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Charles Bronson in the Movies : From A to Z

I guess we all have a favorite when it comes to movie stars and growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, Charles Bronson was and remains my go to answer when asked to name my favorite film star. As a collector of films on home video, I’ve amassed his entire film catalogue from 1951 onward aside from one early bit (1952’s Torpedo Alley) and as many of his early television appearances as I can locate. Movie Posters? Yeah most every one of his North American release posters are here in the vault at Mike’s Take.

To celebrate the 100th birthday of the screen’s most famous vigilante, I’ve squeezed as many topics as I could into this latest addition of From A to Z. 

Have a look and enjoy some of the facts and trivia I’ve selected to share.

A is for …. Apache.

Released in 1954, Apache, starred Burt Lancaster in the title role and cast Bronson as the lead Apache scout working for the military in the manhunt for Lancaster. Billed 4th below Burt, Jean Peters and John McIntire, the film represented Bronson’s first with director Robert Aldrich. Our leading man would go on to appear in Vera Cruz (1954), the Rat Pack western 4 For Texas (1963) and most importantly the box office smash, The Dirty Dozen in 1967 under Aldrich’s direction. Aldrich was in line to direct 1981’s Death Hunt but his participation fell through leaving Peter Hunt to take over as director. Among Aldrich’s many fine films you’ll find Kiss Me Deadly, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, The Flight of the Phoenix and Emperor of the North. Aldrich passed away in December of 1983.

B is for …. Buchinsky/Bronson. Charles Dennis Buchinsky was born November 3, 1921. Following WW2 the youngster found his way to Hollywood under his birthname. He’d appear in 20 films using the name Buchinsky. Many of those found him unbilled. Others like House of Wax and Miss Sadie Thompson had him billed below the title and mixed in with the rest of the cast. The final release using Buchinsky came in 1954, the western adventure Vera Cruz. By the time Vera Cruz was released to theaters, he’d already changed his name to Bronson and had costarred opposite Alan Ladd in 1954’s Drum Beat scoring some great reviews for himself as the chief heavy, Captain Jack. 

C is for …. Chato’s Land. Long before Rambo led a posse into his own back yard, Bronson, as the Apache warrior, Chato, did it first. Previously featured so have a look at my spotlight on the first film of six Bronson would make with director Michael Winner. The others being The Mechanic, The Stone Killer and the first three films of the Death Wish series.

D is for …. Death Wish.

Was there any doubt? Well, maybe The Dirty Dozen. Michael Winner claims to have had this conversation with Bronson following the completion of the 1973 film, The Stone Killer. Charles Bronson and I wanted to make another film together, and we’re discussing further projects. “What do we do next?” asked Bronson. “The best script I’ve got is ‘Death Wish’. It’s about a man whose wife and daughter are mugged and he goes out and shoots muggers,” I said. “I’d like to do that,” Bronson said. “The film?” I asked. Bronson replied, “No . . . shoot muggers.” Death Wish was the film that finally put Bronson over the top in North America spawning four sequels and even a reboot. Following the success of the 1974 movie, Bronson, took on a variety of film roles for the balance of the decade but once he made the first sequel, he became forever identified as the avenging vigilante of cinema through the 1980’s as his career wound down. Winner would direct the first three films of the series with J. Lee Thompson stepping in on the fourth and Allan Goldstein helming the fifth film which was directed just up the road from me in Toronto, Canada. For my full spotlight on the first, second and third films, click the links to each.

E is for …. Elvis. Who better than Bronson to coach the King of Rock ‘n Roll in the manly art of the Sweet Science. That’s boxing for the unaware. Charlie who played many a boxer by this point in his career between movies and television starred alongside Elvis in 1962’s Kid Galahad and turned in one of his best performances in a supporting role. No Charlie doesn’t make like he’s a member of the Jordanaires but he does smile and move his head to the music as the King swings in the driver seat of an old car with Bronson and Gig Young riding in the back.

F is for …. Fierro.

