Saturday, November 10, 2007

No. 36 - The Mechanic

Charles Bronson was a true 70's icon. Two years before his huge breakthrough Death Wish, Bronson played a professional hit man who teaches the tricks of his trade to a willing young acolyte (Jan-Michael Vincent, fresh from Disney's World's Greatest Athlete).

In one memorable scene, Vincent returns home to find that his girlfriend has tried to commit suicide. Vincent throws her the car keys and tells her that if she hurries, she might make it to the Malibu Sheriff's Station in time to save her life. By comparison, Bronson's character is a lovable Care Bear of a guy. The ending is a hoot.

The Mechanic plays like a Tarantino film, with its focus on moral relativity in a criminal world. Michael Winner directed, and he would grace 70's cinema with such films as Death Wish, Won Ton Ton The Dog Who Saved Hollywood, The Sentinel, and Love and Bullets. Bronson subsequently contributed Mr. Majestyk, St. Ives and Telefon to 70's cinema.

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