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THE MECHANIC (1972)-- anyone seen it?


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#1 TopBilled

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:51 AM

Speaking of Carlino, I see THE FOX is airing on TCM in September. I still wish they'd show THE BROTHERHOOD (along with THE MECHANIC of course).


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#2 jaragon

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 09:26 PM

Agreed. I'd like to find a copy of it and read what he originally intended. In one interview he said that Jan-Michael Vincent's character was supposed to change from using sex to manipulate Bronson's character to falling in love with him. Not sure if that meant a different ending. The way the film ends now, there is a huge betrayal on both their parts. But maybe Carlino was going to have it be more ambiguous, suggesting they might have gone off together.

It's perfect casting to have pretty boy Vincent using "sex" to manipulate tough guy Bronson- just watching the target practice scene made me wish they would have taking it further- they do make a sexy couple


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#3 TopBilled

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 09:06 PM

I love to read Carlino's original script

 

Agreed. I'd like to find a copy of it and read what he originally intended. In one interview he said that Jan-Michael Vincent's character was supposed to change from using sex to manipulate Bronson's character to falling in love with him. Not sure if that meant a different ending. The way the film ends now, there is a huge betrayal on both their parts. But maybe Carlino was going to have it be more ambiguous, suggesting they might have gone off together.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#4 jaragon

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 08:54 PM

I love to read Carlino's original script


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#5 jaragon

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 05:24 PM

Maybe his views had changed during the ten years between those films. Scott was moody and quite temperamental at times. And he might have been taking roles earlier when he was still eager to make his mark. After he had "arrived," he could do what he wanted.

 

He would have been miscast in THE MECHANIC. I think James Coburn's name was attached to the project at one point. But Bronson was clearly the best one for the role.

 

They could remake it now with Tom Cruise and Zac Efron


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#6 jaragon

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 05:22 PM

And I'm pretty sure "Skyfall" hinted at Bond having past relationships with men in that scene with the villain Silva. It's a start.

There is a hint of gay attraction between Bond and his sexy nerd Q ( Ben Whishaw)


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#7 TopBilled

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 12:58 PM

Jarrod, such an interesting comment, because the nature of George C. Scott's relationship with Paul Newman in their film together seemed to be homosexual in nature, that is, on Mr. Scott's part.

 

In fact, during that film, I waited for a gay overture from Mr. Scott - but perhaps "destroying" Piper Laurie's character was "the gay overture" - Mr. Scott would have Mr. Newman to himself.

 

thehustler_c_scott_newman1.jpg?w=640

 

Maybe his views had changed during the ten years between those films. Scott was moody and quite temperamental at times. And he might have been taking roles earlier when he was still eager to make his mark. After he had "arrived," he could do what he wanted.

 

He would have been miscast in THE MECHANIC. I think James Coburn's name was attached to the project at one point. But Bronson was clearly the best one for the role.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#8 rayban

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 10:43 AM

Yes, I think Bronson was/is a fascinating actor. Quite a few people turned down the lead in THE MECHANIC. One of them was George C. Scott who would not do it unless all references to the homosexual nature of the characters were eliminated. 

Jarrod, such an interesting comment, because the nature of George C. Scott's relationship with Paul Newman in their film together seemed to be homosexual in nature, that is, on Mr. Scott's part.

 

In fact, during that film, I waited for a gay overture from Mr. Scott - but perhaps "destroying" Piper Laurie's character was "the gay overture" - Mr. Scott would have Mr. Newman to himself.

 

thehustler_c_scott_newman1.jpg?w=640


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#9 TopBilled

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 09:23 AM

I saw Bronson on an old Dick Cavett show and he was more complex than his action movie persona- and who would not want to bond with Vincent in the 70s

 

Yes, I think Bronson was/is a fascinating actor. Quite a few people turned down the lead in THE MECHANIC. One of them was George C. Scott who would not do it unless all references to the homosexual nature of the characters were eliminated. 


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#10 VivLeighFan

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 09:18 PM

This Bond boy idea was exploited in the recent "Kingsman" moviehttps://youtu.be/V-AFot2gCKE


And I'm pretty sure "Skyfall" hinted at Bond having past relationships with men in that scene with the villain Silva. It's a start.

