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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Produced by Rupert Preston
Danny Hansford
Written by Brock Norman Brock
Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring Tom Hardy
Cinematography Larry Smith
Editing by Matthew Newman
Distributed by Vertigo Films
Release date(s) Sundance Film Festival:
19 January 2009
United Kingdom:
13 March 2009
United States:
9 October 2009
Running time 92 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £150,000[citation needed]
Gross revenue $2,119,130 [1]

Bronson is a 2009 British biographical crime film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Tom Hardy. The film follows the life of notorious prisoner Michael Gordon Peterson, who was re-named Charles Bronson by his fight promoter. Born into a respectable middle class family, Peterson would nevertheless become one of the United Kingdom's most dangerous criminals, and is known for having spent almost his entire life in solitary confinement. Bronson is narrated with humour, blurring the line between comedy and horror. It explores the idea of a man's violence as his alter-ego.[citation needed]



The film begins with Bronson introducing himself to the camera, stating he always wanted to be famous. He can't sing, he can't act, and so he shows the calling he found: the film cuts to a naked Bronson fighting several prison guards in a cage. We then see several assorted points from his life, intercut with Bronson on stage before an audience in several stages of performance make-up, and speaking directly to camera while seemingly behind bars.

Michael Peterson is shown as a baby, and then as a young boy involved in fights with students and a teacher at school using a desk as a weapon. He marries a young woman he meets working in a chip shop. They have a baby, but soon after Peterson robs a post office and is sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Peterson thrives in prison, comparing it to a hotel room, and every night he displays violent behavior towards the guards, which causes the other inmates to treat him like a star. The authorities send him to a series of different prisons in hope that one of them will be able to handle him, but nothing seems to help. Eventually he is sent to a psychiatric hospital, where he is injected with high doses of sedative drugs every time he tries to start a fight. In an attempt to be sent back to prison he finally tries to strangle a man who had admitted to being a paedophile. Because of this he is sent to Broadmoor asylum for the criminally insane, where he starts a large-scale riot. News footage from the actual event shows Peterson holing up on the roof, thus being branded "Her Majesty's most expensive prisoner."

While on parole and living with his uncle in Luton, he becomes involved in bareknuckle boxing and changes his name to Charles "Charlie" Bronson, after the famous actor. This career ends quickly after he falls in love with a woman, steals an engagement ring, proposes to her and is arrested because of the theft.

Back in normal prison he is once again involved in several fights with guards, thus extending his sentence. The character of his violent outbursts starts to become more sophisticated. At one event he holds the prison librarian hostage before stripping naked and greasing himself up to fight riot officers. He becomes interested in art, which the prison officials think is a good way to develop his interacting skills with other human beings. Eventually this project gets out of hand when Bronson holds his art teacher hostage, ties him to a pole, puts an apple in his mouth and paints the man's face.

The film closes by telling us that Charles Bronson has not been granted a release date, and he is seen badly beaten, his chin torn, groaning, in what is effectively a cage coffin in the centre of a large, dark room.



For his role in the movie, Hardy met the real life Charles Bronson in prison. The movie was filmed in and around the St. Ann's, Sherwood, Worksop and Welbeck Park areas of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.[2].


As of December 2009, Bronson has received an aggregate rating of 78% on, with an average rating of 6.6/10.[3] The film is set for major worldwide release on October 9, 2009. It has grossed $2,119,130 from foreign markets.[1]


External links

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