Bronson (2008) Poster

Bronson (2008)

  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 20,477 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Biography | Crime | Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 13 March 2009 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 92 min
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Bronson (2008)


Bronson 2008tt1172570.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Bronson (2008)
  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 20,477 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Biography | Crime | Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 13 March 2009 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 92 min
  • Filming Location: Great Central Railway, Leicestershire, England, UK
  • Gross: $104,792(USA)(27 December 2009)
  • Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Stars: Tom Hardy, Kelly Adams and Luing Andrews
  • Soundtrack: The Electrician
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Post Office | Alter Ego | Solitary Confinement | Jail | Celebrity

Writing Credits By:

  • Brock Norman Brock (screenplay) and
  • Nicolas Winding Refn (screenplay)

Known Trivia

  • The British Prison Officers’ Association complained when the film’s London premiere was prefaced with a recording by Charles Bronson himself, recorded at HMP Wakefield, where he stated: “I’m proud of this film, because if I drop dead tonight, then I live on. I make no bones about it, I really was… a horrible, violent, nasty man. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed of it either… See you at the Oscars.” It is illegal in the UK to make unauthorized recordings of prison inmates. This recording appears on some DVD-editions.
  • Jason Statham was originally asked to play Charles Bronson but scheduling conflicts avoided him from appearing in this film.
  • Tom Hardy put on 3 stone (42 lb) to play Charlie Bronson, doing 2500 press-ups a day for five weeks.
  • Bronson was born under the name of Michael Gordon Peterson on the 6th December, 1952, in Aberystwyth, Wales.
  • The line “it was absolute madness at its very best” was written by Charles Bronson himself for the film and told to Nicolas Winding Refn during one of their phone calls.
  • Nicolas Winding Refn was not allowed to meet Charles Bronson in person since he is not from Britain, but was allowed to have two phone calls with him. Tom Hardy met with Bronson several times and the two became good friends. Bronson was impressed with how Hardy managed to get just as muscular as he was and how well he could mimic his own personality and voice. Bronson has stated he believes Hardy was the only person who could play him.
  • Charles Bronson was not allowed to see the film, but said that if his mom liked it, that would be enough for him. His mother loved it.

Goofs: Factual errors: At (11:00) The tutor asks Charles "What's the matter, Charlie?" But in this stage of the story Charles Bronson still had his original name Michael Peterson. He had not yet changed his name to Charles Bronson.

Plot: A young man who was sentenced to 7 years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending 30 years in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter ego, Charles Bronson. Full summary » |  »

