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"off duty" 1970 - 1997 - eine Werbezeitung für's US Militär

Die in diesem amerikanischen (Freizeit-) Shopping-Magazin angeprie- senen Produkte waren auschließlich amerikanischen und kanadischen Militärangehörigen ausserhalb der USA zugänglich - also zu kaufen - vor allem zu ganz ungewöhnlich (verblüffend) niedrigen US $ Military-Preisen. Zu der einführenden "off duty" Seite geht es hier lang.

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Etwas Besonderes ganz ausser der Reihe

In der "off duty" Oktober 1972 habe ich ein ganz seltenes Interview mit Charles Bronson gelesen, in Englisch und mit vielen Film-Titeln/Namen und Sprüchen und natürlich Legenden, die man auf Englisch lesen und so mal übersetzen/verstehen könnte. Also dieser Artikel ist nur für wissensdurstige Leser mit Spaß an einem nicht ganz einfachen englischen Text gedacht.

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"Charles Bronson Has the Last Laugh"
(Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am besten)

By REX REED - aus Off Duty Europe October 1972
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Der Autor Rex Reed schreibt als Einleitung :

ONE OF MY FIRST assignments as a writer, back in 1965, found me down in Biloxi, Miss., where a Hollywood film company was shooting a very bad movie called "This Property is Condemned" (1966 - Dieses Mädchen ist für alle da).

Every morning before Natalie Wood, Robert Redford and the rest of the company started acting out Tennessee Williams before the Vistavision cameras and every night after work, while they were trying to unwind in the cocktail lounge of the windswept, gull-pecked old beachfront hotel where the cast was staying, the hotel loudspeaker would harshly break into everybody's conversation with annoyingly insistent staccato announcements like "Paging Charles Bronson!" or "Mr. Charles Bronson is wanted on the telephone!" It got to be such a joke that finally Natalie Wood giggled, "I think he's paging himself!"

Seven years later, Charles Bronson is having the last laugh. The Hollywood bit player whose face looked eaten by moths, desperately rallying for attention in a fleabag Biloxi hotel, is a full-fledged internationally famous movie star, around whom the men with the money to burn swarm like dazed butterflies.

Mehr über Charles Bronson

His sudden appearance at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine might not exactly cause a major traffic collision. But in Europe, where most of the profit in today's movie world is made, Charles Bronson is the only star whose name alone brings a guaranteed budget of a million dollars minimum on an unfinished screenplay.

He has left such former foreign powers as Mastroianni, Delon and Belmondo eating dust in his tracks in the popularity polls. His films gross more money in European capitals than those of any other male star. Last year he won the Golden Globe award as the most popular actor in the world.

And now he's back, making his first American movie in 10 years, and I'm standing on a rainy New York streetcorner near the 59th St. Bridge, waiting to interview him. Sort of.

Viele hatten mich vorgewarnt ....

I mean, one doesn't exactly "interview" Charles Bronson. You get a lot of warnings (mad dog, hates the press, may punch you in the teeth) and you play it as it lays.

Today, I'm not playing it too well. First of all, he's asleep in his trailer, and I've awakened the resting tiger between scenes on "The Valachi Papers", a big gangster epic that is rumored in the showbiz circles to "outgodfather The Godfather."

He's not too happy about the whole thing. He rubs his eyes, red from badly-needed sleep; they've made him shave off his spaghetti-western moustache, cut his hair short and wear torturous navy-blue mobster tweeds.

In the muddy light through the dirty trailer window, his face looks fixed for a fight. I glance nervously at his press agent, a good-natured fellow named Martin Gordon, whom Bronson fires and rehires at least 20 times a year.

The press agent nods friendly reassurance and I plunge right in. "What are you playing in The Valachi Papers" ? I ask cheerfully. "Valachi," he says wiltingly, tightening his fists.

Eine verrückte Situation ...

Well, I can't be brilliant all the time. Besides, nobody told me. The situation is so stupid it seems lifted from a rejected TV pilot about a cub reporter played by Jerry Lewis.

Suddenly, miraculously, the tension lifts and Charles Bronson softens in the absurdity of the situation.

"I'm playing Valachi from 27 to 60 years old. Today we're filming a scene in which I kill somebody. We got real gangsters all over the set, man. One of them drove up yesterday in a disguised panel truck they use to peddle coin-slot machines. He was just observing the action. I can spot the Mafia a mile away.

I've been in two county jails in Pennsylvania - once for assault and battery, once for robbing a country store. I was up at Sing Sing yesterday and I'm a big deal there. They all think I'm a crook, just like one of them. Dino de Laurentiis says we're in big trouble. He's under a lot of pressure from the Italians to change the name of the film, change the names of actual underworld characters, take out references to Cosa Nostra and Mafia.

The call sheets arrive every day in sealed envelopes. It's impossible to find out where we're shooting from one day to the next. But we're telling it like it really was, man. We shot in the actual apartment house in the Bronx where Joe Valachi doubled-crossed the Mafia and a man was killed, the docks down in Brooklyn, Valachi's actual cell block in Sing Sing.

It's aroused a lot of trouble from even the Italians on the crew - drivers, technicians, laborers. They ask a lot of questions. We're pulling out of New York and finishing the whole thing in Rome. It's getting too hot for us here."

