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Author Topic: The Charles Bronson Appreciation Thread  (Read 41575 times)
Adam S.
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« on: June 26, 2011, 02:32:34 AM »

I had heard some friends talking about the remake of The Mechanic (with Jason Statham, I believe?). I haven't seen it and have no intention of sitting through another CGI explosion fest, but it did prompt me to watch the original version again tonight and, as always, I come away impressed by how underrated Charles Bronson still is as an actor. From supporting roles in classics like The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, and The Great Escape to his big break in Once Upon a Time in the West to his iconic portrayal of Paul Kersey in Death Wish (every bit the equal of the original Dirty Harry, in my opinion), he added something unique to every movie he was in. Not to mention Mr. Majestyk and so many others in the '70s. As far as I'm concerned, he, along with Eastwood and Burt Reynolds were the Holy Trinity of '70s cinema.

Even later in his career, although his films were normally panned by critics, the movies were entertaining and he was great in them.
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 11:06:48 PM »

One Bronson film that I've always liked was Death Hunt. I haven't seen it in years and I think it was based on a true story about a man hunt in the snowy mountains somewhere in the US. The one scene that sticks in my mind is when the posse is shooting at a log cabin with Bronson inside. Similar to the scene in The Gauntlet and after the shooting stops, some poor sod goes running up opens the cabin door, only to find Chuck laying in this hole in the ground with a shotgun, and Chuck says, "Welcome" and blows the guy's head off.
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Adam S.
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 11:46:16 AM »

I think it was actually set in Canada, but other than that I totally agree. A really good film.
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 05:49:47 PM »

I think it was actually set in Canada, but other than that I totally agree. A really good film.

The synopsis in the IMDb begins:

Quote
Canada 1931: The unsociable trapper Johnson lives for himself in the ice-cold mountains near the Yukon river...

According to the "Locations" page, it was filmed in two Canadian locations and two New Mexico locations. One of the Canadian locations was "Drumheller, Alberta, Canada." Hmmm, do you think someone might have been inspired by that? ???
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Christopher
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 07:37:46 PM »

I'm a fan of Bronson too. The Mechanic is one of my favorites of his. I like all the ones that have been mentioned here so far, plus quite a few others. Another notable mention is Someone Behind the Door costarring Anthony Perkins.

One movie of his I haven't watched yet but have wanted to is Rider on the Rain.
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 10:24:10 PM »

I'm a fan of Bronson too. The Mechanic is one of my favorites of his. I like all the ones that have been mentioned here so far, plus quite a few others. Another notable mention is Someone Behind the Door costarring Anthony Perkins.

Is that the one with Perkins as the psychiatrist or something? I recall bits and pieces of it but haven't seen it in some time.

What are the opinions of some of you on the films he made for Cannon in the '80s? I think that Messenger of Death was an interesting change of pace, albeit not an entirely successful one, while Assassination was mediocre. But The Evil that Men Do, 10 to Midnight, and Murphy's Law are all above average action thrillers in my book. I've never seen Kinjite and I hear that it goes out of it's way to sicken the viewer. Still, I'd like to check it out at some point.
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2011, 01:54:21 PM »

Bronson was great in Hard Times.. I'd like to see some of the European stuff he did in the 60's...
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Christopher
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2011, 03:59:28 PM »

Is that the one with Perkins as the psychiatrist or something? I recall bits and pieces of it but haven't seen it in some time.

What are the opinions of some of you on the films he made for Cannon in the '80s? I think that Messenger of Death was an interesting change of pace, albeit not an entirely successful one, while Assassination was mediocre. But The Evil that Men Do, 10 to Midnight, and Murphy's Law are all above average action thrillers in my book. I've never seen Kinjite and I hear that it goes out of it's way to sicken the viewer. Still, I'd like to check it out at some point.
Yeah, Perkins is the psychiatrist. It's a great cast.

I've seen just a few of the '80s movies. I remember watching Murphy's Law either earlier this year or sometime last year (would have to check my movie journal!). And I do remember seeing 10 to Midnight. They're okay.

I like some of the westerns like Red Sun and Chino, too.
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Elizabeth77
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2011, 08:58:43 PM »

Hard Times is one of my Bronson favorites.  I really like the way he communicates so much while saying so little, yet at the end he's still a stranger about whom you know almost nothing.
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 03:27:12 PM »

I watched Once Upon A Time In The West not too long ago and sad to say I didn't like it.  My expectations were definitely high because Sergio Leone directed it and it stars Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda.  The directing and acting was okay, but for me it just didn't deliver.  I enjoyed the beginning but didn't care much for the remainder of the film. 



I haven't seen all of Bronson's films but would like to.  Has there been a "Top 10" list of Bronson films posted by anyone?  How about a rating for each of his movies?  I've done that with Eastwood and it was a lot of fun.  I'd like to see a Charles Bronson fan do the same here.


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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 03:29:01 AM »

Was going to start a new thread about Bronson, but was able to find this existing one so I'll just bump it up.

I'm sad to see so few responces in the thread on an Eastwood forum. Hopefully this revival can bring some more posts in it.

I'm a huge Bronson fan. One of my all-time favorite actors, an extremely underrated one. People who claim he's a one-note actor obviously aren't that well-versed in Bronsonology. While his characters in the 70's and later in his career mostly consisted of The Strong, Silent Type roles, there were some great exceptions. Just watch 1975's Breakout if you want to see Charlie in a different role. His work on TV before breaking through in the movie industry showed he was very versatile.

His work in the western genre is pretty impressive. The Magnificent Seven, Once Upon a Time in the West (IMO the greatest western of all time), Red Sun, Chato's Land and the very different From Noon Till Three are some of the best work he did in the genre.

