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Netflix Fans Are Just Discovering The Harder They Fall Characters Are Based On Real Cowboys

Netflix Fans Are Just Discovering The Harder They Fall Characters Are Based On Real Cowboys

The Netflix Western borrows historical figure and gives their lives an imaginative retelling.

Viewers are raving over The Harder They Fall, Netflix’s latest venture which promises to put a new spin on the classic Western genre.

Boasting a stellar all Black cast, and Jay-Z as a producer, the film tells the story of outlaw Nat Love who is looking to seek revenge on Rufus Buck after he killed his entire family when he was a child.

But while the plot itself may be an embellishment of reality, the characters were genuine people from the era of the legendary wild west.

Played by Jonathan Mayers, we see the Nat Love in The Harder They Fall as a petty thief looking to seek revenge.

However, the real Nat Love told his story (some of it which fails to be corroborated) in his 1907 autobiography: The Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as “Deadwood Dick.”

Jonathan Majors plays Nat Love (

Love asserts in his book that he was born a slave in Tennessee, before becoming a ranch hand in Kansas following the Homestead Act, which allowed former slaves to claim land in an expanding America.

Love claimed he would ride up to 100 miles a day, fighting Mexicans and Native Americans – however, many of his claims were disputed, and he quit his outlaw ways in 1889 when he got married and got a job as a porter.

Elba's Buck actually died aged only 18 (

Elsewhere, Idris Elba’s Rufus Buck is also based on a real cowboy – but in real life died aged only 18. Part of a ruthless gang in the late 1890’s, Buck terrorise Arkansas and Oklahoma to try and incite a Native American uprising against white settlers. He was hanged in 1896, after U.S. Deputy Marshals and police tracked down the gang outside of Okmulgee.

Cherokee Bill also died young (

Cherokee Bill, played by Lakeith Stanfield, serves as part of Rufus Buck’s gang in The Harder They Fall, but was a feared criminal in his own right. He infamously killed anyone who crossed him, even murdering his own brother-in-law.

He was sentenced to death while robbing a store in 1894, and was killed while he too was only a teenager.

Trudy Smith was an infamous pickpocket (

Elsewhere, Regina George’s character, Gertrude ‘Trudy’ Smith, is based on a real pickpocket.

According to report, Trudy would partner with a fellow pickpocket, Dolly Mickey, and the pair spent their days stealing before they were caught.

 Naturally, fans were stunned to discover these characters, albeit embellished slightly, existed in real life.

“This is a true Black western,” one person said on Twitter. “They’ve never been told properly until now. I’m living for it.

“Once again I learn about real Black historic figures from entertainment and not my schooling,” added a second.

The Harder They Fall is available to stream on Netflix.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Netflix, TV And Film