#11 jaragon

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 05:29 PM

It wouldn't surprise me. I haven't seen the remake Larry mentioned, so I am wondering if the second version is a bit more explicit. The screenwriter, who also wrote THE FOX and THE BROTHERHOOD, claims his original script for THE MECHANIC spelled things out more clearly. Obviously, the gay angle was watered down in production, but it's still noticeable in some of the exchanges the characters have. One reviewer in 1972 identified the latent homosexuality of the characters, but they were supposed to be explicitly gay.

 

screen-shot-2017-06-05-at-6-12-21-am.jpg

 

The most striking thing was how casually Bronson played it. Like he definitely was not trying to make the character straight. He accepted the job knowing full well what the story was about, and he plays it honestly. The "seduction" aspects are put on Vincent's character who does some interesting things with his eyes to toy with Bronson, and Bronson doesn't seem to fight it. There's a great scene where they go out on a range to shoot clay pigeons and a lot can be said about the symbolism of them shooting rifles together, where Bronson is teaching Vincent how to improve and "get better" at it. Later when they are facing adversaries on a European mountain, they both put their skills to use-- almost as if they are united as a couple, and will blast anyone who opposes them.

 

screen-shot-2017-06-05-at-6-11-33-am.jpg

I saw Bronson on an old Dick Cavett show and he was more complex than his action movie persona- and who would not want to bond with Vincent in the 70s


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#12 jaragon

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 05:28 PM

And why can't a James Bond have "his own Bond boy"?

 

A "Bond boy" could certainly take care of the hero on a more lasting basis than a Bond girl.

 

These rare type of films do work very well.

 

And, when they reach the point of delirium that they do in Samuel Fuller's "House Of Bamboo", there is really no describing that point of delirium.

This Bond boy idea was exploited in the recent "Kingsman" moviehttps://youtu.be/V-AFot2gCKE


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#13 rayban

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 04:16 PM

The age difference between the two characters works so well-- we see a mentoring process take place and also a May-December (b)romance occurring. They are not shown like a father and son-- Vincent's character has a father (played by Keenan Wynn) who is killed earlier by Bronson. So in addition to all the symbolism and the bonding, there are seeds for betrayal too, when the relationship reaches a point of no return. Mixed into this are a few martial arts scenes where Bronson takes Vincent to watch two men fighting in a gymnasium. It's like there are all these violent rituals surrounding them. Intense physical displays. A huge mating game.

 

Both actors are remarkably comfortable in their scenes together. It's a brutal and sexy film. Some reviewers compared the action sequences to James Bond, and I agree there is a bit of a Bond influence going on. But it's like in this story Bond has a male protege he is sleeping with-- his own Bond boy.

And why can't a James Bond have "his own Bond boy"?

 

A "Bond boy" could certainly take care of the hero on a more lasting basis than a Bond girl.

 

These rare type of films do work very well.

 

And, when they reach the point of delirium that they do in Samuel Fuller's "House Of Bamboo", there is really no describing that point of delirium.


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#14 TopBilled

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:20 AM

Two men - handling rifles together - has a great deal of phallic symbolism.

 

If they are doing together - and under a great deal of pressure - the symbolism is even more intense.

 

The "hardness" of the rifles - and the "spraying" of the bullets - could not be more symbolic.

 

The age difference between the two characters works so well-- we see a mentoring process take place and also a May-December (b)romance occurring. They are not shown like a father and son-- Vincent's character has a father (played by Keenan Wynn) who is killed earlier by Bronson. So in addition to all the symbolism and the bonding, there are seeds for betrayal too, when the relationship reaches a point of no return. Mixed into this are a few martial arts scenes where Bronson takes Vincent to watch two men fighting in a gymnasium. It's like there are all these violent rituals surrounding them. Intense physical displays. A huge mating game.

 

Both actors are remarkably comfortable in their scenes together. It's a brutal and sexy film. Some reviewers compared the action sequences to James Bond, and I agree there is a bit of a Bond influence going on. But it's like in this story Bond has a male protege he is sleeping with-- his own Bond boy.


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#15 rayban

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:14 AM

On another related note, "Gilda", the relationship between Ballin and Johnny - the symbolism of Ballin's cane with its' hidden sword could not be MORE EROTIC SYMBOLISM.


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#16 rayban

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:09 AM

It wouldn't surprise me. I haven't seen the remake Larry mentioned, so I am wondering if the second version is a bit more explicit. The screenwriter, who also wrote THE FOX and THE BROTHERHOOD, claims his original script for THE MECHANIC spelled things out more clearly. Obviously, the gay angle was watered down in production, but it's still noticeable in some of the exchanges the characters have. One reviewer in 1972 identified the latent homosexuality of the characters, but they were supposed to be explicitly gay.

