“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Out of Sight

June 26, 1998

OUT OF SIGHT pretty much struts onto the screen, David Holmes’ funky organ already jamming on “It’s Your Thing” as the Universal logo spins, George Clooney as Jack Foley storming out of a situation that we’ll only understand later, his frustrations underlined by freeze frames, when he spots a bank across the street. And he goes over unarmed, alone, winging it, and robs the place.

Clooney had already become a superstar on ER and proven himself big-screen-worthy in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, but it was Steven Soderbergh who taught him to cut down on his trademark head-bobbing and become a real movie star. Wearing a suit I thought I heard somewhere was inspired by Cary Grant’s from NORTH BY NORTHWEST, he manages to charm his poor bank teller victim enough that when he tells her to have a nice day as he’s leaving with the money she reflexively says “You too.”

It’s a small, funny moment, but it’s also important. We have to believe this guy is so damn charismatic that the federal marshal who witnesses him digging out of Lompoc and gets thrown in the trunk of a car with him will fall for him. And Clooney pulls it off.

The marshal is Karen Sisco, played by Jennifer Lopez (ANACONDA), who is more often discussed in terms of stardom than of work – she’s been a backup dancer, a pop star and a reality show judge, after all – but here she’s one hell of an actress. She fully embodies every aspect of the Karen Sisco character: the fashionable, womanly agent who’s always ready to pull a shotgun out of the trunk or smack a guy around with a telescoping baton; the smack-talking, Nicorette-gum-chewing tough girl who’s unwilling to put up with your shit; the daddy’s girl who says “Oh my God, it’s beautiful” when he gives her a handgun as a gift and hangs around his house on the weekends wearing baggy sweat shorts and a Dolphins jersey; the woman who’s smart enough to know better but can’t help being smitten with Jack.

We see most of these in that classic meet-cute scene in the trunk of Jack’s partner Buddy (Ving Rhames, THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS)’s car. Karen has some smart ass answers, she makes a play for her gun and fires on him, but also they get into discussing movies and she finds herself reminding him the names of the stars and smiling at his dumb misquotes. There’s a perfect moment when he mentions THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR and you see her contemplating something for a second and then deciding yes, she will tell him something that always bothered her about the movie, that “I never thought it made sense, though, the way they got together so quick.”

Sure, it’s a meta commentary on the type of story we’re witnessing, but it’s also the sort of thing you might bring up in a conversation, a normal one with someone who has not abducted you. And not only does she indulge in this bit of casual chit-chat with her captor, she turns to look over her shoulder at him when she does! This is not reluctantly giving in to a charade that they’re discussing movies. This is deciding that yes, she wants to discuss movies with this guy. Later her boss Daniel (Wendell B. Harris Jr., director/star of CHAMELEON STREET) will rightly note this detail of her report with suspicion.

Most of the characters in this are a little bit dumb and a little bit smart, and there’s a hierarchy to it. Karen is only dumb if you hold her relationship decisions against her, and she’s definitely smarter than Jack. He’s “robbed more banks than anyone else in the computer,” but he’s also the dumbass who robbed a bank on a whim and then flooded his engine trying to drive away. He says himself “You can’t do three falls and say you have much of a brain.” And in that scene in the trunk he’s immediately outclassed by Karen, not just in movie trivia. He’s slower than her. When she mentions Clyde Barrow it takes him a minute to realize that’s as in Bonnie and Clyde. When he finds her mace she says “That’s for your breath. You could use it. Squirt some in your mouth,” and instead of just getting that she’s joking and insulting him he says, “Yeah, well that’s mace, isn’t it?”

That’s in the trunk. In prison Jack’s the smartest one around. He outsmarts Maurice “Snoopy” Miller (Don Cheadle, also in BULWORTH that summer), pointing out the flaws of his shakedown to defenseless Wall Street scammer Ripley (Albert Brooks, also a voice in DR. DOLITTLE that summer). He outsmarts Chino (Luis Guzman, also in SNAKE EYES that summer) and Lulu (Paul Soileau) by figuring out their escape plan and getting in on it, and the prison guard by telling him about the plan and then hitting him over the head and stealing his uniform.

