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Today's action movie stars are a far cry from the likes of Charles Bronson. The son of Lithuanian immigrants, young Charles Buchinsky worked in coal mines as a kid and wore one of his sister's hand-me-down dresses to school when there was no money for new clothes. Not handsome by conventional means, Bronson nonetheless projected a rugged, almost animal charisma onscreen, and become one of the top box-office draws of the '70s with a string of classic tough-guy roles. Thomas Stockman celebrates this most American of actors with a special Charles Bronson installment of Super-8 Movie Madness series. These films are cut down to their raw essence, which in Bronson's case means high-octane ass-kicking. The Dirty Dozen and Once Upon A Time in the West are of course included, but the piece de Bronson is definitely Hard Times, Walter Hill's directorial debut, wherein our man plays Chaney, a Depression-era bare-knuckle boxer; this one is a dubbed German version in black and white, but it'll still rattle your back teeth. Stockman will also be displaying some choice items from his Bronson memorabilia collection, which includes some real gems. Get your macho on at 8 p.m. at the Way Out Club (2525 South Jefferson Avenue; 314-664-7638). Admission is $3.
Tue., July 6, 2010