 

screen-shot-2017-06-05-at-6-12-21-am.jpg

 

The most striking thing was how casually Bronson played it. Like he definitely was not trying to make the character straight. He accepted the job knowing full well what the story was about, and he plays it honestly. The "seduction" aspects are put on Vincent's character who does some interesting things with his eyes to toy with Bronson, and Bronson doesn't seem to fight it. There's a great scene where they go out on a range to shoot clay pigeons and a lot can be said about the symbolism of them shooting rifles together, where Bronson is teaching Vincent how to improve and "get better" at it. Later when they are facing adversaries on a European mountain, they both put their skills to use-- almost as if they are united as a couple, and will blast anyone who opposes them.

 

screen-shot-2017-06-05-at-6-11-33-am.jpg

Two men - handling rifles together - has a great deal of phallic symbolism.

 

If they are doing together - and under a great deal of pressure - the symbolism is even more intense.

 

The "hardness" of the rifles - and the "spraying" of the bullets - could not be more symbolic.


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#17 TopBilled

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 08:05 AM

I believe - but I may be wrong - that it has an underground reputation as "a gay classic".

 

It wouldn't surprise me. I haven't seen the remake Larry mentioned, so I am wondering if the second version is a bit more explicit. The screenwriter, who also wrote THE FOX and THE BROTHERHOOD, claims his original script for THE MECHANIC spelled things out more clearly. Obviously, the gay angle was watered down in production, but it's still noticeable in some of the exchanges the characters have. One reviewer in 1972 identified the latent homosexuality of the characters, but they were supposed to be explicitly gay.

 

screen-shot-2017-06-05-at-6-12-21-am.jpg

 

The most striking thing was how casually Bronson played it. Like he definitely was not trying to make the character straight. He accepted the job knowing full well what the story was about, and he plays it honestly. The "seduction" aspects are put on Vincent's character who does some interesting things with his eyes to toy with Bronson, and Bronson doesn't seem to fight it. There's a great scene where they go out on a range to shoot clay pigeons and a lot can be said about the symbolism of them shooting rifles together, where Bronson is teaching Vincent how to improve and "get better" at it. Later when they are facing adversaries on a European mountain, they both put their skills to use-- almost as if they are united as a couple, and will blast anyone who opposes them.

 

screen-shot-2017-06-05-at-6-11-33-am.jpg


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#18 rayban

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 07:43 AM

I watched THE MECHANIC yesterday. It's on Amazon Prime. I had never heard of it before and it was spectacular.

 

screen-shot-2017-06-04-at-8-35-25-pm2.pn

 

When THE MECHANIC was originally released it really underperformed at the box office. Made on a $10 million budget, it only earned back $80,000. Possibly because of the (very strongly) implied homosexuality between the two main characters played by Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent. 

 

Has anyone else seen this film? I don't want to spoil the plot too much, but I'd like to know what others think about it.

 

Not sure if it's ever aired on TCM. It's a United Artists picture, so it should be in TCM's library. 

 

screen-shot-2017-06-04-at-8-36-44-pm.png

I believe - but I may be wrong - that it has an underground reputation as "a gay classic".


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#19 LawrenceA

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 12:28 AM

I've seen it a few times. One of the better Bronson movies of the '70's. And yeah, I noticed the homosexual angle on my last viewing (within the last few years). 

 

It was remade in 2011 with Jason Statham in the lead and Ben Foster as the protege. It was also good. This one has a sequel from 2016 which I have not yet seen.


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#20 TopBilled

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 10:44 PM

I watched THE MECHANIC yesterday. It's on Amazon Prime. I had never heard of it before and it was spectacular.

 

screen-shot-2017-06-04-at-8-35-25-pm2.pn

 

When THE MECHANIC was originally released it really underperformed at the box office. Made on a $10 million budget, it only earned back $80,000. Possibly because of the (very strongly) implied homosexuality between the two main characters played by Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent. 

 

Has anyone else seen this film? I don't want to spoil the plot too much, but I'd like to know what others think about it.

 

Not sure if it's ever aired on TCM. It's a United Artists picture, so it should be in TCM's library. 

 

screen-shot-2017-06-04-at-8-36-44-pm.png


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