- Directors: Nicolas Winding Refn
- Writers: Brock Norman Brock
- Genres: Action, Biography, Drama, Thriller
- Actors: Tom Hardy
The film follows the life of notorious prisoner Michael Gordon Peterson (played here by Tom Hardy), who was re-named Charles Bronson by his fight promoter. Born into a respectable middle class family, Peterson would nevertheless become one of the country’s most dangerous criminals, and is known for having spent almost his entire life in solitary confinement.
It begins with Bronson introducing himself to the camera, stating he always wanted to be famous. He can’t sing, he can’t act, and so he shows the calling he found; the film cuts to a naked bronson fighting several prison guards in a cage. We then see several assorted points from his life, including:
– Michael Peterson/Bronson as a baby, then as a young boy involved in fights with students and a teacher at school using a desk as a weapon.
– Marrying a young woman he met working in a chip shop, having a baby with her, then robbing a bank and being sentenced to 7 years.
– Being sent to a psychiatric hospital before strangling a paedophile, in an attempt to be sent back to prison.
– Making tea for a prison guard and fellow patient before flexing his guns.
– Causing something of a riot at Broadmoor asylum for the criminally insane and holing up on the roof, thus being branded “her majesty’s most expensive prisoner.” These events are shown using news footage of the actual incident.
These scenes are intercut with Bronson on stage before an audience in several stages of performance make-up, and speaking directly to camera while seemingly behind bars, as at the very start.