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A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.


(screenplay), (screenplay)
1,113 ( 154)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gordon Brown ...
Amanda Burton ...
Mark Devenport ...
Nurse 1 (as Mark Davenport)
Paul Donnelly ...
Andrew Forbes ...
Holly Lucas ...
Young Man
Prison Governor


In 1974, a hot-headed 19 year old named Michael Peterson decided he wanted to make a name for himself and so, with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a head full of dreams he attempted to rob a post office. Swiftly apprehended and originally sentenced to 7 years in jail, Peterson has subsequently been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement. During that time, Michael Petersen, the boy, faded away and 'Charles Bronson,' his superstar alter ego, took center stage. Inside the mind of Bronson - a scathing indictment of celebrity culture. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


34 Years in prison. 30 in solitary confinement. Loving every minute. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent and disturbing content, graphic nudity, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 March 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Бронсон  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£258,360 (UK) (13 March 2009)


$104,792 (USA) (25 December 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nicolas Winding Refn was not allowed to meet Charles Bronson in person since he is not from Britain, but was allowed to have two phone calls with him. Tom Hardy met with Bronson several times and the two became good friends. Bronson was impressed with how Hardy managed to get just as muscular as he was and how well he could mimic his own personality and voice. Bronson has stated he believes Hardy was the only person who could play him. See more »


When Michael goes round in circles in his prison cell, faint shadows of camera equipment are visible on his left arm. See more »


Charles Bronson: [Real Life Charles Bronson Quote] How would you feel, waking up in the morning without a window? My window is a steel grid, I 'ave to put my lips against that steel grid and suck in air, that's my morning... 'cause I got no air in my cell. I have to eat, sleep and crap in that room twenty-three hours of a twenty-four hour day. You tell me, what human being deserves that? Apart from the stinking paedophile or a child killer. I don't deserve that, I done nothing on this planet to deserve that. My ...
See more »


Referenced in Hit and Run (2012) See more »


The Dambusters March
Written by Eric Coates
Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Published by Warner/Chappell Music Limited
Courtesy of Silva Screen Records Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

What was the point?
1 June 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure exactly what this film wants us to learn about Michael Peterson or Charles Bronson. All I learned about him was that he is an extremely violent self absorbed sociopath who lives in a tragic deluded fantasy world. Nothing else was offered, no hidden depths revealed. In the end he was just a violent sadistic idiot.

The heavy handed stylisation of the film was overly self conscious and blatantly copied from Clockwork Orange amongst other films. There was a clumsy attempt to turn scenes of violence into artistic aesthetic moments by using Stanley Kubric's method of showing them in slow motion with classical music playing in the background. The shear amount of extremely violent scenes grow painfully tedious. The way the film dealt with the hostage taking of Phil Danielson was offensive and totally disrespectful to Danielson himself who's life was ruined by the experience. Danielson was shown as a foppish idiot who deserved everything he got from Bronson. In reality Danielson was held captive for over 40 hours and was made to walk around the prison like a dog and was told by Brosnson that he was going to die. Bronson apologised in court to Danielson and his family which Bronson's supporters see as proof of the fundamental decency of the man.

I don't buy into the Bronson supporter's propaganda. Bronson is artistic they tell us. Yeah and so? I actually checked out his so called art online and it's talentless childish rubbish. Even if it wasn't I don't see why that means he should be released. Perhaps his supporters should try being held hostage by him for 40 hours. Bronson is warm hearted and funny they tell us. Yeah, Bronson and every other psychopath. Warmhearted until they take a dislike to you and use that as a justification for stamping on your head.

I don't see why this man should have had a film made about him, especially one that didn't seem to have any point to it. Having seen the film I hope he stays where he is, locked up safe and sound.

59 of 99 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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