This Charles is In Charge

A tribute to my favorite old-school actor
August 05, 2009
We all know that God created Adam from the earth and made him in His image. But let's say, hypothetically, God also created someone else, not really in His image, but in a grittier, street-wise, vengeful image that played by its own rules and didn't really take shit from anyone. Though you will never find this event in the Bible, some people believe that it really did occur, but not until the year 1921, when Charles Bronson was born.

Charles Bronson is the man to end all men. He's not just an action movie star. He's everything your father and my father ever hoped they would be. If he were around in medieval times, we would all be reading about King Bronson and the Knights of the Round Table. If he were around in the late 1700's, today we'd be calling hundred dollar bills "Bronsons." And if he were around to fight for the South in the Civil War, the car on the "Dukes of Hazard" would have been called the General Bronson.

The Bronson Says: "Not today, junior."

Charles Bronson was a great actor because he played virtually the same role his entire career -- a mustachioed vigilante out for some tasty revenge. That's all there is to it. Put him in any costume you want -- cop, cowboy, ex-cop, soldier, crooked cop -- it all came out the same flavor in the end: delicious.

Charles Bronson, the actor, could also perform a wide variety of emotions with little to no change in facial expression. See below.

Sir Charles: The best scowl in the business
And it doesn't really matter what type of situation you find Charles Bronson in, he only plays it one way -- cool. There's a bomb that's about to go off? No problem. Criminal escaping? No dice. Airplane about to crash into a mountain? Quiet. I'm trying to have a smoke over here.

Watching Charles Bronson on screen brings out the blood-lustful killer in anyone. You will find yourself actually cheering for more people to be slain. In the "Death Wish" movies, he basically kills the responsible parties in the first 20 minutes. The remaining two hours are just money shots of him gunning down people who were in the wrong place at the wrong fucking time. He didn't kill so many people because he was "evil" or "consumed with revenge." He killed so many people because, man, it just came so easy to him.

Big Mistake: "What did you say about my moustache?"

Some say he died in 2003 because he ran out of people to kill, and just keeled over from sadness and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Others say that he died when he challenged his own reflection to a quick-draw gunfight. And others blame his death on pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease. Whatever the cause, we know from his movies that this ain't over.

I think this story about Charles Bronson sums him up the best. Charles was traveling through Rome, when he was approached on the street and felt someone stick a gun into his side. "A guy in broken English asked me for money. I said, 'You give ME money.' He turned around and walked away."

To this day, that burglar still craps his pants any time he sees a mustache. True story.

The Creation of Bronson: And on the 8th day, God said "Let there be gunplay." And it was so.
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