Story: In 1974, a hot-headed 19 year old named Michael Peterson decided he wanted to make a name for himself and so, with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a head full of dreams he attempted to rob a post office. Swiftly apprehended and originally sentenced to 7 years in jail, Peterson has subsequently been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement. During that time, Michael Petersen, the boy, faded away and 'Charles Bronson,' his superstar alter ego, took center stage. Inside the mind of Bronson – a scathing indictment of celebrity culture.Written by Anonymous  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Suzanne Alizart known as executive producer
  • Jessica Cooke known as co-producer
  • Sean Faughnan known as co-producer
  • Simon Fawcett known as executive producer
  • Danny Hansford known as producer
  • Jane Hooks known as co-producer
  • Nick Love known as executive producer
  • Paul Martin known as executive producer
  • Rob Morgan known as executive producer
  • Allan Niblo known as executive producer
  • Kate Ogborn known as executive producer
  • Rupert Preston known as producer
  • James Richardson known as executive producer
  • Thor Sigurjonsson known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Tom Hardy known as Charles Bronson / Michael Peterson
  • Kelly Adams known as Irene
  • Luing Andrews known as Hysterical Screw
  • Katy Barker known as Julie
  • Gordon Brown known as Screw
  • Amanda Burton known as Charlie's Mum
  • Mark Devenport known as Nurse 1
  • Paul Donnelly known as Screw
  • Andrew Forbes known as Charlie's Dad
  • Jon House known as Webber
  • Matt King known as Paul Daniels
  • James Lance known as Phil
  • Holly Lucas known as Young Man
  • Juliet Oldfield known as Alison
  • Jonny Phillips known as Prison Governor
  • Mark Powley known as Andy Love / Friendly Screw
  • Hugh Ross known as Uncle Jack
  • Andrew St. John known as Workshop Supervisor
  • Joe Tucker known as John White
  • Tracy Wiles known as Jewellery Shop Assistant 1
  • Mark Fish known as Fish and Chips Shop Manager
  • Kalron Scott Busuttil known as Baby Charlie
  • Raphael Cilla known as Baby Michael
  • Sam Cullingworth known as Prison Officer
  • Adryan Puicella known as Prison Officer
  • D. Keye known as Prison Officer
  • Peter D. Brammer known as Prison Officer
  • Lee Alvey known as Prison Officer
  • James McIntyne known as Prison Officer
  • Sebastian Rodgers known as Prison Officer
  • Rob Frost known as Prison Officer
  • Wez Smith known as Prison Officer
  • J.H. Bond known as Prison Officer
  • Simon Field known as Prison Officer
  • Peter Barry known as Prison Officer
  • Alexander Jablonskas known as Prison Officr
  • Roger Camden known as Prison Officer (as Roger L. Camden)
  • David Clayton known as Prison Officer
  • Jason Whiteby known as Prison Officer
  • Bob Brookes known as Prison Officer
  • Anthony Oddy known as Prison Officer
  • J. Keye known as Prison Officer
  • Nick Stock known as Prison Officer / Screw
  • Alan Hefferon known as Prison Officer
  • David Jackson known as Prison Officer
  • June Bladon known as Prison Officer
  • Ian Kitch known as Prison Officer
  • David Nixon known as Prison Officer
  • Michael Gregory known as Prison Officer / Screw
  • Matthew Meakin known as Prison Officer / Screw
  • Matthew Bennett known as Prison Officer / Screw
  • Dean Daly known as Prison Officer / Screw
  • Alain Greaves known as Prison Officer / Screw
  • Bob Gale known as Prison Officer / Screw
  • M. Shirra known as Prison Officer / Screw
  • Lee Birkett known as Prison Officer / Screw
  • Les Fitzakly known as Screw
  • Steven Smith known as Screw
  • Matt Mathew known as Screw
  • Christopher Smith known as Screw
  • Malcolm Scotten known as Screw
  • Phillip Sharpe known as Screw
  • R. Hools known as Screw
  • Martin Kay known as Screw
  • Adam Bacon known as Screw
  • Mark Shiran known as Screw
  • Ian Kitchenham known as Screw
  • Gary White known as Prisoner / Gangster
  • Jimmy Ball known as Prisoner
  • Barry Lee known as Prisoner
  • Michael Nurse known as Prisoner
  • Kevin Rutter known as Old Con
  • G.R.L. Horobin known as Old Con
  • E.T. Harry known as Homo Con
  • Chris Thompson known as Con
  • Matt Legg known as Con
  • Lee Jables known as Con
  • Shane Barker known as Con
  • Zah Siddall known as Con
  • Brendan McCoy known as Con
  • Dean Spicksley known as Con
  • John Jennick known as Con
  • Rick Wake known as Con
  • Tonylee Brown known as Con
  • Andy Moffatt known as Con
  • Iain Hines known as Shower Con
  • Adam Karimjee known as Shower Con
  • Davey Smith known as Shower Con
  • Darren Pegg known as Shower Con
  • Philip Catham known as Shower Con
  • A. Hendons known as Shower Con
  • J. Gains known as Shower Con
  • Joe Corr known as Shower Con
  • Paul Baguley known as Shower Con
  • M. Connolly known as Shower Con
  • Graham Bishop known as Shower Con
  • R.F. Florence known as Gangster
  • Lindsay Frayne known as Gangster
  • Leighton Frayne known as Gangster
  • Kas Syed known as Gangster
  • Mark Stocks known as Gangster
  • Jonathan Morrish known as Gangster (as John Morrish)
  • Tony Nixon known as Gangster
  • Wayne Robinson known as Gangster
  • Matthew Whitaker known as Gangster
  • Garry Green known as Gangster
  • Mick Coult known as Psychiatric Nurse
  • Jeff Scott Smith known as Nurse
  • Darren Edge known as Nurse
  • David Pleasance known as Nurse
  • Daz Lelah known as Nurse
  • A. Gough-Martin known as Nurse
  • Michael Whitehead known as Nurse
  • Paul Carty known as Nurse
  • Chris Hill known as Nurse
  • Ben Dean known as Nurse
  • Gerry Brown known as Loon / Patient
  • Paul Igoe known as Loon / Patient / Additional Background Artist
  • Ian Pickering known as Loon / Patient
  • David Benton known as Loon / Patient
  • Yvonne Varnier known as Loon / Patient
  • Frank Campbell known as Loon / Patient
  • Jack Gavin known as Loon / Patient
  • Martin Ramsay known as Loon / Patient
  • Terry Fielder known as Loon / Patient
  • Dan Knower known as Loon / Patient
  • Richard Jones known as Loon / Patient
  • M. Risdon known as Loon / Patient
  • Darren Turner known as Loon / Patient
  • Simon Ray known as Loon / Patient
  • June Bredon known as Topless Dancer
  • Amy Fisher known as Topless Dancer
