CinemaBlend's Action Hero Hall of Fame: The 2014 Inaugural Class

By Gabe Toro 2014-08-14 17:08:31discussion comments
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deathwisher
Charles Bronson
Years Active: 1949-1999

Most Popular Period: 1960 (The Magnificent Seven) to 1986 (Murphy's Law)

Best Movie: Once Upon A Time In The West

Reason Why He's In The Hall Of Fame: Bronson was not the most handsome actor, and everyone knew it. It's why he was reduced to supporting roles for years, zig-zagging between television and movies. But in bit roles, he brought a certain soft-spoken machismo that was undeniable to action fans. Somehow, he could give off the impression that he could beat you down, outwit you or even simply outrace you to the truth. This made him a perfect fit for westerns, where his weathered visage and sage delivery was right at home. Later in his career, age turned him into something of a brutal predator: he squeezed the blood of five movies out of the rock that was Death Wish, captivating a nation by becoming a geriatric avenger bound to clean up the streets. If Rambo was the 80's fantasy of a hero traveling overseas to employ brute force, Death Wish was the secretly more-attainable plan, where anyone could clean up the streets, as long as they had Bronson's scowl. In his later years, he basically became the face of b-movie factory Cannon, bringing gravitas and toughness to actioners like 10 To Midnight and Murphy's Law. He was still doing action films at 81 when he passed away.
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