Here's Compelling Evidence 'Street Fighter II' Shamelessly Ripped Off a '70s Charles Bronson Movie

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Plagiarism is less beloved.

Hard Times

Image via Getty/Columbia Pictures

Hard Times

Street Fighter IIfans take note, the classic 1987 video game may have seriously ripped off a 1975 Charles Bronson film. Two of the most iconic levels from the game look an awful lot like the set of Hard Times, an action flick about street fighting—how very apropos.

So I'm watching the 1975 movie Hard Times with Charles Bronson, being an underground fighter.
And I recognise two #StreetFighter 2 stages, on a dock and one in a factory. Ken and Zangief's SF2 stage, this can't be a coincidence 😲@StreetFighter @CapcomFighters

— Dennis🍿デニス (@DennisZopfi) March 18, 2018

In the movie, the battle at the docks bears a striking resemblance to the SF II stage. There’s even a dude in the background wearing a trenchcoat à la James Coburn in the movie. Then there’s the film’s factory floor fight scene, where Bronson takes out Robert Tessier’s Jim Henry. Save for the color of the chainlink fence, Street Fighter’s version seems to be drawing more than just inspiration from the film. The folks at Capcom might as well have just screenshotted the original set. Too bad the game was made in the '80s, and the closest thing to a screenshot was a Polaroid.

Massive Coburn fan, which in turn with Street Fighter got me into Bronson.
I've always known the film as Street Fighter but later my dad showed me a copy called Hard Times (The name I've never liked lol). I thought this was a thing EVERYONE knew. 😂🤣😂 #blesssocialmedia

— Nathan Harvie (@HilariousHarvie) March 19, 2018

Even the game’s artist, Akira “Akima” Yasuda, sort of owned up to the fact that his work was influenced, if not straight copied from the silver screen. In an interview with Capcom, Yasuda said, “I remember stitching together a few movies to make a presentation. Streets of Fire and Charles Bronson’sHard Times were the ones I used back then. Basically movies about fighting. I really took the chairman’s words to heart—'Use movies!' he said, so I took that to mean we should just openly plagiarize them [laughs].” Um, wut?


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