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Death Wish (1974)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  24 July 1974 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 21,289 users  
Reviews: 182 user | 75 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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(novel), (screenplay)
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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
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

new york | gun | architect | police | arizona | See more »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

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

Development of this film was turned-down by other Hollywood movie studios due to its contentious, controversial and sensitive subject matter involving vigilantism, pack-rape, and crime. See more »

Goofs

When Frank Ochoa is interviewing the mugging victim after Paul Kersey shoots dead the three thugs in the alley, the victim's hat appears and disappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

Desk sergeant: Turn that thing off.
[points at the guys radio]
guy with radio: [without pausing] I'm listening to the weather report - why haven't you found my dog - he's vital to my income - he paints such marvelous pictures with his paws!
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

Remade as Death Wish See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
How Michael Winner and his Death Wish changed the outlook of the Crime genre
15 February 2009 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

One of the best favorite action movies of all time, Death Wish glitters Charles Bronson's glory famously. Followed by 4 script-free episodes the first episode had inspired millions worldwide. At present(2009) while the remake version is being filmed I have to say that; no matter who will perform Paul Kersey for the second time, he won't be able to impress us as Bronson did.

Rather than Bronson's performance Death Wish has its significant themes and screenplay components which were used at almost every action/crime movie later on, thus became clichés of their genre. Spending a lot of the running time through the bad guys' side is the most fundamental component. This development was so modern and original, after a while it changed the outlook of the Crime genre.

Death Wish is nearly as good as Eastwood's Dirty Harry, with just a different taste. Obviously, this should have been produced only once; since the sequels misrepresented its purpose.


19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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