Arguably the dumbest of all of them is Glenn (Steve Zahn, also in SAFE MEN that summer), the pothead who told them about Ripley’s diamonds but finds himself spending most of the movie in terror of either Karen or Snoopy. Zahn plays Glenn as a lovable idiot who never takes off his sunglasses and seemingly exists only to get dunked on by everybody (Jack, Karen, Snoopy). This makes it devastating when Snoopy and his psycho brother-in-law Kenneth (Isaiah Washington, another actor who was also in BULWORTH that summer) trick him into coming along to kill someone who crossed him. Soderbergh stays close on Glenn’s terrified face as the killing happens, focusing on the end of his innocence rather than the shock of the act itself. He’s never the same after that. His glasses get knocked off during the violence, and we see his haunted eyes for the rest of the movie.

Screenwriter Scott Frank had written DEAD AGAIN, LITTLE MAN TATE, MALICE and HEAVEN’S PRISONERS, but of course his most relevant credit was GET SHORTY. I like that one, but this is much more how I see the Elmore Leonard tone – it’s funny, but it’s not a cartoon, it’s real. This has so many of the things I love about Leonard’s stories and characters, not least of which is the true-to-life importance of dumb accidents and coincidences in how things play out. Like how Karen happens to be questioning Adele (Catherine Keener, also in YOUR FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS that summer) at her house when Chino shows up to try to find out from her where Jack is, and gets to arrest him. Or the way White Boy Bob (Keith Loneker, JERSEY BOYS) – a goofball who’s more excited to steal steaks than diamonds – SPOILER suddenly slips and blows his own head off. Or of course that great moment when Karen spots Jack escaping in the hotel elevator from across the lobby and freezes up rather than calling it in and he stands there like a deer in headlights and then gives a little wave, not really thinking about it, just like when that bank teller told him to have a nice day.

This is a story about cops and robbers, but it’s mostly about that attraction, that crush. Karen’s dad Marshall (Dennis Farina, also in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN that summer), a retired cop, clearly notices the signs. He knows she makes bad decisions in her love life, and lets his opinions be known through implication and wry jabs, but doesn’t judge her or tell her what to do. For example he clearly disapproves of her seeing Ray Nicolette – an FBI agent, but married – so he lets him come over, but punishes him through uncomfortable conversation.

For Jack the person who recognizes and worries but doesn’t interfere is Buddy. Buddy notes the ridiculousness of Jack hanging around Florida to see his former hostage again, but knows it’s no use to tell him no.

The movie doesn’t pretend this is a smart idea. On Karen’s part there’s an animal attraction – we know because the first direct acknowledgment of her interest in Jack is a dream where she goes to apprehend him, finds him taking a bath, and rather than arrest him climbs in with him. There’s even a shot of her eyes moving down to check him out before stepping into the room.

In a way the whole relationship is like that dream – it makes no logical sense for their lives, it cannot last, but they want to enjoy it. Most of us can’t relate to being cops or robbers falling in love with each other, but the very identifiable life experience at the heart of this story is the great thing that cannot last. The snowman, the sand castle, the vacation. In a movie made up of great scenes the greatest may be the one where they finally meet up in the hotel bar on a beautiful, snowy night. It’s so loaded with romantic tension that it’s easy to miss the virtuoso chops of editor Anne V. Coates (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, RAW DEAL) effortlessly flitting back and forth across time, between the bar and the hotel room. Sure, Jack is an escaped fugitive, but he’s clearly a better choice for a one night stand than either of the traveling ad men who sportingly take turns trying to talk to her. These are pitch perfect, almost-a-documentary sleazy business bros without having to resort to them actually being jerks or crossing the line from annoying to doing something wrong.

She brushes them off with attitude, saying she wants to be alone, but surely thinking of Jack, who suddenly appears as if it was another dream and they play out that fantasy he talked about in the trunk about what would happen if they met under different circumstances. At one point she worries about the reality of it, the fleetingness of it, and he convinces her not to waste the moment thinking about it ending. Worry about that later when there’s “no more time outs,” when I’m robbing a house and you’re doing your job.

I was highly anticipating OUT OF SIGHT before it came out. I had a good feeling about a cool indie director doing an Elmore Leonard movie starring Clooney. I’d seen SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE, KAFKA and KING OF THE HILL and it’s not like Soderbergh was my favorite director, but I liked all those movies, and he had this material.