  • Zoey Sheppard known as Topless Dancer
  • Portia known as Topless Dancer
  • Daniel Wilson known as Barman
  • Laura Cucu known as Barman
  • Philip Hackley known as Train Customer
  • Martin Berry known as Train Customer
  • Carol Bunting known as Train Customer
  • Denise Felt known as Train Customer
  • Kimi Gill known as Party Guest
  • J. Blake known as Party Guest
  • Angela Allen known as Party Guest
  • Jane McLennan known as Party Guest / Uncle Jack's Party Guest
  • Cath Bedson known as Party Guest
  • Jill Bowring known as Party Guest
  • Rob Drake known as Party Guest
  • Mark Bower known as Party Guest
  • Raphael known as Party Guest
  • R.E. Leonard known as Headmaster
  • Neil Broome known as Headmaster
  • Shaun Darker known as Policeman
  • Nick Baglaly known as Policeman
  • Colin Thompson known as Policeman
  • Danny Hansford known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • Colin Shakh known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • Mandy Kay known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • Chris Ainsworth known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • Julian Plumb known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • Duncan Barber known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • Tim Ewin known as Boxing Crowd Member (as Tim Ewins)
  • Alex Beumer known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • David Steggles known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • D.L. Hartill known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • Shelia Scott-Smith known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • Jan Deebawk known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • Sofia Smith known as Boxing Crowd Member
  • Mohammed Iftkhar known as Boxing Crowd Member / Theatre Crowd Member
  • Terry Silk known as Boxing Crowd Member / Theatre Crowd Member
  • Richard Hilton known as Boxing Crowd Member / Theatre Crowd Member
  • Shane Cooke known as Boxing Crowd Member / Theatre Crowd Member
  • Gail Cooke known as Boxing Crowd Member / Theatre Crowd Member
  • Nick Spencer known as Boxing Crowd Member / Theatre Crowd Member
  • Lee Griffiths known as Boxing Crowd Member / Theatre Crowd Member
  • Paul Corbitt known as Boxing Crowd Member / Theatre Crowd Member
  • Darryl Spencer known as Inflatable Crowd Member
  • Spencer Lammy known as Inflatable Crowd Member
  • Nick Golden known as Inflatable Crowd Member
  • Neil Gregory known as Inflatable Crowd Member
  • Victoria Barker known as Crowd Member
  • Esther Jeanes known as Crowd Member
  • Abigail Webster known as Crowd Member
  • Loraine Salvage known as Crowd Member
  • Jason Chambers known as Crowd Member
  • Ifty known as Crowd Member
  • Andy Loot known as Passer-By
  • Simon Broadhurst known as Passer-By
  • Darren Godfrey known as Bronson Family Member
  • Andrew Mowbray known as Drag Queen
  • Eoin Mount known as Drag Queen
  • Peter Edwards known as Traveller
  • Brender Jackson known as Traveller
  • Ade Andrew known as Traveller
  • Leah Hinton-Fishlock known as Uncle Jack's Party Guest
  • Sonnia Wheatley known as Uncle Jack's Party Guest
  • Helen Grayson known as Uncle Jack's Party Guest (as China Black)
  • Phillip Powel known as Uncle Jack's Party Guest
  • Kate Hesketh known as Uncle Jack's Party Guest
  • Andy Walton known as Additional Background Artist
  • Scott Clarke known as Additional Background Artist
  • Gwyn Jones known as Additional Background Artist
  • Daniel Knowles known as Additional Background Artist
  • P. Lee known as Additional Background Artist
  • Dan Leigh known as Additional Background Artist
  • Tony Gough-Martin known as Additional Background Artist
  • Stuart J. Dall known as Additional Background Artist
  • P. Burke known as Additional Background Artist
  • Charlie Whyman known as Additional Background Artist
  • Allan Price known as Additional Background Artist
  • G. Rooke known as Additional Background Artist
  • Emma Camm known as Additional Background Artist
  • Lucy Ball known as Additional Background Artist
  • Denise Davenport known as Additional Background Artist
  • Emma Streeter known as Additional Background Artist
  • Rachel Starer known as Additional Background Artist
  • Diane Powell known as Additional Background Artist
  • Steven Spence known as Additional Background Artist
  • Dave Clipston known as Additional Background Artist
  • Simon Stook known as Additional Background Artist
  • Tristan Barudon known as Additional Background Artist
  • David Orange known as Additional Background Artist
  • Zens Zinnemann known as Additional Background Artist
  • David Whiteley known as Additional Background Artist
  • Edward Bennett-Coles known as Brian (uncredited)
  • William Darke known as Charles Bronson – Age 13 (uncredited)
  • Anna Griffin known as Train Girl (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Lily Beckett known as hair stylist
  • Lily Beckett known as makeup artist
  • Vikki Lawson known as hair stylist
  • Vikki Lawson known as makeup artist
  • Niamh Morrison known as makeup designer
  • Zoey Stones known as hair stylist (as Zoey Stone)
  • Zoey Stones known as makeup artist (as Zoey Stone)
  • Heather Manson known as makeup artist: dailies (uncredited)
  • Andy Seston known as makeup artist: dailies (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • Adam Ali known as construction manager
  • Hannah Boyton known as art department assistant
  • Lizzie Dixon known as art department assistant
  • Eva Freeman known as art department assistant
  • Alex Giles known as art department assistant
  • Neil Gregory known as art department runner
  • Emma Minshull known as stand-by props
  • Andrew Ranner known as assistant art director
  • Andrew Ranner known as property master
  • John Savage known as art department daily assistant
  • Dean Spicksley known as art department assistant
  • Neil Thomas known as art department assistant
  • Joe Withers known as stand-by art director
  • Daz Spencer-Lovesey known as set dresser (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Vertigo Films (presents)
  • Aramid Entertainment Fund (as Aramid Entertainment) (in association with)
  • Str8jacket Creations (in association with)
  • EM Media (in association with)
  • 4DH Films
  • Perfume Films (in association with)