In 1968 Bronson was cast opposite Yul Brynner and Robert Mitchum in the film, Villa Rides. I’ve always felt he stole the picture in the role of Fierro, Yul’s second in command. Aside from being an enjoyable Peckinpah like western,(Sam had a hand in the script) Bronson donned his signature mustache for the first time on camera which has always had me wondering what if he’d sported one years earlier? Would he have risen to leading man status quicker?

G is for …. Graham Dorsey. This character played by Bronson in 1976’s From Noon Till Three represents the only comedic role the actor undertook as a leading man and he more than holds his own in this western farce with some dramatic overtones towards the end. It’s more or less a two part play on screen fleshed out at both ends that has Charlie once again costarring alongside wife Jill. I’d like to think they had a great time making this one. A rare title to be sure but well worth tracking down for the Bronson completists.

H is for …. Hard Times.

In 1975, Bronson, starred in what many consider his strongest performance of the decade. That of Chaney the streetfighter in Walter Hill’s superior depression era tale. A film that reteamed Charlie with old pals James Coburn and Strother Martin. Both of whom appeared opposite Bronson early on his career. Coburn in The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape while Martin dates back to 54’s Drum Beat and 55’s Target Zero. Hard Times is fondly remembered by fans not just for the fight scenes including the famous bout with Robert Tessier in a fenced in cage but for the overall look and feel that Hill brought to the film that sends the viewer back in time to the early 30’s. A must see for those that may have overlooked this one.

I is for …. Igor.

Bronson was fortunate enough to have a sizable role (though mute) in the iconic 3D classic of 1953, House of Wax, starring the legendary Vincent Price. Still going by his birthname Buchinsky, Charlie, plays Price’s aide who doubles as both a sculptor and Price’s chief goon who memorably shadows poor Phyllis Kirk towards the end of the film as she makes her way through the shadowy museum of wax figures and ghoulish heads propped up on a shelf. Charlie even gets the final scene when a bust of his own head is thrust into the camera for the final 3D effect of this must see thriller that gave Price one of his greatest roles under the direction of Andre De Toth. It’s also notable that when the film was released theatrically in the ensuing years Bronson’s billing on the movie poster became more pronounced and no longer was he billed as Buchinsky but rather Bronson to capitalize on his world wide fame.

J is for …. Jill.

Charles Bronson married Jill Ireland in October of 1968 and they’d remain together up to her sad, untimely death in May of 1990 following a courageous fight with cancer. He first met her on the set of 1963’s Great Escape. At that time she was married to David McCallum. Jill would go on to appear in 16 films opposite her leading man husband beginning with a minor role in 1968’s Villa Rides and ending with her playing a lead role as the First Lady under his Secret Service Agent’s protection in 1987’s Assassination.

K is for …. Killer of Killers.

Not a movie title you’re familiar with? How about The Mechanic? Yes Bronson’s memorable turn as Arthur Bishop in The Mechanic was subsequently rereleased under the title Killer of Killers. The opening sixteen minutes of the movie alone are worth tuning in for if you’ve never seen this Michael Winner directed effort. Not a single line of dialogue is delivered yet the film draws you in through the eyes of Bronson as he goes about stalking and ultimately killing his target. If that isn’t enough to recommend this gangland thriller then be sure to see the fade out which is pure dynamite. Jan-Michael Vincent costarred with Bronson as the youngster in training under Charlie’s capable tutelage in the art of killing. Keenan Wynn and Jill Ireland costar. As for the Jason Statham remake? Flashy I suppose in today’s rollercoaster action style but you just knew going in it wouldn’t have the guts to end like the original. And yes, I was proven right.

L is for …. Lee Marvin.

While Bronson has always been identified with Jill by his side, Lee Marvin is the one male actor we can connect him with repeatedly over the course of his career. They both made their film debuts in the 1951 Naval comedy, You’re In the Navy Now. They’d play unbilled parts in 52’s Diplomatic Courier and it’s also worth noting that both movies were directed by Henry Hathaway. Bronson would guest star on Marvin’s 1958 TV series, M Squad in the episode titled The Fight. Their biggest hit was The Dirty Dozen released in 1967 with Lee the star and Bronson offering solid support. By the time 1981 rolled around there was great fanfare for their final pairing, the action packed outdoor adventure, Death Hunt. A side note would be the so called “movie” that turned up on VHS starring Lee and Charlie. Titled The Meanest Men In the West, it’s really just a pair of episodes of The Virginian strung together into a feature film making it look like they’re in the same film when in fact that they were not in the same episodes at all. Lee also stepped in to star opposite Chuck Norris in The Delta Force. A role that Cannon Films had originally slated for contract star Bronson. Sadly, it proved to be Lee’s final role.