I think I read the book after the movie, but I must’ve flipped through it or something because I knew that the character Ray Nicolette was in it. Since he had just been played by Michael Keaton in JACKIE BROWN, released sixth months prior, I was very curious – would they cut the character out? Change the name? Or who would they get? Sure enough his name is mentioned 11 minutes in and he’s finally seen 41 minutes in and he’s outside of Marshall’s house walking up and I remember thinking “That is him, isn’t it? That’s Michael Keaton!” It was a great surprise made possible by Quentin Tarantino pulling some strings to get Miramax to allow the use of the character without charge.

Wouldn’t you know it, OUT OF SIGHT only opened in fourth place, below DOCTOR DOLITTLE, MULAN and THE X-FILES, the latter two in their second weeks. It eventually made $77.7 million worldwide, which is $3 million more than JACKIE BROWN, and more than its budget, but not the double that is often said to be needed to be profitable. Though not the smash hit you’d want for an obvious instant classic like this to be, it did get two well deserved Oscar nominations (adapted screenplay and editing – it lost to GODS AND MONSTERS and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN), and I think it’s fair to say OUT OF SIGHT ended up being an important movie for many of the people involved.

For Clooney it was a great start to a post-BATMAN AND ROBIN search for higher artistic standards. He followed it with movies directed by Terence Malick, David O. Russell and the Coen Brothers. I have to wonder what would’ve happened if Lopez had used the momentum of this performance for a similar push. Instead she chose to focus on music, releasing her first album On the 6 in 1999, and didn’t return to the screen until THE CELL in 2000. So it didn’t really end up being a career breakthrough for Lopez, but it’s the one you can always point to when people who know her as a nicknamed pop star diminish her as an actress.

It’s also worth noting that this is the first major role for future Oscar winner Viola Davis other than the Joe Dante TV movie THE PENTAGON WARS. Her bitter intensity is on full display as Snoopy’s sister Moselle. Soderbergh later had her in TRAFFIC and SOLARIS.

Holmes was an Irish electronic musician who had taken influence from movie scores – his 1995 debut album was called This Film’s Crap Let’s Slash the Seats. IMDb lists a 1997 TV movie called SUPPLY & DEMAND and a 1998 film called RESURRECTION MAN as his previous scores. He was apparently brought in by producer Danny DeVito to make a theme song, but his role kept expanding. It was such a late decision that the movie poster (at least the one I have hanging above my computer) incorrectly credits Cliff Martinez, who had scored all of Soderbergh’s previous films. But it’s hard to picture any version of the movie without Holmes’ music, which blends so seamlessly with a soulful soundtrack including The Isley Brothers, Willie Bobo and a Mongo Santamaria cover of Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man.”

Nothing against Martinez, but I have trouble imagining he could’ve come up with anything as effective as this funky ass shit right here:

Let alone this one:

Incidentally, it’s hard for me to believe that it’s been twenty years since I bought that soundtrack CD, which blends several songs with Holmes’ score and dialogue excerpts. I still listen to it pretty regularly.

Holmes went on to great scores for Soderbergh’s OCEAN’S movies, HAYWIRE and LOGAN LUCKY, plus Steve McQueen’s HUNGER and also ANALYZE THAT (?). He also did that movie I love, STANDER, with his band The Free Association.

In Frank’s case I’m not sure it was a breakout for his career other than to establish a relationship with Soderbergh, who recently produced Frank’s Netflix western series Godless, and deepen his reputation for literary adaptation. After this he adapted Philip K. Dick in MINORITY REPORT, that book in MARLEY & ME (with fellow Summer of ’98 alumni Don Roos), and Marvel Comics in THE WOLVERINE and LOGAN. He’s also turned out to be a really good director with the original crime tale THE LOOKOUT and the Lawrence Block adaptation A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES. He was also the director for Godless and an unaired pilot I’m dying to see, the  Charles Willeford-based Hoke starring Paul Giamatti

But most of all, OUT OF SIGHT was a breakthrough for Soderbergh, who came on after Universal already had Clooney attached. The director dropped the Charlie Kaufman script HUMAN NATURE (later done excellently by Michel Gondry) for this shot at the mainstream. Without that decision we might not have had the director-star team that gave us OCEAN’Ses ELEVEN through THIRTEEN, SOLARIS and THE GOOD GERMAN. I think it also marks the beginning of the Soderbergh we know now, who ably alternates between artfully crafted fun movies (ERIN BROCKOVICH, OCEAN’S trilogy, HAYWIRE, MAGIC MIKE, LOGAN LUCKY) and more experimental or niche-audience ones (THE LIMEY, FULL FRONTAL, BUBBLE, CHE, THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE) as he sees fit. It’s not really a “one for them, one for me” situation – I think both are for him, and one recharges the other. I like just about everything he does, but to me OUT OF SIGHT is the perfect one, the ideal I always want him to return to.