What makes Bronson so convincing in his tough guy roles is because unlinke Clint, who plays tough guys but underneath it is a gentle guy, Bronson was a tough guy. He played the Strong Silent Types so good because that's what he was in real life. He also had the physique to back it up. He had an amazing body which he kept well up in his 60's, and he never stopped working out. He was fit all his life, the guy could do a hundred push-ups at the age of 73! Working as a coal miner as a kid probably ignited his passion for staying in shape. Some photos:









All of those pictures are from when he was over 50 years old! Pretty impressive considering he was a heavy smoker at that time (he eventually dropped the habit, thankfully).

He was immensely popular in Europe and Asia for most of his career after he made his breakthrough in some classic European films in the 60's. For a while he was the top grossing star in the world and the most bankable actor in the business. Sweden even had Bronson festivals playing in cinemas all over the country:



At one point, there was a huge billboard in Japan with just Bronson's face on it. Not an ad for anyhing in particular, just his face on a huge billboard. Speaks volumes of how revered he was in Japan. He was so popular over there that he asked Sean Penn if some changes could be made to his character's fate in The Indian Runner because he feared it would not go over well with the Japanese crowd.

Some of my favorite movies of his, other than the ones already mentioned:

Hard Times
Death Hunt
Mr. Majestyk

Death Wish series (parts 3 & 4 were typical 80's action cheese fests not to be taken very seriously, entertaining as hell though!)
The Mechanic
Breakout


What are the opinions of some of you on the films he made for Cannon in the '80s? I think that Messenger of Death was an interesting change of pace, albeit not an entirely successful one, while Assassination was mediocre. But The Evil that Men Do, 10 to Midnight, and Murphy's Law are all above average action thrillers in my book. I've never seen Kinjite and I hear that it goes out of it's way to sicken the viewer. Still, I'd like to check it out at some point.

Just want to point out that while The Evil That Men Do was originally planned by Cannon Films, it ended up being produced by Tri-Star and ITC.
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2013, 06:46:49 AM »

Thanks, Clintan, good post!
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 06:09:34 AM »

Great post, Clintan. O0

My brother-in-law is a huge Bronson fan. I do have a few of his films in my dvd collection including The Magnificent Seven and Once Upon a Time in the West. One of my favourite Bronson films is Death Hunt. It reminds me of First Blood set in snow in the Canadian wilderness. :D Great acting by Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin.  :)
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2013, 02:22:41 PM »

[/i] One of my favourite Bronson films is Death Hunt. It reminds me of First Blood set in snow in the Canadian wilderness. :D Great acting by Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin.  :)

Love that scene where he digs a hole in the cabin's dirt floor and lays down so all the bullets being fired at him miss and then when the door gets flung open, Bronson says, "Welcome" and blows the guy away.
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2013, 03:23:57 PM »

Thanks guys, I can talk Bronson all day  ;)

Great recent news for Bronson fans is that The Great Escape is coming to Blu-ray in June, and so is Hard Times. UK fans can get their hands on an awesome looking Great Escape steelbook:







Japan is releasing a digipak version with some cool goodies for those who love that stuff (ehm, me)



Hard Times will be released by Twilight Time, a company that limits their releases to 3 000 copies per title. It will probably be up for pre-order sometime in May, I suggest those who want a copy grab it ASAP, because if you wait and it goes OOP, when you finally decide to get it on eBay it will probably cost at least twice as much (60 dollars or more).
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2013, 11:31:15 AM »

Love that scene where he digs a hole in the cabin's dirt floor and lays down so all the bullets being fired at him miss and then when the door gets flung open, Bronson says, "Welcome" and blows the guy away.

Me too! It's a great scene in the movie. :)
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_Clintan_
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2013, 11:32:59 AM »

Me too! It's a great scene in the movie. :)
How about the scene minutes later when he comes out, guns blazing? One of my favorite Bronson moments!
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« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2013, 11:39:09 AM »

How about the scene minutes later when he comes out, guns blazing? One of my favorite Bronson moments!

 O0
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Rawhide7
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« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2013, 12:47:59 PM »

I'm also a fan of Bronson's as well!  Espicially of his Death Wish series!  Great actor!
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« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2013, 06:01:29 PM »

Some Bronson news to brighten everyone's day!

There are about 900 copies left of Hard Times before it is OOP, I suggest you get your hands on your copy ASAP if you haven't already: http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/25047/HARD-TIMES-1975/



The Blu-ray got a great review over at Blu-ray.com: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Hard-Times-Blu-ray/65402/

The Great Escape, however, got a pretty average rating of 2.5 regarding the picture quality. It sure deserved better treatment, since it's one of the greatest movies ever made: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Great-Escape-Blu-ray/47102/



A little known B-western from 1958, Showdown at Boot Hill, was recently released by Olive Films on DVD and Blu-ray, the latter got a great review: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Showdown-at-Boot-Hill-Blu-ray/70814/



Those of you who are fans of Death Hunt and 1953's House of Wax (in 3D!) are in for a treat!

Shout Factory is releasing Death Hunt on August 20, with some cool special features: http://www.amazon.com/Death-Hunt-Blu-ray-Charles-Bronson/dp/B00CQ8U5ZE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1373503360&sr=8-2&keywords=death+hunt



House of Wax, including original and 3D version is released in good time for Halloween on October 1st: http://www.amazon.com/House-Wax-Blu-ray-Roy-Roberts/dp/B00DQLQN3S/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1373503437&sr=1-1&keywords=house+of+wax



Great time to be a Charles Bronson fan!  O0
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