M is for …. Machine Gun Kelly. Hired by director Roger Corman, this 1958 gangster flick cast Bronson in the title role. Having previously featured this early Bronson must see, click here for more on the film that garnered a cult following overseas long before it and the actor caught on here in North America.

N is for …. Number Nine. Bronson played the ninth member of The Dirty Dozen during sound off. The twelve convicted G.I.’s were lined up in order of height with the towering Clint Walker leading off at Number One. Charlie’s placement and number in line leads to two memorable scenes in the film. One is when he is assaulted by two goons in a latrine sent by Robert Ryan to beat information out of our leading tough guy. All they get out of him is his Number Nine rank in a scene that ends with a hell of a fight thanks to Walker and Jim Brown coming to his aide. The second scene I get a kick out of is when the dozen are lined up passing the word from Walker down to Bronson that the goons are back alongside Ryan for some more questioning. It ends with an excited Number Eight, Telly Savalas, getting word from Number 7, that the goons are present. He turns to Number Nine, Bronson, to relay the message only to be greeted by a scowl from Charlie who is well acquainted with Ryan’s hoods. Telly stops midsentence “Those are the two guys…..”

O is for …. Once Upon a Time In The West.

Greatest western ever made? My youngest son thinks so. Bronson finally connected with Sergio Leone after according to legend turning down for one reason or another A Fistful of Dollars, For a few Dollars More AND The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Thankfully he didn’t pass on the role of Harmonica. I could go on and on when it comes to OUATITW singing it’s praise from the story slowly unfolding to the performances of the four leading players to Morricone’s amazing score. Each character has their own theme song whether it’s Bronson, Jason Robards, Henry Fonda or Claudia Cardinale. Probably my favorite piece of music from the composer is the theme to Claudia Cardinale’s character Jill McBain. Just a stirring composition that raises the hairs on my neck every time I hear it. Funny, I recall staying up late to watch this on TV when I might of been 10 or so and watching the first 15 minutes before falling asleep from a lack of interest. Now I catch so much as a second or two and I’m hooked. I’ll not play spoiler here but will encourage those who have never seen it to take the time and in this case, repeated viewings are encouraged as the film only gets better each time giving up more of it’s secrets with each look. Maybe afterwards you’ll be telling those who have only seen Leone’s more popular Good, Bad, Ugly to be sure to see this one as well. There’s little doubt it’s reputation as a classic has only increased with the passage of time. 

P is for …. Paul Fein. Not the Paul one would assume when looking over the list of characters portrayed by Bronson. Fans of course will know that his Paul Kersey was better known as The Vigilante in the Death Wish series. I went with the character Paul Fein due to the fact that the final three films Bronson appeared in were made for TV affairs centered around the Fein character, The films were a trilogy known as A Family of Cops parts 1,2 and 3. Bronson played the patriarch who’s offspring were all on the force working alongside Dad. The films were broadcast two years apart in 1995/97 and 99.

Q is for …. Quaid.

Yes indeed, Cousin Eddie himself, Randy Quaid, played Bronson’s dimwitted sidekick in the 1975 film, Breakout. The pair run a flying operation and get tangled up in rescuing Robert Duvall from a Mexican prison with the use of a helicopter. Quaid is perfectly gullible opposite Charlie’s scheming operator and they play well off each other. At this point in time, Randy, was on the rise having just scored an Oscar nomination for his role opposite, Jack Nicholson, in The Last Detail. The rest as they say, is history.

R is for …. Red Sun.