Other Companies:

  • Audiolink Radio Communications  walkie talkies
  • Kendrick Caterers  catering
  • Kodak  motion picture film supplied by
  • Lee and Thompson Solicitors  legal services
  • NHB  2k scanning
  • PS-PostScript  post-production scripts
  • Post Republic, The  post-production facilities
  • Screen Cuisine  catering
  • Spirit Studios  adr recording facilities
  • Take 2 Film Services  camera equipment provided by
  • Tonstudio Hanse Warns  foley stage


  • Alliance Films (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Le Pacte (2009) (France) (theatrical)
  • Magnet Releasing (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Movie Inspired (2009) (Italy) (theatrical)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (theatrical)
  • Vertigo Films (2009) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Audio Visual Entertainment (2010) (Greece) (all media)
  • Cinemax (2010) (Hungary) (TV)
  • E1 Entertainment (2009) (UK) (DVD)
  • E1 Entertainment (2009) (UK) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Front Row Filmed Entertainment (2009) (United Arab Emirates) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Front Row Filmed Entertainment (2009) (United Arab Emirates) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Kinowelt Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Kinowelt Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Madman Entertainment (2009) (Australia) (all media)
  • Magnolia Home Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD)
  • Magnolia Home Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Movie Bank (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD) (rental)
  • Paramount Home Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Paramount Home Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • SP Films (2012) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2009) (Finland) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Saint (graphic special effects and titles)

Visual Effects by:

  • Patrizia Jendrzej known as compositing artist
  • Florian Obrecht known as visual effects artist
  • Kolja Schoon known as scanning operator (uncredited)
  • Juri Stanossek known as visual effects supervisor (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • UK October 2008 (London Film Festival)
  • Netherlands January 2009 (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
  • USA 19 January 2009 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • Germany 8 February 2009 (European Film Market)
  • Ireland 14 February 2009 (The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival)
  • UK 18 February 2009 (Glasgow Film Festival)
  • Belgium March 2009 (Off Screen Brussels)
  • Ireland 13 March 2009
  • UK 13 March 2009
  • Austria April 2009 (Crossing Europe Linz Film Festival)
  • Greece April 2009 (Athens International Film and Video Festival)
  • Poland April 2009 (Off Plus Camera)
  • USA April 2009 (Independent Film Festival of Boston)
  • USA 4 April 2009 (Phoenix Film Festival)
  • France 7 April 2009 (Lyon L'Étrange Festival)
  • Denmark 19 April 2009 (CPHPIX Festival)
  • USA May 2009 (Seattle International Film Festival)
  • Slovakia June 2009 (Art Film Festival)
  • USA June 2009 (Newport International Film Festival)
  • USA June 2009 (BAM cinema Fest)
  • USA June 2009 (CineVegas International Film Festival)
  • USA June 2009 (Los Angeles Film Festival)
  • Czech Republic July 2009 (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
  • South Korea July 2009 (Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival)
  • UK 10 July 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • France 15 July 2009
  • Czech Republic 23 July 2009
  • Denmark 24 July 2009
  • Finland August 2009 (Espoo Film Festival)
  • Germany August 2009 (Fantasy Filmfest)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina 12 August 2009 (Sarajevo Film Festival)
  • Finland 21 August 2009
  • Sweden 28 August 2009
  • Norway 11 September 2009
  • USA 26 September 2009 (Austin Fantastic Fest)
  • Israel October 2009 (Haifa Film Festival)
  • Spain October 2009 (Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival)
  • Belgium 8 October 2009 (Gent International Film Festival)
  • USA 9 October 2009 (limited)
  • Canada 30 October 2009 (Toronto)
  • Russia 30 October 2009 (New British Film Festival)
  • Italy November 2009 (Turin Film Festival)
  • Lithuania November 2009 (Scanorama)
  • Netherlands November 2009 (Noordelijk Film Festival)
  • Slovenia November 2009 (Ljubljana International Film Festival)
  • Germany 18 February 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Netherlands 2 March 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Hungary 20 August 2010 (TV premiere)
  • Greece 16 December 2010
  • Italy 12 June 2011 (Biografilm Festival)
  • Argentina 17 January 2012 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated R for violent and disturbing content, graphic nudity, sexuality and language



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , , .


  1. OwlCreekOccurrence from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 5:31 pm

    Tom Hardy and Nicholas Winding Refn are the stars of the show here,taking the story of 'Britain's most violent prisoner' and twisting itinto an explosion of style.

    Tom Hardy plays Michael Peterson who was initially incarcerated for 7years after robbing a Post Office but this sentence turned into a 34year stretch after numerous cases of violence in prison. Of these 34years 30 were spent in solitary confinement. In his short periodoutside he assumed the fighting name of Charles Bronson after the DeathWish star. It is his alter ego which dominates the film.

    Hardy is magnificent, prowling around people almost growling, ahulking, brooding, unpredictable beast who almost doesn't care whathappens to him, preferring gaol where his is someone to the outsidewhere he is no-one.

    Many reviewers have been troubled by the lack of insight into thecharacter of Bronson, however this is unsurprising as the story itselfis narrated by Bronson himself, cutting back to a fantasy audiencewhere he parades in varying levels of makeup, the star of his own show.