Is OUT OF SIGHT the best Elmore Leonard adaptation ever? Only JACKIE BROWN could put that into question. Is it the best movie of 1998, a year that gave us SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, BABE: PIG IN THE CITY and BLADE? I’m not ruling it out, but I don’t know. What I do know for sure is that twenty years ago it became one of my favorite movies, and my love for it has only deepened.

P.S.

In 2003 Karen Sisco got her own acclaimed-but-cancelled-before-they-even-aired-it-all-and-never-released-it-on-DVD 10-episode TV series, just called Karen Sisco, with Frank acting as a consultant. Carla Gugino played Karen, Robert Forster played her dad, Obba Babatunde played Daniel. The intro uses “It’s Your Thing” and animations inspired by the colorful OUT OF SIGHT movie poster, and credits both Leonard’s novel and Frank’s screenplay for creating the characters. The pilot – directed by Michael Dinner (HOT TO TROT), who later did the same for Justified – is based on Leonard’s short story “Karen Makes Out.”

I thought it would be hard to accept another actress as the character, but Gugino was great, and the show did a great job of making her a lovable badass with some vulnerabilities, including poor judgment in her love life.

The last episode was directed by Kathryn Bigelow (POINT BREAK).

Gugino was also able to reprise the character on a season 3 episode of Justified. For legal reasons, I believe, they had her be married and have a different last name. But we know who she was. (They had intended to make her a bigger part of the show, but her schedule didn’t work out.)

Jack Foley never returned on screen, but he did star in Leonard’s 2009 novel Road Dogs, which also uses a character from LaBrava and one from Riding the Rap.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 at 10:15 am and is filed under Crime, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

25 Responses to “Out of Sight”

  1. I’ve always considered this the “best” Elmore Leonard adaptation. Sure, even Dutch himself gives that distinction to Jackie Brown, but to me that one feels so much like a QT movie that it loses some of the feel I get when I read Leonard’s books. I remember seeing this in the theater at a place just a few miles from Ripley’s house in suburban Detroit and walking out saying, “someone finally gets it!” Sure, there had been many Leonard adaptations before that which I enjoyed, but this was the first one where I really felt like the film was a pure distillation of the book.

  2. Okay, I hated that movie when I saw it. I hated the script, I hated Lopez’ performance, I put it into the “Ugh, one of those that people pretend to like to not feel dumb” category for a million reasons, but that was pretty much 17-18 years ago and I wanna give it another try for years, since there is a huge chance that young me was completely wrong. (Although maybe not about Lopez, who probably is the only person to appear in a Soderbergh movie without really having learned how to act better.)

    Anyway, here is an episode of the award winning German music TV show 2Step from the early 00s, in which every episode a new DJ recorded an exclusive set and a new VJ created exclusive visuals for it. In this case the DJ is David Holmes and the VJ was some guy named Viper.

  3. I can’t fathom what’s not to like about this movie.
    Is the Karen Sisco series available anywhere? I haven’t seen it. I loved her appearance on Justified.

  4. Love this flick. Everything great to say about this you just did (and far better than I). Excellent review!

    I worked at a multiplex the summer this came out, and when Armageddon was sold out, I would direct folks to see this instead. I had several people come out afterwards and thank me for the recommendation. I had to use the “Did you like Pulp Fiction? Its kinda like that” card but it got more people to see it, and fewer to see Armageddon at least.

    I have the vinyl banner with the Martinez credit, too! (Acquired at said multiplex).

  5. I like this one, but not as much as JACKIE BROWN. Personal preference I guess. I think the thing that made the biggest impression on me is that Katherine Keener is gorgeous.

  6. Cool FYC soundtrack! Nothing to add to this but that’s an item I hadn’t seen before.

  7. This is one of my all-time favorite movies, and Vern, I really dig your review. I had seen all of Soderbergh’s previous movies (King of the Hill is particularly good, and I even liked Kafka) but this one seemed to be operating on a different level — and he followed it right up with the similarly electrifying The Limey. And as a lifelong Elmore Leonard fan, I agree with those that see this as the best movie adaptation — it really captures the rhythm of his dialogue and storytelling, and the tension that builds up as you become aware of the evil some of the characters are capable of.

