|The original Death Wish.|
|Mr. & Mrs. Bronson in From Noon Till Three.|
3. Once Upon a Time in the West. Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Western masterpiece is an ensemble piece about the final days of the Old West (though, with its three-hour length, each of the four main characters get plenty of screen time). Bronson is a standout as the enigmatic Harmonica, whose motive for seeking vengeance against Henry Fonda's nasty villain isn't revealed until the film's grand showdown.
|Remick on the phone in Telefon.|
5. Hard Times. Bronson plays a drifter during the Great Depression, who meets a hustler named Speed (James Coburn) and becomes a successful bare-knucled fighter. It's a quiet Bronson performance, but he and the fast-talking Coburn (along with Strother Martin as their "cut man") make a fine team. TIME critic Jay Cocks called the film "a tidy parable about strength and honor" with Bronson's "best performance to date."
Honorable Mentions: The Great Escape and The Magnificent Seven (two excellent films included here only because Bronson's screen time is limited); Red Sun (an international Western more fun than it has a right to be); and Breakheart Pass (a Western mystery set on a train).