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Death Wish (1974)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  24 July 1974 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 21,753 users  
Reviews: 184 user | 77 critic

A New York City architect becomes a one-man vigilante squad after his wife is murdered by street punks in which he randomly goes out and kills would-be muggers on the mean streets after dark.

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Title: Death Wish (1974)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Steven Keats ...
William Redfield ...
...
Stephen Elliott ...
Kathleen Tolan ...
...
Fred J. Scollay ...
District Attorney (as Fred Scollay)
Chris Gampel ...
...
Edward Grover ...
Lt. Briggs (as Ed Grover)
...
Freak #1
Christopher Logan ...
Freak #2
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Storyline

Open-minded architect Paul Kersey returns to New York City from vacationing with his wife, feeling on top of the world. At the office, his cynical coworker gives him the welcome-back with a warning on the rising crime rate. But Paul, a bleeding-heart liberal, thinks of crime as being caused by poverty. However his coworker's ranting proves to be more than true when Paul's wife is killed and his daughter is raped in his own apartment. The police have no reliable leads and his overly sensitive son-in-law only exacerbates Paul's feeling of hopelessness. He is now facing the reality that the police can't be everywhere at once. Out of sympathy his boss gives him an assignment in sunny Arizona where Paul gets a taste of the Old West ideals. He returns to New York with a compromised view on muggers... Written by Don Hoffman

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Vigilante, city style -- Judge, Jury, and Executioner See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

24 July 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sidewalk Vigilante  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening scene with Kersey photographing his wife in Hawaii was added to the script by Michael Winner himself. After Kersey's wife is murdered and his daughter raped, he gets the photographs back from the developer after he comes back from Tucson and been given a gun by the architect. It's the emotional impact of the photographs that makes him go out and kill his first mugger. See more »

Goofs

When Inspector Ochoa says that the first mugger killed by Kersey was carrying a clip, he was not, as some suggest, referring to a magazine as used in an automatic pistol but to a holster clipped to his belt which held the revolver. See more »

Quotes

Sam Kreutzer: [Sam complains about the crime situation in the city] You know, decent people are going to have to work here and live somewhere else.
Paul Kersey: By "decent people," you mean people who can afford to live somewhere else.
Sam Kreutzer: Oh Christ, you are such a bleeding-heart liberal, Paul.
Paul Kersey: My heart bleeds a little for the underprivileged, yes.
Sam Kreutzer: The underprivileged are beating our goddamned brains out. You know what I say? Stick them in concentration camps, that's what I say.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Actresses Olympia Dukakis ('Cop at the Precinct') and Marcia Jean Kurtz as Marcia Jean-Kurtz ('Woman at Airport') get credited in opening credits only. There's no mention of them in the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Long Shadow of Dirty Harry (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Solid Fare
26 May 2006 | by (Manitoba, Canada) – See all my reviews

Here is a film whose quality and appeal, much like Sylvester Stallone's Rocky, may be overshadowed by a seemingly endless line of inferior sequels. But Death Wish is a real crowd-pleaser filled with emotion, drama, action and suspense. It's the story of Paul Kersey, a family man (and former Conscientus Objector in Korea) whose wife and daughter fall victim to a brutal attack at the hands of unknown thugs. Yet Kersey doesn't get mad, he gets even as a one-man judge, jury and executioner against those who prey on the innocent. Bronson delivers an underrated performance in a movie that constantly asks the viewer, "What would you do?"


24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Paul's Tucson client never noticed a connection. larrydee19150
What about the real culprits? Johnny0581
Thoughts about New York City e_aiberg
Liver and Spaghetti? smoovasbutter
What could they charge Paul Kersey for if caught? digital_groove
Disgusted at myself. WalterKovacks
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