This week I’d like to talk about one of my favorite actors of all time, Charles Bronson. For those who don’t know Bronson, he was an actor from the 1950’s ‘till the late 1990’s. He started out with some small parts and was still known as Charles Buchinsky, which he later changed to Charles Bronson. During the 50’s until the beginning of the 70’s Bronson was most known for his roles in Western and War movies. Both genres were very popular at the time. After that he got more roles in action movies and after doing “Death Wish” he was known for his revenge movies. A lot of people these days seem to remember Charles Bronson for his revenge/action movies. Although I think his western and war movie career is amazing as well. But during all periods I think most people saw him as a tough guy. To me he isn’t the brainless tough guy like most action movie stars (don’t mean to offend anyone). What I mean is that he never had the role of someone mindlessly blasting away hundreds of bad guys. There was always a bit more to it, and his acting was always great. He played the guy who kept his cool and had some nice dialogue.
Bronson has made quite some history with the films he played in. If you’re a movie fan and you never heard of Once Upon A Time In The West, The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen or The Great Escape you’ve probably been living under a rock for a while, or just don’t have interest in classic movies ;). It’s not only the roles Bronson plays in his films that make for awesome films, be he also has a lot of movies were he co-stars with some great actors like: Burt Lanchester, Vincent Price, Lee Marvin, Steve Mcqueen and these are just a few examples. A fun fact is also that his wife Jill Ireland did star in a lot of movies together with Charles Bronson. I always love to see a movie being carried by multiple great actors. I’ve discovered a lot of great actors which I had never heard of before because of his films.
Not only am I a fan of Bronson’s movies, but I’m also a collector of his films on DVD. I think I own every Dutch release of his films on DVD (if you are missing any in the picture please let me know J). There a some real rare ones in there as well, for example the Family of Cops box and This Property is Condemned. I also collect UK and US releases as well (I prefer not to have another language than Dutch or English on the cover). I’d like to have all of his films on DVD some day, but I guess that will never happen since not all of his movies have been released (yet).
It’s hard to pick what my favorite movies are since there are only a few that I don’t like. And the movies I do like, I like a lot. But if you’ve never seen a Charles Bronson film I would recommend the following:
- Death Wish
- Once Upon A Time In The West
- The Mechanic
- The Dirty Dozen
- The Great Escape
- House of Wax
- The Magnificent Seven
- The White Buffalo
So yeah like most actors he also been in some stinkers. Of course this is just my opinion. But the films I like the least I want to mention too, just so you know which ones to avoid. So my least favorite are: X-15, Cabo Blanco & The Indian Runner. I just found the movies to be quite boring. And of course it’s not only the actors who make a movie likeable or not.
For me mr. Bronson has left a real legacy. Although I have seen almost every film I own of him there are still a lot of movies he’s been in that I haven’t seen. And I will happily continue to collect his films. I just hope to see more of his films to be released in the future. Below you can see a picture of the DVDs I own at this moment, I also have a VHS of “The Sea Wolf” but I forgot to put it in the picture haha.