Being Bronson fans, I'm sure we all appreciate the fact that he was such a great action actor and did the majority of his own fight scenes on screen. Of course, there are many times where it is not Charlie doing the action, and sometimes it's quite obvious. As Charlie became a senior citizen action actor for Cannon in the 1980's the use of his stunt double became somewhat of a running gag for reviewers.
So, in this thread let's list instances where a stuntman is called in to take Charlie's place (and where possible, credit the stuntman who did the stunt). I'll begin with the fall off the balcony onto the table in FOUR FOR TEXAS. Obviously not Charlie, and a great stunt by the way. Don't know who did the fall but see that the film is listed among Hal Needham's credits. Odds are good he was the one doing that exceptional stunt.
Another great stunt was the leap made onto Alan Ladd's double and the subsequent slide down the red rocks in DRUM BEAT. That one was Bob Hoy filling in for Charlie. Hoy often took on acting roles as well, and there's a Charlie in-joke in the Clint Eastwood movie THE ENFORCER. Clint punches Hoy around and stuffs his head in a toilet. The on-screen name of Hoy's character was Buchinski.
In "CHATO'S LAND", it's Bronson who jumps from the hill, but another guy who lands on Richard Jordan's horse. Even with his helmet on, the guy on the motorcycle in "THE MECHANIC" is obviously not Bronson. The worst and most recognizable stuntmen are in "ASSASSINATION" : you clearly see their faces !
Post by bronson613 on Jul 27, 2009 19:54:45 GMT -5
The stuntman on the motorcycle in "Assassination" is hilarious. When he jumps off the back of the bike, it is blatently obvious that it isn't Charlie. As kids, my friends and I would slow mo that part over and over and just laugh our heads off!
Props to stuntman Howard Curtis for his work doubling Charlie on top of the train in BREAKHEART PASS. Some great stunt work. Curtis, who also doubled Robert Shaw, died in a skydiving accident a couple of years later.
Below is a link for info on stuntman Kim Kahana. Go to the bio. It's pretty interesting. The article was written in the early 1990's. Kahana doubled Charlie off and on for over 20 years. There's quite a resemblance. The credit section, however, is sparse and doesn't list any of Charlie's films. I think I've spotted him doubling Charlie in MR. MAJESTYK and BREAKOUT. I'm sure there are others.
The tarmac fight in BREAKOUT is where I think it's Kahana. There's a brief shot where you can see it's a double. You can't tell who Paul Mantee's double is, but I always thought it could be Nick Dimitri given the similarities between the two men. If so, that might have led to Dimitri getting the part in HARD TIMES, which I believe was Charlie's next film.
I'd have to go back and check MAJESTYK, but I seem to remember there being a longer shot of Charlie jumping on someone (maybe Al Lettieri) where my mind registered that it wasn't Charlie and probably Kahana.
I've seen the name Kenneth Robert Manley surface as a former Bronson double in a few places on the internet. "Jocco" Manley was apparently a stuntman active during the 1960's and worked on about 10 or so projects with Bronson without credit. Can't even find his name listed on the IMDB, though stuntmen didn't begin to receive screen credit until at least the mid to late 1970's. He was friendly with Charlie and Jill and remained with them as a production liason through many years.