This 1971 western has developed a cult following over the years and much of that has to do with the casting of four icons sharing the screen together though it’s the Bronson/Toshiro Mifune teaming that shines the brightest. Directed by Terence Young, Bronson and Alain Delon portray train robbers who happen upon a golden sword in Mifune’s care. A falling out leaves Delon with the sword and Bronson as Mifune’s captive. Mifune and Bronson take center stage for much of the film and slowly develop a mutual respect for each other as they hunt down Delon and his outlaw gang. That fourth icon? The original Bond girl, Ursula Andress, reuniting with the director to portray Delon’s gal who might just as easily follow Bronson if he ends up with the treasure. There was talk of a Bronson/Mifune reunion at one point but sadly nothing came of it. 

S is for …. Sturges. Like Robert Aldrich, John Sturges, is a director who seemed to excel at movies dominated by a male cast. Bad Day At Black Rock (1954) instantly springs to mind as does Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957). Bronson first worked for Sturges back in 1951’s The People Against O’Hara in a bit role. With a little seasoning, Bronson was back for 1959’s war time actioner, Never So Few opposite Frank Sinatra and upstart Steve McQueen. His next go around for Sturges was a major role in 1960’s The Magnificent Seven followed by 1963’s The Great Escape. Again, both with McQueen. Once Bronson achieved leading man status of his own, Sturges, directed him one last time on 1973’s Chino, aka The Valdez Horses. Sturges would direct just two more films afterwards, McQ (1974) and The Eagle Has Landed (1976). He’d pass in away in 1992. 

T is for …. Thompson. Director J. Lee Thompson whose career dates back to some fine films of the British film industry including Ice Cold In Alex (1958) went on to guide two classics of the early 1960’s, The Guns of Navarone and the original (and far better than the remake) Cape Fear. Fast forward to 1976 and he teamed with Bronson for the first of 9 films they’d work together on as actor/director. The films are as follows …. St. Ives (1976), The White Buffalo (1977), Cabo Blanco (1980), 10 to Midnight (1983), The Evil That Men Do (1984), Murphy’s Law (1986), Death Wish 4 : The Crackdown (1987), Messenger of Death (1988) and lastly Kinjite : Forbidden Subjects (1989). Among J. Lee’s other well known films you’ll find Taras Bulba (1962), Mackenna’s Gold (1969), Conquest For the Planet of the Apes (1972) and the final film in the original series, Battle For the Planet of the Apes (1973). He even directed what might be the most enjoyable of all Chuck Norris flicks, Firewalker in 1986. J. Lee passed away in 2002 at the age of 88. 

U is for …. Unbilled/Uncredited.

Years ago before the internet changed everything, I used to keep a keen eye on the TV screen at all times when watching a movie made in the 1950’s. Just in case I spotted my hero turning up in a minor role early on in his career. Films like The Clown where he shares a scene with Red Skelton. Watch closely and you’ll see Bronson as a fighter in the backdrop of a Mickey Rooney/Bob Hope military comedy, Off Limits. On the front lines in Battle Zone. Working the docks with Broderick Crawford in 1951’s The Mob. Even TV appearances on The Roy Rogers Show or Bonanza would turn up and while billed, it was still a journey of discovery considering we had nothing to reference more often than not. Thankfully the book The Films of Charles Bronson hit the market to assist this youngster at the time, even if all the film appearances were not accounted for.

V is for …. Vincent ….. Majestyk or Price?

Take your pick. Vincent Majestyk is one of Bronson’s best remembered characters from the film, Mr. Majestyk, based on an Elmore Leonard novel. He’s an unlikely watermelon farmer who gets tangled up with a brutish mafioso, Al Lettieri. For more on the film and Lettieri, give this a look. My love for all things Vincent Price compels me to include him here. Bronson twice appeared opposite the legendary star of horror films who was really so much more than that. Of course there was 1953’s 3-D classic, The House of Wax  and the lesser, Master of the World which hit theaters in 1961. I believe that of all the films Bronson made, Master, is one of a select few that stand out as a piece of miscasting on Charlie’s part.

W is for …. White Buffalo. Though Michael Winner is the obvious choice, I’ve already spoken of him in some detail in the trivia above so instead I’m including this 1977 effort because I believe it to be a vastly underrated film. Previously featured so please have a look to read my thoughts on this Bronson outing from producer Dino De Laurentiis that was considered a box-office let down at the time.

