The playwright responsible for the film deemed by Reggae heads as a “classic” died Tuesday at the age of 69. Trevor Rhone passed away in a Kingston hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was 69 years old.
During his life, Rhone helped introduce Jamaican culture to American lives with the country’s first feature film, The Harder They Come. Released in 1972, the crime film tells the story of a Jamaican man that comes to America chasing the American dream and was a predecessor to Shottas. The main character, played by reggae singer Jimmy Cliff, finds himself enraptured in America’s drug culture and ultimately winds up dead. The film had a massive following and was referenced in songs like “The Guns of Brixton” by rock group, The Clash.
Rhone is also responsible for the hit Jamaican stage play, “Two Can Play.” While the play has no relation to the American movie starring Vivica Fox and Morris Chestnut, Rhone’s play tells the story of a husband and wife attempting to one up each other in a series of antics to regain each other’s love and attention. He received stellar praise for his works and was honored as the focus of the Caribbean Cultural Theater’s film festival in 2006.