    Refn handles this material with aplomb, filling it with tracks andpans, the occasional slice of slow motion, an interesting and variedcolour palate and impeccable taste in music. Kubrick and A ClockworkOrange have been mentioned in almost every review, but there are clearinfluences of Bertolucci, perhaps mostly The Conformist in its detachedstyle and use of colour.

    By the time the film ends we are unsure who to feel sorry for, lost ina world of hard lines and constant violence. A very interesting filmthat marks out Hardy and Refn as exciting talents in modern cinema.

  2. pumatuna from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 5:31 pm

    Saw this last night, very impressed with the the performances and thestructure of the film. Many comments say this glorifies violencewhereas it does the opposite, I was left thinking what a waste of alife, if you want to spend the majority of your days sitting alone in apigpen or drugged up in an asylum then this will inspire you as themeans to get there. The audience I saw it with consisted mainly ofmales in their early 20s, I think they were disappointed because theyhad gone expecting a knockabout tongue in cheek film about one man'smisguided fight against authority and they got a very dark film aboutthe consequences of violence. Bronson didn't come out of this a hero atall.

    Throughout the film the audience was silent,the only time there was areaction was a scene at the beginning of the asylum sequence involvinga act by a patient which seemed to provoke an embarrassed titter fromsome people because they didn't know how else to react. Neither wasthis film homophobic, I'm gay, I thought Bronson came across astolerant of "alternative " lifestyles, the fight promoter,the artteacher and his uncle who seemed to live with a bunch of trannies wereall accepted by him.He did call the guard he took hostage a "homo" butthat was to intimidate him. Tom Hardy's performance wasfantastic,vulnerable(seeing his mum out of prison),tough,confused(thereaction to the gay prisoner who fancies him), he was a character outof his time line, an eccentric that can't cope with normal society'srules.

    Oh and I have no complaints about the size of his willy, what wouldyour's do surrounded by a film crew?

  3. Kellie Stewart from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:31 pm

    I did not know about this movie, but I am so glad I watched it. This isthe true story of Michael Patterson, a petty crook, that likes to raisehell while incarcerated. He is arrested for stealing and due to hisrambunctious nature, he tends to spend a lot of time alone. Upon hisrelease, he takes up bare fisted boxing at the suggestion of a man hemet in jail. He needs a fighting name, so he chose Charles Bronsonbecause it is a name people associate with vengeance. The main actor isamazing!!! He has many monologues and pulls you in with his insanity.The real Bronson is still incarcerated and has written a few books. Heis in great physical shape, so he wrote one about how he keeps in shapein prison. He seems a bit split personality and he switched betweenthem with ease. When the movie ended, I wanted more, so I went on lineto learn more. This is truly an entertaining movie and I'm glad I wasmade aware of it.

  4. Ali_Catterall from London, England
    30 Mar 2012, 5:31 pm

    To be a performer, in British underworld slang, is to have a flair forviolence; to be particularly skilled at putting on the frighteners.It's a term applied to James Fox's gangland enforcer in 'Performance' -and it could also be applied to Charles Bronson aka "Britain's mostviolent man" as portrayed by Tom Hardy in this bizarre and bracingcharacter study.

    We know Bronson, if at all, through tabloid headlines, chronicling hishostage-taking, rooftop protests and distinction as Britain's 'longestserving prisoner'. But even those who thought they knew Bronson mightbe surprised to learn that the man born Michael Peterson couldn't havehad a more respectable start. Born into an upper-middle class family inAberystwyth, his uncle was mayor and his parents ran the localConservative club.

    But the bright, gentle boy fell in with a bad lot; he became abare-knuckle boxer; he robbed a post office for £26.18p. The bungledarmed robbery put him in jail for seven years. Initially. For many, alengthy prison stretch would be the undoing of life as they knew it.But it was the making of Bronson. In prison he discovered his calling:a gift for chaos.

    The opening scene, a tableau which will be repeated over and overagain, features him spattered in blood, feral and naked, playing humanpinball with terrified prison warders until he's eventuallyoverpowered; a bound Promethean. He travels from prison to prison as ifon eternal vacation. Parkhust is "well worth a visit". At WormwoodScrubs, "the staff ensure your stay is as memorable as possible".Hostage-taking is just a prescription against boredom; although thematter of whether prolonged incarceration exacerbated his behaviour,institutionalised him, is never addressed.

    So far, so BritCrime. But anyone expecting another 'Rise Of TheFootsoldier' – even 'McVicar' – will be in for a shock. Refn first cameto prominence with the 'Pusher Trilogy', gritty and unflinchingpseudo-documentaries focusing on the criminal underworld of not-sowonderful Copenhagen. Yet stylistically, Bronson is a universe awayfrom those movies; it's far plainer to see the influence of DP LarrySmith, who also photographed Refn's hyper-real 'Fear X.'

    Refn has delivered a weird and wonderful anti-biopic that explodes theconventions of the genre; a fittingly anarchic approach to linearprogression of which the eponymous jailbird would surely approve. Mostof these scenes could be shuffled around any which way, which isappropriate: when you've been banged up for as long as Bronson has (34years, 30 of them in solitary confinement), time probably ceases tohave much meaning.

