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 ...
...
...
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially, Charles Bronson wasn't sold on starring in the film. "The way the part was written, it was about a meek little New York-born accountant," Bronson said. "I thought it was a much better picture for Dustin Hoffman." Eventually, it was Michael Winner who convinced Bronson to take the role anyway. "He said we could change the part to a more active and virile architect, and we'd all make a potful of money." See more »

Goofs

In the grocery store where we first see the criminals, Paul Kersey's wife and daughter are having their groceries rang up. Just behind the cashier is a male cashier dressed in a white coat and sideburns, ringing up groceries in the next isle. However, when we immediately cut to the wife and daughter leaving the store, the male cashier is gone with a different cashier in his place. See more »

Quotes

Ames Jainchill: You're probably one of them knee-jerk liberals that thinks us gun boys would shoot our guns because it's an extension of our penises.
Paul Kersey: Never thought about it that way. It could be true.
Ames Jainchill: Well, maybe it is. But this is gun country.
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 Divergent (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Party People
Written and Performed by Herbie Hancock
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

unquestionably Charles Bronson's finest screen hour.
26 March 2001 | by See all my reviews

An animated performance by the normally stoic Charles Bronson lifts what would have been a standard revenge yard to new heights. Bronson plays Paul Kersey, a typical liberal New Yorker who struggles with his bleeding heart ideals after his family become the victims of a violent crime.

Frustrated by the police's inability to solve the crime, Kersey considers taking matters into his own hands. After much soul searching he begins taking to the streets and hunting criminals.

Soon punks start turning up dead. The press glorifies the killings. The public considers the vigilante a hero. The police search in vain for the killer. And Kersey slowly begins to enjoy his new mantle of dispenser of justice.

It all ends somewhat predictably albeit satisfactorily.

Kersey's transformation from arch-liberal to gun-toting Vigilante is classic. This is unquestionably Bronson's finest on screen hour.


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