StarringDion Gossett
Distributed byDimension Pictures
Release date
  • June 7, 1974 (1974-06-07) (Atlanta)[1]
CountryUnited States

Tough, also known as Johnny Tough, is a 1974 blaxploitation film about a young teenager who rebels against authority.

The film is a homage to The 400 Blows (1959).[2][3]



A. H. Weiler of The New York Times called the performances from the young actors "natural and convincing," but found that the film "states its intentions honestly but superficially. The emotion generated is rarely equal to the drama's good intentions."[5] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film zero stars out of four, calling it a "shameful mess" that blended "a simplistic plea for adults to understand that their behavior influences children" with "a nasty collection of juvenile thrill scenes."[6] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times was positive and called the film "very poignant. As infuriating as its people can be, they are always recognizably human. Above all, the film goes right to the heart of the matter. [Horace] Jackson gets splendid performances all around and demonstrates a special gift for handling kids."[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Tough - Details". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  2. ^ Cinefamily article on film accessed 7 June 2014
  3. ^ Review of film at Moon in the Gutter Blog
  4. ^ "[Grindhouse Gems] Uncovering Johnny Tough". 26 May 2016.
  5. ^ Weiler, A. H. (July 25, 1974). "Screen: 'Tough' Opens". The New York Times. 27.
  6. ^ Siskel, Gene (July 25, 1974). "'Johnny Tough': As a movie, tough luck". Chicago Tribune. Section 2, p. 5.
  7. ^ Thomas, Kevin (October 10, 1974). "Why Johnny Can't Relate". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 17.