Charles Bronson is one of my favorite actors. He generally played himself, a 4-star badass, except that he toned down his badassery on film because audiences would have fled theatres in terror if he had unleashed his full awesomeness.
His most memorable roles occurred only after he grew older, as movie directors refused to cast the younger Bronson because cameras burst into flames whenever they tried to capture his image. A handful of these later films are my favorites:
The Mechanic (1972) A professional hitman mentors a younger aspirant. The opening hit in this movie is brilliant, and the plot turns on its head in the final few seconds of the film. Magnificently directed. Here's the first scene:
Death Wish (1974) Architect Paul Kersey's peaceful ideals are destroyed by the wanton rape and murder of his wife and daughter. In this controversial film, Charles Bronson stalks the streets of New York City, baits thugs into attacking him, and then guns them down. Here's the trailer:
Chato's Land (1972) The wife of half-breed Apache Chato is raped by local white settlers in the American Southwest. Then they come after him, forming a posse to hunt him down. One by one, they fall. Bronson rarely speaks in this film; he lets his killing do his talking for him. I have no embeddable video available, but here's the trailer.
What is your favorite Charles Bronson movie?