X is for …. X-15. Released in 1961, X-15 starred Bronson as a pilot working in the exploration of rocket powered aircraft. Mostly a forgotten film it was actually directed by first timer Richard Donner who would go on to a highly successful career behind the camera. The Omen, Superman, Lethal Weapon etc. Charlie once again proved he was a first rate character actor here having just elevated his industry status in The Magnificent Seven. Perhaps this movie is more interesting for those involved. It was narrated by Jimmy Stewart, no stranger to the skies off screen or on, and costarred Brad Dexter, James Gregory and Kenneth Tobey. Best of all for you trivia hounds, though she had done some TV work and a small bit here and there previously, X-15, served as the official film debut of an actress who would become one of the most beloved of her generation and beyond, Mary Tyler Moore. 

Y is for …. You’re In the Navy Now.

Also known as U.S.S. Teakettle, this 1951 naval comedy starring Gary Cooper turned out to be the film that Bronson made his film debut in. There’s a bevy of talent involved in this mildly entertaining film that had Bronson putting on the boxing gloves as he would do numerous times in the ensuing years. You’ll spot Jane Greer, Lee Marvin, Jack Warden, Jack Webb, Eddie Albert, Millard Mitchell,  and Ed Begley among others. Charlie’s first on camera line comes after a dressing down from Cooper for brawling. When asked what he’s got to say for himself he begins with, “Nothing Captain.” before launching into a full speech on just why he was willing to “take on the whole navy in a brawl.”

Z is for …. Zuleika. Well, not being able to come up with anything resembling a Z as far as Bronson’s on screen career goes, I found this picture on line of Charles, Jill and their daughter Zuleika. 

Charles Bronson November 3rd, 1921 – August 30, 2003.

26 Comments »

  1. Being a Bronson-fan for over 3 decades, since I was a teen, I do cheerish that, paying tribute to a true legend. RIP and thanx for ghe many great & entertaining movies you gave us. My favourites: HARD TIMES, THE MECHANIC, CHATO’S LAND, DEATH WISH I, MR. MAJESTYK, BREAKOUT, NEVADA PASS, DEATH HUNT, … the 70ies were HIS decade! 👍👍👍🙂

  2. Me, my Dad, and my Uncle (my Dad’s brother) are all big Bronson fans as he came from the state of Pennsylvania like us. He lived where all the coal mines are in PA. He had both a very interesting life and an interesting career. Red Sun was one of the first Bronson films I saw as a kid and he stuck with me after that.

    • I too saw that as a youngster and my Dad liked that because of the “sword guy”. LOL. He didn’t really know who Mifune was. It’s funny that my Mother’s side of the family have their roots in coal mines only in Nova Scotia, Canada.

    • Thanks for the compliment. These are fun to do and with Bronson I knew most of it with little research involved so this one came easy. Just time consuming. Love Majestyk for not just Charlie but the cast involved from Linda Crystal to the main heavies, Al Lettieri and Paul Koslo who is a hoot getting his ass kicked by both Bronson and Lettieri throughout.

      • I absolutely agree with you! The cast of this flick is fantastic. When I was working in morning radio back in 1994, we had a ton of snippets from this movie that we would play completely out of context! “You’re not going to get those melons picked if you’re dead” coming completely out of nowhere always cracked me up on the air.

        My morning Show partner did a bunch of voices. One of the ones he did was Bronson. The voice was completely obvious that it was him, but we always called him by his real name – Chucky Buchinski! That was a blast!

  3. A non speaking role for Bronson was “House of Wax” playing Charles a mute servant to Vincent Price….he only grunted in this film but a start nonetheless …..Carolyn Jones …later appearing as Morticia in the Adddams Family also appears in this early Price classic.

    • Wax is such a great film and one that is so important for a variety of reasons. One of Price’s best, probably the best 3D effort of the era and for up’n comers like Jones and Bronson. Even Dabbs Greer in there who was such a wonderful character actor for years.

