting. Watch for it on video if it doesn't make it to your local theater.

There are many more positives than negatives in this movie. While each of the participants desperately wants and needs the truck, they do not rejoice when someone drops out. They encourage each other as the hours and days drag on. Even after 70 hours of no sleep, aching backs, legs and feet, most show no animosity toward the others. One woman, however, leaves in a huff because she feels some of the contestants are getting away with breaking the rules. She walks away, making derogatory remarks about officials and using some mild crudities. The s-word is heard once, plus one other obscenity. The devout Christian's declaration that the joy she feels is from God earns the respect, not ridicule, of the others. In fact, they express awe for her stamina and faith. Benny is particularly helpful to Paul, the oldest contestant, by giving him hints to help him endure. Watching a movie without the usual sexual escapades, violence and filthy language makes Hands on a Hard Body a treat instead of a treatment.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Legacy Releasing Inc., 1800 N. Highland Ave., Ste. 311, Hollywood, CA 90028

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (7) times-Mild 6, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Few (2) times (s-word 1, other 1)

Profanity: Once-Regular (G)

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times (cigarette smoking)

Other: Christian woman treated with respect; competitors exhibit good sportsmanship

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.