Magazine article Filmmaker

From Noon till Three and Murphy's Law

Magazine article Filmmaker

From Noon till Three and Murphy's Law

Article excerpt

Two very different but, on their own terms, equally pleasurable Charles Bronson vehicles find their way to Blu-ray this fall courtesy of boutique label Twilight Time. The first, writer-director Frank D. Gilroy's From Noon Till Three (1976), is a playful Western that comes across like an odd blend of Linklater's Before Sunrise and John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: outlaw Graham Dorsey (Bronson, surprisingly effective in a more whimsical register than usual) spends three hours at the home of an attractive widow (Jill Ireland) while his friends rob a bank; they have sex, fall in love, and are separated when Bronson rides off to ostensibly check on his pals. The truth is that he doesn't care one way or another about his colleagues, but one thing leads to another, and the legend that Dorsey was killed in an act of sacrificial heroism replaces the reality that he's actually still alive and imprisoned under another identity. Gilroy takes what begins as a romantic twohander and spins an increasingly unpredictable meditation on the complicated nature of American mythmaking; the movie's witty and bleak take on how willing we are to replace unpleasant truths with convenient and appealing lies feels more relevant than ever in the age of Trump.

Murphy's Law (1986) evokes Trump in a different way: one of Bronson's seemingly infinite Cannon Group programmers in the post-Death Wish II era, it's a blunt power fantasy lacking any sense of nuance or self-awareness. …

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