01 March 2009
Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland
Google Image search for Charles Bronson and you will probably not find these pictures. You have to search his wife Jill Ireland's name and you'll come up with all kinds of interesting pictures of the couple together. That may or may not say a lot about our cultural assignment of gender roles, I tend to lean towards "Says a lot". It should go without saying that I knew neither of these people but I like Bronson movies a lot (understatement) and I find Charles and Jill's relationship interesting because in my mind they seem kindof like opposites, he the quiet reserved type, and her the prissy high maintenance type. I have no idea, I'm just guessing here. I also find it interesting because they worked together on numerous movies during their marriage (which ended with her death in 1990), more than one of which involved scenes of Bronson raping her, or nearly so. On the Blue Underground DVD of Violent City (in which Bronson both almost-rapes and kills her) director Sergio Sollima talks about the oddness of their relationship (I was not paying much attention so I forget what it was but it was similar to my thoughts)
According to IMDB, her first husband David McCallum introduced her to Charles on the set of The Great Escape which starred both men.
Of their working relationship Jill is quoted (on IMDB) as saying:
"I'm in so many Charles Bronson films because no other actress will work with him".
My personal favorite quote of his (also from IMDB):
"I guess I look like a rock quarry that someone has dynamited."
If even half of it is true there's one hell of a bio on Bronson at IMDB which I recommend checking out.