MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 914 this week

Death Wish (1974)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  24 July 1974 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 23,202 users  
Reviews: 191 user | 82 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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

WATCH NOW

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 28 Dec 2010
 
a list of 36 titles
created 23 Apr 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 03 Nov 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 08 Feb 2014
 
a list of 42 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Death Wish" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Death Wish (1974)

Death Wish (1974) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Death Wish.

User Polls

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Architect/vigilante Paul Kersey takes on the members of a vicious Los Angeles drug cartel to stop the flow of drugs after his girlfriend's daughter dies from an overdose.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Charles Bronson, Kay Lenz, John P. Ryan
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Paul Kersey is back at working vigilante justice when when his fiancée, Olivia, has her business threatened by mobsters.

Director: Allan A. Goldstein
Stars: Charles Bronson, Lesley-Anne Down, Michael Parks
The Mechanic (1972)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An aging hitman befriends a young man who wants to be a professional killer. Eventually it becomes clear that someone has betrayed them.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn
Death Wish II (1982)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Architect Paul Kersey once again becomes a vigilante when he tries to find the five street punks who murdered his daughter and housekeeper, this time on the dark streets of Los Angeles.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Vincent Gardenia
Murphy's Law (1986)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An action-packed thriller starring Charles Bronson as Jack Murphy, a cop who is running to stay alive long enough to even the score with his wife's killer.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Charles Bronson, Kathleen Wilhoite, Carrie Snodgress
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Top detective Lou Torrey is transferred to Los Angeles and uncovers a plot by a Sicilian mafioso to use Vietnam veterans to murder all his enemies in a rerun of the "Sicilian Vespers" when ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin
Death Hunt (1981)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Canada 1931: The unsociable trapper Johnson lives for himself in the ice-cold mountains near the Yukon river. During a visit in the town he witnesses a dog-fight. He interrupts the game and... See full summary »

Director: Peter R. Hunt
Stars: Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Andrew Stevens
Death Wish 3 (1985)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Architect/vigilante Paul Kersey arrives back in New York City and is forcibly recruited by a crooked police detective to fight street crime caused by a large gang terrorizing the neighborhoods.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A LAPD detective is on the trail of a very handsome young man who had been seducing and slashing many young women to death.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens
Hard Times (1975)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the depression, Chaney, a strong silent streetfighter, joins with Speed, a promoter of no-holds-barred street boxing bouts. They go to New Orleans where Speed borrows money to set up ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Jill Ireland
Mr. Majestyk (1974)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A melon farmer battles organized crime and a hit man who wants to kill him.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charles Bronson, Linda Cristal, Al Lettieri
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A professional killer comes out ot retirement to investigate and avenge the brutal murder of an old friend.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Charles Bronson, Theresa Saldana, Joseph Maher
Edit

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Goldblum:  As Freak #1. Goldblum would play a similar role, as Hood #3, in Charles Bronson's later film St. Ives (1976). See more »

Goofs

When Paul and son-in-law looks out the in-house window at the hospital we see them through the glass. In the reflection there's a barely visible large black square. When the camera dollies left the square follows, indicating that the square is there to disguise an all too recognizable camera silhouette. See more »

Quotes

Freak #1: Goddamn rich cunt!
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Run and Hide No More
13 February 2007 | by (Los Angeles, United States) – See all my reviews

"What do you call people who when they're faced with a condition of fear do nothing about it they just run and hide?" Paul Kersey.

This is one of my favorite films made from one of my favorite books. I lived in New York during the 1970's and can attest that crime was out of control then, the subways, parks and many streets were no man's land at night where you only went if you really had to or else you wanted to score dope, get a cheap hooker (or be one), or just for the thrill and danger. Police corruption had been so rampantly widespread for so long that there was no law and order and the thugs had taken over the night. If you question this just see Serprico and read that book which details how one honest cop almost died and was nearly buried by the massive tide of corrupt cops he was trying to expose, which was practically all the other cops. The majority of the people lived in fear of being in the streets at night and even many places during the day. Even if you packed heat that was no guarantee of anything, it wasn't uncommon to come across a gang of muggers all carrying guns, knives, baseball bats, etc. Most people in New York then were as Paul Kersey described only worse, not only did they run and hide from fear and danger but they ignored the suffering of others. New Yorkers had developed a reputation as cold and indifferent, which was fairly accurate. I remember a concert in Central Park where a girl was gang banged by a group of guys and hundreds of people just watched it, too afraid, too apathetic, or too vicariously sadistic to get involved. Someone even stole her clothes and she staggered around naked and bleeding in the rain. Things were not good and just about everybody in New York felt angry, alienated and helpless. People were sick of it all, the terrible Vietnam war, corrupt Richard Nixon, corrupt cops, corrupt everything, but they mostly were sick of being afraid and tired of living in fear.

Then the movie "Death Wish" came out. The theater was packed when I went, which surprised me, as I had already read the book and knew what it was about but how did these other people know, besides it was a matinée. I discovered why everyone was there when Paul Kersey shot his first mugger: the whole place exploded in screaming cheers and the cheers got more powerful and louder with each subsequent vigilante act. I had been to Yankees games and concerts where you hear screaming and cheers but nothing had the power of the cheers on that day. There was something wonderfully cathartic taking place, everyone in that audience who had ever been mugged or had been afraid of being mugged, which was virtually everyone, was delighting in having the tables turned. We felt safe, and were happy to see a somewhat soft spoken, average kind of a guy being played by Charles Bronson kick a*s for us, take out the bad guys. This was a new, radical concept back then, an open revenge film where an ordinary appearing guy beats the muggers at their own game. It was a great experience and we all felt like we too could be as tough as Charles Bronson, at least during that safe little reprieve within the theater.

Say what you will about the film, its technical shortcomings, you'd be hard pressed or less than honest to say that Charles Bronson didn't display his international appeal in this movie, the one that made him the world's biggest box office draw. He appears in this movie just like he was in real life, a quiet, unassuming kind of guy who really was tough, not the usual Hollywood tough guy who is so unconvincing because he can't fully hide his physical and character based qualities that are everything but a real, quiet, cool tough guy. Bronson was the real deal, just read about his earlier life if you want to know.

This film got a lot of negative reaction as being a crass and brutal revenge film, and other typical cavalier comments. The New Yorkers who lived it, all the ones I knew and the ones in the theater that day, loved it for what it was, a piece of cinematic magic to make us feel like we weren't afraid and would perhaps very soon never have to feel afraid again. If you've never been mugged or been afraid of being mugged it's very easy to tell others how they're suppose to react, what they're suppose to like, think, do, etc. But until you've lived in a real urban jungle, you'll never know the great release that a movie like "Death Wish" can bring you. It's strictly vicarious entertainment but what marvelous entertainment it is!


18 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What about the real culprits? Johnny0581
Paul's Tucson client never noticed a connection. larrydee19150
Thoughts about New York City e_aiberg
What could they charge Paul Kersey for if caught? digital_groove
Disgusted at myself. WalterKovacks
Liver and Spaghetti? smoovasbutter
Discuss Death Wish (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?