    (#2 for me is Hombre.)

    Am I wrong in thinking this is the film that made George Clooney a movie star? And it definitely felt like Soderbergh’s first “mainstream” movie, where he brought all his directorial intelligence to bear on a crowd-pleaser. I can’t picture either of them making the Ocean’s movies without starting here. (I like those but this is on a way higher level to me)

    Great lead and supporting performances from everyone involved, it looks great, the soundtrack is awesome from start to end (I ran out to buy the cd right afterward as well), it’s a great crime story and romantic and sexy as hell.

    It’s interesting to note that they originally shot the car-trunk scene completely differently and that the movie didn’t work at all until they went back and took a different approach. As I recall the first version had the camera much more pulled back from Clooney and Lopez, as opposed to the final version where the viewer is right down in the trunk with the two of them.

    Dang, I may have to watch this again soon.

  8. Great piece! I’ve loved David Holmes ever since he used ultra-obscure-but-near-to-young-renfield’s-heart Italian prog/psych band Le Orme at the end of OCEANS 11. His mixtape COME GET IT I GOT IT is one of my favorite recordings ever and introduced me to a rabbit hole of music to explore.

    For some reason in my mind this movie has always been linked to CHOPPER and I’ve never been able to figure out why. They both have different sections of the movie that use different color filters (I think?) … reading this review, I realized that both movies features a house robbery where they consider thieving frozen steaks! Mystery solved.

  9. Oh this one’s a classic. The book was the first cool thing I’d ever “discovered” on my own as a kid, just liking the sound of the name and pulling it off my dad’s shelf without asking. Obviously a lot of it flew right over the head of 12 year old me, but I loved the tone of it all. I had totally forgotten I owned the soundtrack too. Should see if it’s still kicking around somewhere (even though I’m not sure I even have something that’ll play CDs anymore).

    Also, it’s pretty rare for a TV adaptation to have a better cast than a film- much as I like Dennis Farina, Robert Forster is a genuine improvement.

  10. One guy from Andromeda

    July 19th, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Stone cold classic, what a wonderful movie. I love how sensual it is, taking you from the heat of miami to the Detroit winter (or was it Chicago) and making you feel it all the while. The fantastic cinematography, the costumes, production design – everything perfect.

    The book sequel was a disappointment though I have to say. To do a sequel to our of sight and have Karen not be in it. I cannot get on board with that choice. Combined with the dark endings of those old characters it seemed like an exercise in frustrating expectations…

  11. grimgrinningchris

    July 19th, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Nobody’s made a “junk in the trunk” joke about Lopez yet?

    Hang on, I’ll be right down.

  12. Great review. I loved your focus on the character dynamics and how well played and presented are many aspects of key scenes. This classic has definitely grown in stature since it’s release. I now see it commonly listed as Soderbergh’s best movie.

    @BenC: This might be Clooney’s best leading man movie star performance but I think the movie that cemented Clooney as a star was THE PERFECT STORM at least from a movie box office perspective (you could argue OCeans too since it was the follow up hit which he got the title role on, though I think Brad Pitt wins that movie). Previously he had mixed results with movie star type leading man projects with BATMAN AND ROBIN, ONE FINE DAY, and THE PEACEMAKER, but gave great movie star type performances in movies like this one or FROM DUSK TIL DAWN and THREE KINGS.

  13. Not that he isn’t smooth as silk in something like this or the OCEANS movies (or even FANTASTIC MR. FOX, which brings the archetype all the way to a family-friendly film) but I prefer Clooney in more serious stuff like MICHAEL CLAYTON or SOLARIS, when he sheds the charm and goes for something deeper. Between those two sides it’s a close call, but it probably speaks more to my taste anyway.

    Renfield: Daniel Pemberton did something similar with a track by Canterbury prog band EGG for OCEAN’S 8.

    Further soundtrack jogged my memory and led me to Chris Joss. His stuff is similar to Holmes, and a piece of his even used in the trailer for OCEAN’S THIRTEEN. I noticed him when this piece was used on a S1 episode of BETTER CALL SAUL.

  14. One Guy From Andromeda

    July 20th, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    You guys might also enjoy Clutchy Hopkins, as long as we’re recommending music!

  15. David Holmes lives round the corner from me.
    He has a fluffy dog and once gave my girlfriend a free CD of African funk when she worked as a postwoman.
    This is possibly my closest brush with “celebrity” so I thought I’d share.