  4. Great reminder of what a terrific actor Bronson was and how important he was during the 1970s as a box office star. So many memories of enjoyable films – Red Sun, Hard Times, The Mechanic, Cabo Blanco, Death Wish, Mr Majestyk and a big favourite of mine The Valdez Horses and his fantastic turn in Once Upon a Time in the West – definitely the best western ever made.

  5. A great reminder of Bronson’s versatility — not a word you would immediately think of to describe his acting career, but true nonetheless. In my pretentious youth I didn’t have much time for Chuck, but as I got older and wiser I found myself seeking out his movies more and more. I’ve recently watched Red Sun and Chato’s Land. Have never seen Hard Times, so that is my priority now.

    • Yes, HARD TIMES is a must-see. It’s the US-equivalent to Jean-Pierre Melvilles LE SAMOURAI, starring A. Delon, and certainly an important reason for Bronson to decide to star with Delon in ADIEU L’AMI. What Walter Hill did in HARD FIMES was to transfer the silent Samourai from Japanese and French movies into the 1930ies US depression era. This movie is a work of art, in which the character of a loner is explored in quite some depth. A masterpiece!

      • I like your thoughts on Hard Times. I hadn’t looked at the film in that way though there’s no doubting Bronson was very much the lone samurai type in many a film which I guess is why he was so popular in Japan during that era.

        • Yes, BRONSON was THE “western hero” in Japanese cinema back in the day. US and European movies were hugely popular (European even more than US ones!) in Japan back then and Bronson was the biggest non-Japanese draw at box offices in the 70ies. He was so hugely popular that he even made several TV-commercials for MANDOM (an Eau de toilette for men), which you can find on YT. here´s one example:

          I am pretty sure that Bill Murrays part in LOST IN TRANSLATION is loosely based on Bronson being in Japan to shoot a TV-commercial, but he was not the only leading actor, who did that back then, so it´s anyones guess, who might or might not have been the inspiration for that script (could also be Burt Reynolds, Sean Connery, and a few others, also Michael Caine maybe?).

          And yes, that is because he was the actor back then, who was – more than any other – in sync with the Japanese tradition of the Samourai, the protector of the weak & poor, who came to town, out from nowhere, to help kill the bandits and to move on. Besides, getting things right, straightening injustice out and consequently taking revenge is a deeply routed in Japanese/Asian culture.

          Sounds familiar, does it?

          I´m not telling anyone here anything new, but people in general often overlook/forget, how intense cultural exchange was in the back then, in the days from the 1940ies to 1970ies. Anyone seen a Japanese movie lately? I guess not … well, back then that was a common thing and not only arthouse movies – most of which have disappeared :-(, because one can´t live from a few handful of movie goers -, but also mainstream cinemas screened the likes of Kurosawa, Mizoguci, Ozu, Os(h)ima, Kobayashi (see all 3 parts of THE HUMAN CONDITION, if you haven´t yet!), etc etc etc.

          So it´s not just “a coincidence” that 2 of the most influential movies of all (!) time are based on Japanese cinema, which are of course THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (based on THE SEVEN SAMOURAI) and PER UN PUGNO DI DOLLARI, which is based on YOJIMBO, bot masterpieces of world cinema. Japanese influence on Western Cinema was HUGE back then. Guns instead of swords, that´s it.

          And scriptwriters as well as directors in the “western hemisphere” were always knowing which movies were just being made or shown in Japan. In France the director most influenced by Japanese cinema was Jean-Pierre Melville, who did not make that many movies, but each of which is a stand-out achievement (LE SAMOURAI was a title not chosen out of a whim for a movie which hero is a professional hitman).

          In the US the scriptwriters mostly influenced by Japanese cinema were Walter Hill and John Milius and when Walter Hill got the chance to direct his first movie, he chose the laconic story of a depression era STREETFIGHTER (the other title under which HARD TIMES is also known), because it so well resembled that kinda mythical story of a guy (here just one Samourai), who comes from nowhere and leaves into the nowhere at the end again (comes by train, leaves by train), who does only good to his friends and companions, but literally “beats the shit out” of his enemies (fists instead of swords). A stalwart to his companions, a badass/menace to his enemies. And always keeping his cool.

