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
Wendell Mayes preserved the basic structure of the novel and much of the philosophical dialogue. It was his idea to turn police detective Frank Ochoa into a major character of the film. His early drafts for the screenplay had different endings than the final one. In one, he followed an idea from Brian Garfield. The vigilante confronts the three thugs who attacked his family and ends up dead at their hands. Ochoa discovers the dead man's weapon and considers following in his footsteps. In another, the vigilante is wounded and rushed to a hospital. His fate is left ambiguous. Meanwhile, Ochoa has found the weapon and struggles with the decision to use it. His decision left unclear. See more »
The gun case given Paul Kersey by Aimes Jainchill has a plaque on top that reads "To Paul, from Ames". The characters names is actually spelled "Aimes" in the credits. See more »
[Sam complains about the crime situation in the city]
You know, decent people are going to have to work here and live somewhere else.
By "decent people," you mean people who can afford to live somewhere else.
Oh Christ, you are such a bleeding-heart liberal, Paul.
My heart bleeds a little for the underprivileged, yes.
The underprivileged are beating our goddamned brains out. You know what I say? Stick them in concentration camps, that's what I say.
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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 »
Charley Bronson portrays Paul Kersay, a mild mannered soul who's life is turned upside down when some punks ruin his happy life. After some deep soul searching, Charley comes to the conclusion that all those punks out there walking the streets need a lesson. So, after donning a beannie cap and a heavy jacket, Charley decides to give them all a taste of their own medicine. The night time is the wrong time for muggers when Charley's around. This is the first film in what would later turn out to be a franchise of action/revenge flicks and it made Charley Bronson a household name and a part of Americana.
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