12 thoughts on “March 19th – Happy Birthday Bruce Willis – Check Out Our 6 Willis Pages

  1. Bob, apart from Bronson’s Paul Kersey those were all tough guy characters who were quite used to killing or beating the crap out of people. Kersey was an ordinary man pushed to extremes in the pursuit of justice for his family, he was a conscientious objector. After he killed his first mugger he ran home and vomited, that makes him special and the only true vigilante in that group. [Bob fumes]

    1. STEVE “A man convinced against his will remains unconvinced still.”

      Charlie was many things but he was NEVER an “ordinary” man in his movies.

      1. The character of Paul Kersey was an ordinary peace loving man / turned vigilante in that first movie. In the sequels Bronson eventually become the man of action we all know. Not sure how Willis is going to play him, maybe he’s a Vietnam vet turned psycho vigilante, that might be interesting, with flashbacks to him being tortured by the Viet Cong or is that too Rambo-esque?. The other characters in your list were all men of violence to begin with and that’s what I wanted to point out.

        Btw loved Lee Marvin in Point Blank and The Killers and in pretty much anything.

        1. STEVE But the official definition of a vigilante is not limited to “ordinary” men and
          If in any comparisons involving definitions you limit competition to only those who comply with that small part of the definition that suits you it is usually possible to get the result that you want. Once you start doing that though I’m positive that WH could twist things so that for example Willis or even Myrna [ and why not!] comes out on top.

          1. But… but… Bob… it’s more cathartic seeing some ordinary Joe turned avenging angel on screen than someone who already did that for a living (or just for the hell of it). Granted Charlie Bronson isn’t anyone’s idea of an ordinary Joe… 🙂

            Btw Gregory Peck, Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood were considered for the role of Paul Kersey and they all turned it down, lucky for Bronson the success of Death Wish turned him into a global superstar at 53 (director Michael Winner states in his autobiography that he suspects Charlie was quite a bit older than the records show)

          2. Hey Bob…..let’s not bring the greatest box office actress of all-time into this conversation….but funny you brought her up……I have read the producers of Death Wish originally wanted to change the Paul character into Paula and cast Myrna Loy. When Loy passed they went back to Paul being a male…and Bronson became the worldwide superstar Steve mentions. Still if Loy had done Death Wish….they might have been like the Fast and the Furious movies….they just keep getting bigger and bigger..thus the power of Loy….lol.

  2. Yippie ki-yay! Happy Birthday Bruce! (Willis that is) 🙂

    Willis needs a comeback movie. Travolta has already had several. Maybe Death Wish will be the hit he needs. But it’ll never beat the Charles Bronson version, he was the screen’s greatest vigilante.

    1. STEVE

      No !

      ” VIGILANTE a civilian acting with legal status in a law enforcement capacity or in pursuit of self justice” [Wikipedia]

      Within that definition the pecking order of the screen’s greatest vigilantes is in my opinion-

      (1) Lee Marvin as Walker in Point Blank whom Variety called “An avenging Force of Nature.”

      (2) Laddie in This Gun for Hire. An hour long documentary on “The most chilling moments in screen history” ended predictably with Psycho but began with Philip Raven creeping up a darkened stairway, gun drawn and ready to pounce on his prey.

      (3) Robert E Lee Clayton in The Missouri Breaks. In that one Clayton was called a Regulator which back in colonial times was I think the original term for vigilante.

      (4) Dalton in Road House – some of the most violent screen scenes of a man’s pursuit of his enemies for personal justice.

      (5) Ladd again in Shane.

      (6) Charlie in Death Wish. Where we do agree is that I too loved those Paul Kersey movies [5 in all I think] but many critics lambasted them for perceived political undertones which the critics claimed gave the impression that all those who deserved wiping out by Kersey came from one particular background. PS I loved Charlie in The Mechanic too.

      1. Hey Bob….excellent list of some great vigilante movies. Marvin and Mel Gibson played the same character…and I love both performances. But I have a question….was Marvin alive or dead in Point Blank….there is a theory out there that was a ghost the entire movie….Bruce Willising it.

        My personal Top 3….of little known movies.
        Rutger Hauer in Hobo With A Shotgun
        Tom Skeritt in Fighting Back
        and….drumroll….Sir Michael Caine in Harry Brown.

        Good feedback as always.


          1 I too have picked up the suggestion that Walker in Point Blank was a ghost and indeed people have suggested that Redford’s character in The Natural was one just as it has often been opined that Shane may have been the just figment of a small boys’s imagination. Certainly since Steve wouldn’t let me bestow the vigilante tag on supposedly real-life Walker/Shane in the films concerned I have no chance of convincing him to accept a ghost and an imaginary hero as bona fide vigilantes !

          2 However John and Phil seem to possess a wealth of knowledge about obscure but very important background information about movies so maybe they can comment on the quandaries we’ve raised.

    2. Hey Steve….I agree 100% Bruce needs a hit…..hell…I would be happy with a supporting role in a big budget movie….maybe Death Wish will do the trick. Extraction, Rock The Kabash, Precious Cargo, Marauders, Vice and The Prince did nothing…..but…put them altogether….and you might have something. “The Prince’s Precious Vice Cargo Rocked The Kabash until the Maruaders Extracted it from him”….now that is a movie I want to see…lol.

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