          That Bronson came on board was sorta luck that he got the script, but I guess this was destined to be. 🙂

          It would be ultra-cool to conduct an in-depth interview with Walter Hill on all the details involved into the production and pre-production of HARD TIMES. I am aware of the work Paul TALBOT did on that (and I have read his books on Bronson, of course), but me thinks there´s still a lot to be explored in regards of this standout-movie of the 70ies.

          Also it would be a dream to find out, if the material cut from the movie has survived all those years …??

          I wonder: how to reach Walter Hill (who´s in the process of shooting a movie, btw!!)?? :-))

          I do also recommend watching DRIVER with Ryan O´Neal and look for similarities there …

          • On the topic of Hard Times production and it’s evolution period there is some good information and interviews on the featurettes of the Eureka blu ray releases that came out a couple years back. Driver is a good one as are most of the films in Walter Hill’s catalog. Long Riders etc….

    • I think we can all say that about an actor or two that we come around to appreciating as we get older. I often think of Robert Ryan like that. It wasn’t till I was older and started to seek out his earlier films other than his 60’s walk on appearances aside from Wild Bunch that I realized just how good he was/is.

      • I totally agree with you in regards of Robert Ryan! I needed a while myself to really “discover” him, although I was familiar with his movies for a long time. Everybody knows his magnificent performances in THE WILD BUCH, THE DIRTY DOZEN, THE SET-UP, THE PROFESSIONALS, and a couple more.

        But let´s not stick to those, because he made so many superb movies, some of which still are overlooked and not so easy to see. I highly recommend watching
        THE OUTFIT (a masterpiece in laconic story-telling, much like CHARLEY VARRICK),
        LOLLY MADONNA XXX aka LOLLY MADONNA WAR (a backwood revenge thriller of Shakesperian proportions),
        EXECUTIVE ACTION (his last picture, the “deep state” killing JFK),
        THE ICEMAN COMETH (not an easy one to watch, takes patience, stagy bec. based on a play),
        La course du lièvre à travers les champs (yep, he also starred in a first class thriller made in France, directed by Rene Clement!), …
        just to name a few …
        and he also was in many noirs, ALL of which are worth seeing.

        You can´t go wrong with watching any of the movies he was in, 90% of them are worth seeing. It won´t be easy to find another actor, who had such a great hand in picking superb scripts and projects, which stood the test of time.

        Will comment more on HARD TIMES a bit later. 🙂

        • With Ryan there is so much material but I guess I love those 40’s and 50’s Noir and westerns he made. On Dangerous Ground a highlight as is Bad Day at Black Rock. I have that Clement film heading my way in the mail from the late4st Kino sale. Never seen it.

  6. One of my childhood heroes! I love Hard Times (probably my fav performance of his). Like Lugosi and Karloff, a late bloomer: it’s now rare to see a middle-aged man become a star. Man, we have become so youth-oriented! Looking back, most of my favorite actors were older than my parents (Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Bronson, etc.). Now youngsters can only identify with young actors. Anyhow, Bronson was on fire during the ’70s and part of the ’80s. I miss him.

    • You sure nailed that comment. No more late bloomers. Sadly the same in music or at least Country Music which is what I grew up on. Once you’re over 30ish, you’re off radio. I often think of guys like Waylon and Willie. They’d have never gotten in the front door of a studio had they come around today.

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Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking Deeper at The Best Classic Movies Together

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

film-authority.com

Talking movies...

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

Alfred Hitchcock Master

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

Ruth's Old Movie Reviews

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

Ken's Alternate Universe!

Geeking Out Over Pretty Much Everything!

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

The Magnificent 60s

by Brian Hannan

LOST IN SPACE FIRESIDE

A Galaxy of Rewind

Lazarus' Lair

NOT Just another WordPress.com weblog

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Feeding Soda Pop to the Thirsty Pigs since 2013

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking Deeper at The Best Classic Movies Together

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

film-authority.com

Talking movies...

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

Alfred Hitchcock Master

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

Ruth's Old Movie Reviews

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

general admission / matinees / midnights

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