    Actually, I think it was 2 free CDs.
    Just to give him his due
    My girlfriend says he’s lovely

  16. Hey Vern (and any other Leonard fans out there) have you checked out Life of Crime? Its an adaptation of The Switch, which is a story of Jackson and Deniro’s Jackie brown characters, but with (formerly)Mos Def and John Hawkes in the roles.

    Its not quite Out of Sight good, but its a lot better than Freaky Deaky and Be Cool.

  17. I’ve been without internet for a couple of weeks, and when I finally get back online I find you guys discussing Elmore Leonard stories WITHOUT mentioning MR MAJESTYK?! Bronson and Leonards best work. This is an outrage! Where is Mr M?

  18. I’ve been pissing people off lately so I’m trying to lay low unless I got something positive and/or unfuckwithable to say. My thoughts on Leonard (probably the best crime writer who ever lived, making him my pick for best all-around writer who ever lived) are well known, and while I don’t necessarily agree that my namesake is his best (not sure it’s Bronson’s either but it’s damn close) in general I do tend to prefer his earlier, leaner, meaner work. Some of his later stuff is masterful sentence by sentence but you start to see the patterns emerge. Whatever. If I’m ever good enough to coast on patterns as awesome as his, I’ll die happy.

    OUT OF SIGHT is pretty great, though, probably his best adaptation that’s not JACKIE BROWN, even if I don’t really have much to say about it. It’s a movie that speaks for itself, I guess.

  19. Okay, it might not be Leonard’s best work. But you’d be hard pressed to name a better Bronson vehicle.

  20. You’re probably right. It’s certainly his best written movie and the best blend of Down & Dirty Bronson and Mainstream Action Superstar Bronson. I wouldn’t have named myself after it if it wasn’t awesome. I’m just more likely to reach for 10 TO MIDNIGHT or a DEATH WISH when I’m in a Bronson mood. I guess I prefer my Bronson sleazy.

  21. Just like with Seagal I guess Bronson’s career can be divided into different categories. The Sleaze Period you’re refering to goes from 1982 to 1986 (1989 if you count KINJITE – and we really should) and has a lot going for it. I tend to prefer the European Period myself (1968 – 1974), but I guess that’s just a matter of taste.

    Leonard wrote MR MAJESTYK for Eastwood, by the way. Would have been interesting.

  22. The more I think about it, the more I think you’re probably right that MR. MAJESTYK is objectively the best Bronson movie (as opposed to a movie Bronson is in, like THE GREAT ESCAPE) and I’m just waffling because my subjective tastes run toward the sleazier ones. I do, however, enjoy all the different periods of Bronson’s career, with a special fondness for the offbeat ones like LOLA and WHITE BUFFALO and SOMEONE BEHIND THE DOOR. Bronson doesn’t need to act to give a great performance but I like seeing him try it anyway.

  23. I see your point. Someone said in BRONSON’S LOOSE that he was just like Majestyk in real life. But in a movie like SOMEONE BEHIND THE DOOR you get to see him really act.

  24. I really enjoyed SOMEONE BEHIND THE DOOR for that reason. You get to see him play scared, confused, vulnerable, childlike, gullible, yearning, devastated—all emotions that don’t slot easily into the usual Bronson persona. I also appreciated his very early performance in MACHINE GUN KELLY where he plays a craven coward who talks big but is nothing without a gun in his hand. Definitely not something you’d ever expect to see Bronson play. It’s sad that his legacy in the popular consciousness is just the cookie-cutter Cannon stuff (which I love) when his filmography has so much more diversity than nearly any other action star.

    Also, he’s one of the few action stars whom I would imagine was even cooler than his onscreen persona, because I’m betting he was a good deal hipper than the squares he normally played. I mean, look at this pic. You or I or anyone we know will never be half that cool.

    Actress Jill Ireland was born 4-24-36 -- she was married to Scottish actor David McCallum. On Oct 5, 1968, she married fellow actor Charles Bronson… | Celeb Marriages | Pinterest | Actor charles bronson, Scottish actors and Charles bronson

    Actress Jill Ireland was born 4-24-36 -- she was married to Scottish actor David McCallum. On Oct 5, 1968, she married fellow actor Charles Bronson. They remained married until her passing in 1990 from breast cancer. They are shown here walking in Santa Monica, Cali in the early 70s

  25. He could even be funny: FROM NOON TILL’ THREE.

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