Saddles and spurs and hard times with a Charles Bronson historian

Paul Talbot unwraps 12-year-old Kurt Russell’s birthday gift, sex kitten Susan Oliver, ‘The Evil That Men Do,’ an uncooperative James Coburn shooting one of the greatest boxing movies, unfulfilled scripts, and Bronson’s haunting descent into Alzheimer’s

A marvelous oil painting renders Charles Bronson as the revenge-fueled gunslinger “Harmonica” hell-bent on facing the sadistic Henry Fonda in “Once Upon a Time in the West,” director Sergio Leone’s definitive spaghetti western. Painting by Igor Kazarin / Webneel Graphics Inspiration
Kurt Russell [mischievous “Jaimie McPheeters,” the son of a Scottish doctor who shirks responsibility for gambling and the bottle] coaxes a smile out of the normally taciturn Charles Bronson in a promotional still for “The Day of the Killer,” Bronson’s debut episode of the short-lived ABC western “The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters” circa October 1963. Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / ABCDVDVIDEO

The Paul Talbot Interview, Part Two

Charles Bronson and Susan Oliver go for an intimate kiss in the 1964 western “Guns of Diablo,” stitched together from “The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters” ABC TV series.
Charles Bronson [“Linc Murdock,” leader of the Beaver Company wagon train] and a brunette wig-sporting Susan Oliver [“Maria Macklin,” a former flame long presumed dead] passionately embrace in an Adam and Eve-inspired Garden of Eden flashback sequence in Boris Sagal’s “Guns of Diablo,” an expanded theatrical version of the final episode of “The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters” dropped to international markets on October 4, 1964. Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / eBay
Watch “The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters” topliner Kurt Russell divulge the heretofore unknown sensitive side of bona fide tough guy Charles Bronson during a November 13, 2018, interview with ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel. Video Credit: ABC Signature / Kimmelot
Promoter James Coburn drapes a coat over reluctant prize fighter Charles Bronson in director Walter Hill’s gritty “Hard Times,” shot in New Orleans and distributed to glowing reviews on October 8, 1975
Promoter James Coburn drapes a coat over reluctant prize fighter Charles Bronson in director Walter Hill’s gritty “Hard Times,” shot in New Orleans and distributed to glowing reviews on October 8, 1975
Promoter James Coburn drapes a coat over reluctant prize fighter Charles Bronson in director Walter Hill’s gritty “Hard Times,” shot in New Orleans and distributed to glowing reviews on October 8, 1975. Image Credit: Columbia Pictures / eBay user Fotoloncho / Collectors Universe
Charles Bronson [“Holland,” a former CIA assassin] and Theresa Saldana [“Rhiana Hidalgo,” the wife of an executed dissident journalist] are on the run from Joseph Maher [“The Doctor,” a third world torturer-for-hire] in director J. Lee Thompson’s “The Evil That Men Do,” released on September 21, 1984.
Charles Bronson [“Holland,” a former CIA assassin] and Theresa Saldana [“Rhiana Hidalgo,” the wife of an executed dissident journalist] are on the run from Joseph Maher [“The Doctor,” a third world torturer-for-hire] in director J. Lee Thompson’s “The Evil That Men Do,” released on September 21, 1984.
Charles Bronson [“Holland,” a former CIA assassin] and Theresa Saldana [“Rhiana Hidalgo,” the wife of an executed dissident journalist] are on the run from Joseph Maher [“The Doctor,” a third world torturer-for-hire] in director J. Lee Thompson’s “The Evil That Men Do,” released on September 21, 1984. Photography by Alfredo Ruvalcaba / Sony Pictures Entertainment / Allstar / Cinetext / COLU
Good grief, how is this guy not a star already? In the same year he appeared as the “Tunnel King” in John Sturges’ World War II epic “The Great Escape,” a steely-eyed Charles Bronson finds refuge in Richard Egan’s forgotten contemporary western “Empire” as laconic ranch hand Paul Moreno, circa October 1962.
Good grief, how is this guy not a star already? In the same year he appeared as the “Tunnel King” in John Sturges’ World War II epic “The Great Escape,” a steely-eyed Charles Bronson finds refuge in Richard Egan’s forgotten contemporary western “Empire” as laconic ranch hand Paul Moreno, circa October 1962.
Good grief, how is this guy not a star already? In the same year he rendered the “Tunnel King” in John Sturges’ World War II epic “The Great Escape,” a steely-eyed Charles Bronson finds refuge in Richard Egan’s forgotten contemporary western “Empire” as laconic ranch hand Paul Moreno. According to author Paul Talbot, “Bronson was in the color pilot of ‘Empire’ [i.e. ‘The Day the Empire Stood Still’ aired on September 25, 1962], directed by Arthur Hiller [e.g. ‘Silver Streak’ and ‘The In-Laws’]. He was asked to be a regular cast member midway into the season, so his involvement in ‘Empire’ was similar to ‘Jaimie McPheeters.’ The ‘Arrow in the Sky’ episode paired Bronson with guest star Telly Savalas. They later teamed up for ‘Battle of the Bulge,’ ‘The Dirty Dozen,’ and ‘Violent City.’ ‘Empire’ was not regularly revived in syndication, but the pilot was eventually released to foreign theaters and to American syndicated TV as ‘This Rugged Land.’ This feature film was popular due to not only Bronson, but the involvement of a pre-stardom Ryan O’Neal” [Hiller’s Oscar-nominated ‘Love Story’ placed O’Neal’s name firmly above the title]. Image Credit: NBCUniversal / Pictorial Parade / Getty Images

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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