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Friday, January 07, 2005

Bronson Baby, Yeah

Little known fact: I am such a fan of Charles Bronson and his movie Deathwish that I once harassed S.T. Karnick into mailing me an article he wrote in which the film is referenced. He had to mail it because the article does not exist in electronic form. If you haven't seen the film, you must rent it. It is one of the most profoundly political movies I've ever seen. Lefties had gone overboard in protecting evil-doers (imagine how they treat Saddam and then apply it domestic thieves and muggers) and the makers of Deathwish responded. I wrote all that to include this bit from Daniel Henninger at the Wall Street Journal:

One of the better-known artifacts in the archaeology of New York is the movie "Death Wish." Released in 1974, it stars Charles Bronson as a Manhattan liberal who snaps under the burden of New York's violence and goes into the subways to mow down thugs the cops can't or won't catch. Back then the city's audiences cheered and screamed as Bronson smashed one civil-liberties platitude after another.

Vigilante films like Deathwish and Dirty Harry made a powerful impact upon the way we view crime. It may not be going overboard to say those films are the reason Democrats moved strongly toward a law and order stance in the 90's.


S. T. Karnick said...

I, too, enjoyed many of Bronson's films and, as you note, sympathize with their point of view.

My favorite Charles Bronson moment, however, is actually a fictional one. It occurs in an episode of THE SIMPSONS. Charles Bronson, as a young boy, asks his mother, in the actor's distinctive adult voice, "Ma, can I have a cookie?" His mother, who sounds exactly like him, says, "No!" Charles replies, "This . . . isn't . . . over!"—STK

Tlaloc said...

Vigilantism works great in a movie where you can completely control the script. In real life it works just a tad worse. Thats why we have all those controls on the police that you bemoan. Fantasies of blowing up bad guys are fine, so long as they stay fantasies.

S. T. Karnick said...

Life isn't exactly like the movies? Shocking!—STK