    With a classically-weighted score married to scenes of ultra-violence,this not only pays homage to Kubrick, but also to mavericks likeLindsay Anderson, Peter Greenaway and John Maybury ('Love Is TheDevil') in its picaresque digressions and painterly aesthetics: acinematic palate of reds and blacks. Hell colours. Compared with mostof the wannabe bad-boys clogging up the arteries of British cinema,this is practically an art installation or contemporary performancepiece.

    And Charles Bronson, of course, is a first-rate performer: from thatattention-grabbing Hollywood-purloined name (actually foisted on him bya boxing promoter) to his way with his fists – and striking artworks,which bear comparison with those of that other outsider-artist DanielJohnston, and which sell for small fortunes, Bronson has worked astirelessly as Max Clifford to keep his reputation intact and name inthe papers for decades.

    Refn even has him orating to us from an Edwardian music hall stage, andmiming songs Dennis Potter-style while painted like a harlequin ormoustache-twirling circus strongman. It's disturbing, and recallsRupert Pupkin in 'The King Of Comedy' and Jonathan Pryce channelingGrock the clown in Trevor Griffiths' play 'Comedians'. Also, FreddieStarr in the infamous 2001 Channel 4 documentary 'Freddie Starr Ate MyHamster', in which Starr berated an empty auditorium and laid a wreathon-stage to symbolise 'British comedy's passing'.

    Starr came across as desperately unhappy, but also largelyself-deluding. Bronson is equally deluded and naive. A prison governortells him, "You're ridiculous". He is. But really, he's just a littleboy incarcerated inside endlessly replicating walls of muscle, aself-made prison of gristle and bone.

    Hardy gets that, and his performance is astonishing; properStanislavski. Whether gazing into the distance with a thousand-yardstare, as if awaiting the muse of mayhem to tell him who to hit next,or gleefully cavorting in the theater of Bronson's imagination, theman's magnetic. 'Peep Show's' Matt King also lends sterling support asBronson's comically seedy, upper-class boxing promoter Paul; a Withnailin the underworld sporting black leather gloves.

    In a movie filled with startling, near-hallucinatory moments – drugged,drooling asylum inmates dancing woozily to The Pet Shop Boys; Bronsoncaged in a tiny, medieval-like restricting device, like something froma Francis Bacon – there is a truly remarkable scene toward the end thatattempts to throw speculative light on the man's motivations, whatreally makes him tick. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the filmmakers suggestthe answer lies in the creative impulse.

    Having taken his prison art teacher hostage, Bronson demands to hearmusic. As Delibes' 'Lakmé' is piped over the Tannoy, a swooning nakedBronson, smeared in charcoal and grease, gently body paints Phil toresemble a living Magritte, with a bowler hat and apple in his mouth.Might Bronson's violence simply be misdirected creative passion? Isprison really an ersatz canvas, onto which he drips warders' blood likea sociopathic Jackson Pollock?

    Well, alright. There's probably an argument for suggesting Bronson'snothing more than a pretentious thriller kitted out with the greatesthits of Classic FM. You could say the same of 'A Clockwork Orange.'Detractors might say it appeals to those who hold that violence is artand vice-versa but would flee from a street fight. Which would be totruly underestimate such a smart, funny and stylish film. Bronsonappeals to the anti-authoritarian in us all.

  5. moviemanMA from Massachusetts
    30 Mar 2012, 5:31 pm

    Bronson is the dramatized story of Charlie Bronson. Not the actor fromDeath Wish, The Great Escape, and The Dirty Dozen. This is the story ofEngland's most violent prisoner. Born Michael Peterson, he quicklyrealized that he wanted to make a name for himself. It is unclear whyhe chose the path he did. He had a normal upbringing, a nice home, goodparents, yet he just liked to fight. And he was good at it.

    After robbing a post office for what can be only described as "chumpchange," he was given a seven year sentence. Since that sentencing in1974, Bronson has seen a little over a few months as a free man. He isstill in prison to this day.

    What Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn gives us is a stylizedversion of one of the most bizarre and intoxicating stories I've seenin a long time. Bronson, played wonderfully by Tom Hardy, loves what hedoes. At least that what he wants us to believe. I was never reallyconvinced that Bronson truly enjoyed what he did. Then again, I can'tsee the pleasure in pummeling prison guards, bare knuckle fighting,fighting dogs, and bringing others close to death. That said, it wassomething else to watch.

    Hardy gives a rock solid performance. He fits the part both physicallyand mentally. He has the right edge to let us know how intelligent andhostile Charlie Bronson can be. It's hard to imagine playing someone asenergized and mentally perturbed as Bronson, who gets his jollies frombeating up innocent prison guards and inmates, but Hardy does just thatin style. He never falters and gives 100 percent in every scene.

    I can see a lot of similarities to A Clockwork Orange. It has similaraccents, violent images, an insight into the criminal mind. Things verymuch associated with Kubrick's masterpiece. Still, Bronson offerssomething different. It's more theatrical, blending both the real worldwith a more dramatic and exaggerated story, showing Bronson as aprisoner, a performer, and storyteller.