He started rubbing elbows with the real Mafiosi when he was scarcely old enough to pronounce the word. "I came out of a coal mine in Pennsylvania and worked in Atlantic City on Hammett's Pier in a gambling joint run by the mob. Jack Klugman was my roommate and we used to call the games on a microphone, then collect the bets and turn in the money. We tried to earn enough dough to carry us through a New York winter, but the money only lasted as long as Christmas, so Jack and I delivered Puerto Rican mail in Harlem for the post office. We had blisters on our feet like marbles."

Charles Bronson erzählt von seiner Kindheit

That was back in 1948, but it seems Charles Bronson has known about blisters all his life. "My father was a Russian immigrant from Lithuania. My mother had a third-grade education. My grandmother was called Big Annie and ran a boarding house near Scranton. It was a very tough neighborhood where you had nothing to lose because you had already lost it all. If one kid made it up to the Pittsburgh steel mills it was something the whole family bragged about. My father died when I was 10. It was a family of 15 kids, I was the only one who finished high school. I couldn't go to the graduation exercises because I beat up the basketball coach outside the boys' toilet. I worked in a coal mine at night when I was 16, then when I got out of the Army I got the job in the gambling joint in Atlantic City. Then I went out to the Pasadena Playhouse where I tried to study speech just to improve my diction. It was rough.

I demonstrated toys on street corners, sold Christmas cards and played a village blacksmith in a community theater. Another actor recommended me for a part at Fox in "You're in the Navy" Now with Gary Cooper. I got the part because I could belch on cue.

"I'd never even seen a studio before. I never went into Hollywood because you had to ride a bus to get there and I didn't even have bus fare. But I got a lotta jobs after that. Mostly punks, construction workers, punchy fighters. All the parts nobody could play because of their educated backgrounds I could play because I was just a bum. Most actors are impersonators, but in me they got the real thing. I came along when you had to look like a part to play it. If you looked like Tyrone
Power, you got romantic roles; if you had two scars on your face, you were the heavy. They were using me as heavies. It was type-casting. I never had any fun."

It had to wear off and it did. He was drifting in bad movies, supporting big stars who were having their dialog rewritten every day while he got stuck with saying junk, never getting the girl or the reviews. So he turned his back on America and became an overnight sensation in foreign-made films.

"It all started with a picture called Farewell, Friends with Alain Delon. I played a guy trying to get it together after the Algerian War. I don't think it's ever been shown in America, but what the hell? It was a real part."

Und dann gings mit den Filmen richtig los, aber in Europa

They've been coming at him like a scenic railway ever since - movies like Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the Old West (Spain), The Dirty Dozen (Germany), Someone Behind The Door with Tony Perkins (France), Rider On The Rain with Marlene Jobert (France), You Can't Win 'Em All with Tony Curtis (Turkey), Red Sun with Toshiro Mifune (Spain), Cold Sweat with James Mason and Liv Ullman (France), Triple Threat with his wife Jill Ireland (Rome and New Orleans), Chato's Land with Jack Palance (Spain) and The Mechanic with Jill Ireland and Jan-Michael Vincent (Naples and Amalfi). Some good, some terrible, all examples of the new Charles Bronson who doesn't depend on Hollywood to make a living.

Einer der reichsten Schaupsieler der Welt

He's one of the richest actors in the world and one of the few movie stars who still lives like one. He has kids, dogs, castles, estates, yachts, servants, probably even a sled called Rosebud. "But," he shrugs, "it doesn't mean a thing. I don't have a home. I still keep a house in California and my six children - from
8 months to 17 years old - go to schoo there. I speak kitchen Spanish.

I get by with some French I had in high school We have a tutor for the kids. My son Valentine, age 8, goes to the Lycee School where everything is taught in French. He has nearly a perfect accent. But possessions? Nothing.

Friends? My children are my friends. I'm not a mixer. To tell you the truth, I'm friendless. I gave a Christmas party last year and 100 people came - Lee Marvin, Terence Young, people like that. But I don't like shop talk. The idea of being invited to play tennis on somebody's swanky Bel Air tennis court is like being asked to eat garbage."

Not a trace of menace in the gentle smile.

So he roams the world, making movies in foreign countries where he can scarcely order a Band-Aid, never seeing any of them. "I walked out in the middle of Dirty Dozen. Chato's Land I'm only on the screen about 13 minutes, so I saw that because I didn't have to suffer through myself. I'm not in it for the glory.

Critics? They don't know if the hero is the cutter or the director or any goddam thing about film. Whole populations are conditioned to believe what they read in print, but they don't know the psychology of the men writing it. I'm not in it for reviews, either. This is just the way I make my living. My father didn't even speak the English language. I was just an illiterate bum. Where in hell am I going from here ? I'm lucky, man, just to be alive."

He straightens his George Raft thug suit, straps on his gun and heads for the set to kill somebody for the third time that day. You want to see tough? He does tough. But on the street, he says "I just rented a castle in Italy. Plenty of room. If you get over to Rome, look us up."

Not a trace of menace in the gentle smile.
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By REX REED - aus Off Duty Europe October 1972
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