Many years ago, a clandestine group of filmmakers, John Sturges, Sergio Leone and Michael Winner, gathered around a cauldron and mixed gun powder, panther’s blood, aged bourbon and a splash of bacon-infused vodka. What emerged from the brew was Charles Bronson.
Every Wednesday in March, the Landmark Mayan Theatre on Broadway will host 4 classic Bronson films in their ‘Charles Bronson Film Series. The man was easily in over 80 movies, but these four really show the progression of Bronson in his prime, which didn’t come until the actor was nearly 50 years old. After each film mention, I include a suggested drink pairing, which you can indulge at the Mayan’s full bar.
The series comes out, guns blazing with “The Magnificent Seven.” This Hollywood western remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Samurai epic, “Seven Samurai,” is certified classic and its the role that launched Bronson into stardom. It screens Wed., Mar. 7th, at 7:00 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Bronson plays an Irish-Mexican gunslinger, so what could be better than the Irish Mexican Cocktail: Coffee, Irish cream, Kahlua (which is Mexican), and creme de cacao (hot or cold). Or just go with straight Whiskey.
Following the “The Magnificent Seven,” comes another big ensemble cast, loaded with Hollywood testosterone: “The Dirty Dozen.” The film’s original tag-line was, “Train Them, Excite Them, Arm Them…Then turn them loose on the Nazis.” This was the original ragtag group of no-mercy killing machines, thus film-school essential for fans of Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds.” It screens Wed., Mar. 14, at 7:00 p.m and 9:45 p.m. Take shots while Bronson shoots up some Nazis: The Dead Nazi (aka Screaming Nazi) Half Jägermeister and Half Rumple Minze (Hot Damn or Goldschlager), serve it mixed and poured over ice.
Clint Eastwood refused the chance to do another Spaghetti Western with Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West.” So Leone offered the part to the man he originally wanted to be the ‘Man With No Name,’ Charles Bronson. As a harmonica totting gun-hand, Bronson joined another all-star cast to make this the spaghetti western to end all spaghetti westerns. It was penned by a triumvirate of Italian filmmakers: Sergio Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Dario Argento. Screens, Wed., Mar.21 at 7:00 p.m. only; its a long one. Check this cocktail out: The Liquid Spaghetti Western, is bourbon, Campari (unlikely they have this), Mexican lager (Pacifico or Dos Equis), lemon juice, pinch of salt and cherry tomatoes (you’ll probably have to bring your own). Lots of recipe variations for this online.
The final film is Bronson’s magnum opus, “Death Wish,” which spawned a pentalogy. This is what vigilante cinema is all about. If Bruce Wayne hung a poster in his Bat Cave, it would be of this movie. Screens Wed., Mar. 28, at 7:00 and 9:45pm. This could get a bit dangerous in the drink department. There is a cocktail called a ‘Charles Bronson,’ which is essentially a mixture of various bourbon whiskeys and birch beer, but surely you can alternate some kind of bourbon whiskey (Jim Beam) with a dark beer and just call it a Bronson. There is also a shot called ‘The Death Wish,’ and that’s just what it is: Jägermeister, Rumple Minze (or some kind of cinnamon schnapps) and Wild Turkey.
Published on Mile High Cinema