    Bronson is filled with stunning, startling images and a gives us a veryoriginal story, the likes of with we have seldom seen or will see.Charlie Bronson is a unique case of a man that nobody will ever trulyunderstand. Whether you like the glorification of criminals or not,it's hard to deny that this film and the people involved doesn't offergreat entertainment. I expect more from Hardy and Refn.

  6. chrismsawin from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:31 pm

    Bronson is one of the more interesting films I've had the pleasure ofsitting through as of late. In the trailer (and movie poster), a quotecan be seen where a reviewer called the film, "A Clockwork Orange forthe 21st century." That quote is really spot-on. There is a bigClockwork Orange influence in this film. While Michael Petersonnarrates the entire film, the film jumps between what actually happenedand Peterson performing in front of an audience in a rather largetheater. The make-up, the setting, and Hardy's performance are all veryClockwork Orange-esquire. Another film that came to mind was Snatch.The action sequences and a lot of the humor had a similar vibe to GuyRitchie's film. Bronson is very much its own film, but shares the samebeloved qualities of the films mentioned.

    Bronson is what it is because of Tom Hardy's performance. He's guidingyou through his life, his dreams, and his goals while you're with himthe duration of the film, so it's only logical that he steals the showsince he gets the most screen time. The fact that he doesn't waste anyof it is something to be proud of though. He makes what would be arather dismal story entertaining, exciting, and worth sitting through.Hardy's performance is the highlight of the film. There's really noquestioning that.

    Bronson was really a sleeper hit since its premise didn't interest meat all, but it wound up luring me in with its trailer. It's a veryunorthodox type of film that isn't like many other films out there.Films like Bronson think outside the box of normal cinema and is thetype of gem you'd hope to find whenever you journey out to yourfavorite theater. If you're looking for a film that is aknock-down-drag-out, eccentric, thrill-ride with a strong lead actorperformance, then look no further. Bronson is exactly what you'relooking for.

  7. Clayton Davis ( from New Jersey
    30 Mar 2012, 5:31 pm

    In one of the most frightening and downright crazy lead turns of theyear, Tom Hardy ignites the screen in the British independent film,Bronson. Based on the unbelievable true story and directed by NicolasWinding Refn, the at times bizarre film tells the story of MichaelPeterson, played by Hardy, who robs a post office in 1974, to only get26 pounds out of the deal, and is sentenced to four years in prison. Afour year stay has turned into a thirty-four year prison term, thirtyof which has been spent in solitary confinement.

    The man, which the British press calls 'the most violent prisoner inBritain," is one of the most complex, and highly disturbing charactersto be depicted on screen this year. He always wanted to famous, Hardystates with such charisma at the opening of the film, but he can'tsing, he can't dance, so he creates an alter ego during his time as aboxer prior to his prison sentence. Though the film is loosely based onthe real man and his story, it doesn't matter, Refn treats the filmwith such artistic integrity and takes chances that most directors hopeto accomplish in their careers. The narrative, though over-whelming attimes, is unyielding in the manner in which it's told. For the mostpart however, Tom Hardy's gritty and aggressive performance will godown as one of the best kept secrets of 2009.

    In watching the picture, the co-stars are nearly invisible as Hardytakes control of the screen and your attention. He enables the viewerto devote their time and energy with fear of severe consequences in notdoing so. Hardy is an incredible talent and not sure if you'll see amore devoted actor to a character on film this year.

    Refn's choice of music that fills the scenes with torment, discomfort,and sheer violence is a brilliance shown in his armor. Bronson is pureentertainment, and though it doesn't provide any moral or socialsignificance in the acts of our lives, it's an admiral effort byBritish cinema.


  8. sharkies69 from Melbourne
    30 Mar 2012, 5:31 pm

    Saw this the other day at the Sydney Film Festival.

    I didn't know much about Bronson before the film, other than what Iread on Wikipedia and after walking out of the cinema, I can't say Iknow any more about the man other than his inability to conform and hisreliance on violence and abuse to deal with most situations.

    Unlike Korean movie Breathless which also screened at the festival andfocused on violence but at least gave you an idea as to why the maincharacter was so disturbed and messed up. Bronson doesn't give you anyanswers other than he was simply born that way, despite loving parents.His inability to deal with society starting as early as his schoolyears.

    What I did enjoy was Hardy's performance. Sure to be compared to Bana'sChopper (which I think was far better – but I am an Aussie andtherefore biased) and also A Clockwork Orange. Hardy is impressive asthe hulking and impulsive brute. He occasionally shows us Bronson'svulnerable side but mostly it's about the rage that drives him from oneprison to another.

    The prison system and Brit government are seemingly helpless to come upwith solutions at dealing with Bronson's violence. The man himself alsoseems way beyond rehabilitation. That would be a big understatement.

    I thought it was a shame that Bronson didn't get into boxing or someother type of physical sport like Rugby league when he was younger asit might have given him an outlet for his anger.

    Anyways, it's ultimately pretty grim viewing but certainly packs apunch (no pun intended). I would have like to see Winding Refn offer usa little more insight into the man.

