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Death Wish (1974)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  24 July 1974 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 22,588 users  
Reviews: 188 user | 81 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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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

According to writer Brian Garfield, Sidney Lumet was set to direct the film with Jack Lemmon playing Paul Kersey (presumably to be more in line with the "everyman" character in the book) and Henry Fonda as the police chief. After Lumet chose to direct Serpico (1973) instead, both Lemmon and Fonda dropped out. At one point the movie was also set to be shot in black-and-white. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning when Mrs. Kersey and daughter in-law leave store, they walk past 2 guys carrying a couch across the side walk. In the next shot, the two women are some distance past the movers but the couch is still being carried across the sidewalk. See more »

Quotes

Frank Ochoa: We want you to get out of New York... Permanently.
Paul Kersey: [pause] Inspector... By sundown?
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

References Straw Dogs (1971) 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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What about the real culprits? Johnny0581
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Liver and Spaghetti? smoovasbutter
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