  9. meeza ( from Miami, Fl
    30 Mar 2012, 5:31 pm

    As I was watching the first 30 minutes of the bio flick "Bronson", Ithought it had a death wish or something. It does take a while to letthis movie hit you. "Bronson" is based on the true story of who iscalled England's most notorious prisoner, that would be MichaelPeterson better known by his alias Charlie Bronson. He has beenincarcerated for 36 years, and 31 in solitary confinement. He neverkilled anyone, just was convicted of armed robbery a few times; but itwas his feisty ways in the prisons and psych wards he did time in thatgot him all that time. Instead of trying to breakout, Bronson wanted tostay in prison but not exactly as a Solitary Man. He relished onphysically brutalizing prison guards and other cellmates, not tomention taking a few as hostages. Bronson also had an artistic sidethat is also highlighted in Writer-Director's Nicolas Winding Refnmovie. Refn's screenplay with Brock Norman Brock did escape the rulesof viewer engagement from time to time with its extreme bizarreness,but somehow it boldly & bloody worked. Kudos goes to Refn fororchestrating those power-punching scenes where Charlie B. is refn somany up. Also, I must commend his direction of the comedic scenes ofobserving Charlie readapting to social civilization upon being releasedafter his first "prison tour of duty". But "Bronson" would not be abrawny feature without the tour-de-performance of Tom Hardy. This HardyBoy sure did not lack a punch with his dead-ringer Bronsontransformation. It will be hard to knock out Hardy as a surefire grandactor for years to come. It is hard to fathom that this is the sameactor who played The Cleaner in "Inception", two exemplary performancesbut diverse in so many ways. "Bronson" is worth putting in the time forno better reason just to witness Tom Hardy's extraordinaire hard work.So pass Go and matchup with "Bronson". ***** Excellent

  10. Colin George from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:31 pm

    Can you really produce a biopic about the theatrical brutality ofBritain's most dangerous prisoner and not incite comparisons toKubrick's "A Clockwork Orange?" The trailer for Nicholas Winding Refn's"Bronson" spouts the likeness triumphantly with a quote attributed toDamien McSorley for the publication, "Zoo." Surely Kubrick is aflattering filmmaker to have your humble work compared to, though likeAmerican director Wes Anderson, who borrows all the style of the manbut none of the content, "Bronson" is a film with an air of grandiosityand very little in the way of actual story. Kubrick's film, based onthe novel by Anthony Burgess, has a Dickensian plot that doubles backon characters and scenarios established in the first act, leavingnothing unchanged by the end of the third. It's a comparison underwhich "Bronson" unfavorably suffers: well directed, impeccablyperformed, but completely devoid of structure.

    I don't mean to undersell the above compliments, however. Tom Hardy aslowly criminal Michael Peterson and his imprisoned superstar alter egoCharles Bronson, displays a remarkable, feral intensity in the role,spitting meaty, cockney chunks of dialogue with a truly disquietingvoracity. And Hardy makes a perfect match for Refn: both share alarger- than-life approach to their craft. The director's visualaudacity is never more sublimely paired with Hardy's performance thanduring Bronson's intermittent narrations; snippets of a surreal one-manstage show for some great, unseen audience. The cutaways recall thefeel of Alex's presentation following the successful administration ofthe ludovico technique in "Clockwork Orange." Swooping crane andsweeping dolly shots, along with some fantastic locations, also evokeKubrick's directorial sentiments, as does the more obviousaccompaniment of classical score to key sequences.

    Unfortunately, the failure of "Bronson" is not only that there's verylittle dramatically to be done with a man who spends the better part ofhis life in solitary confinement, but that beyond a vague notoriety,Peterson's ultimate goal is never particularly clear. The ending of thefilm is startling in its abruptness given that the scene seemsinterchangeable with any number of the fights Bronson picks over thecourse of the film. It doesn't feel a particularly epic brawl, and bythat point, the tedium of Bronson's outbursts, battles, andincreasingly severe punishments had worn me (though it could maybe becalled a statement on the nature of desensitizing cinema–in thatrespect a reverse "Clockwork Orange") into a sleepy passivity.

    The film is nevertheless a step the right direction for theusually-schlocky and hyper- masculine Refn, but "Bronson" still wantsfor the substantiality that makes great films great films. It isn'tlikely to inspire any further meditation on its subject beyond perhapsprovoking a curiosity about the man himself in those intrigued butunsatisfied with the screenplay's frugal allocation of hard data andsocial context. But despite the film's inability to make clear itsgreater thematic intent, I don't think "Bronson" is a perverselyviolent film or that it exists solely as a fetishistic idol tocounterculture, as some will likely label it, and have labeledKubrick's masterpiece. Its beautiful cinematography (courtesy LarrySmith, interestingly enough, the lighting cameraman for Kubick's own"Eyes Wide Shut") and stellar lead may make it a worthwhile rental nextyear, but as it stands, "Bronson" is a precautionary tale. It's a filmthat has everything going for it except the the thing that mattersmost: its story. And you don't need to be Stanley Kubrick to figurethat out.

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