7.0/10
26,867
199 user 88 critic

Death Wish (1974)

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)
Reviews
Popularity
4,463 ( 1,700)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Steven Keats ...
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Stephen Elliott ...
Kathleen Tolan ...
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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

It has been rumored that Denzel Washington played one of the alley thugs at around 47 minutes (albeit uncredited). While the actor in the film may bear a resemblance to Denzel Washington, this has not been confirmed to be true. See more »

Goofs

The bloody rag Ochoa gets out of Kersey's trash can is not the same one Kersey used on his wound. Kersey's back was stained with blood from the stabbing, and that rag got soaked with blood. Yet the rag Ochoa pulls out of the garbage is not stained with blood, there's just a small spot of it. See more »

Quotes

Paul Kersey: [Kersey confronts the mugger who has wounded him in the leg] Hey!
[the mugger faces Kersey and knows Kersey has the drop on him]
Paul Kersey: Fill your hand.
Mugger: [Puzzled, evidently not familiar with the old-West metaphor] Huh?
Paul Kersey: Draw.
[Kersey passes out and the mugger flees]
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 The Cinema Snob: Breakin' (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Rich Country
Written and Performed by Herbie Hancock
Arranged and Conducted by Jerry Peters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Classic Remedy For Instant Satisfaction
22 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I guess by now you could call this movie a "classic." It would meet most definitions. It was so popular that it spawned a number of sequels, but they just got dumb and dumber. This is one of the most famous "revenge" movies ever made and still stands up today.

This was a very, very simple story and it panders to our base instincts which is probably why it was so successful. Most people want justice, and they want it now....which is what this movie preaches. At the time, the movie was shocking. If it came out today, it wouldn't have nearly the impact. However, the early scene of the mother and daughter raped and killed is still horrifying. That will never change.

The story then slows down as we see the transformation of the husband, from conscientious objector to vigilante. When Charles Bronson hits the streets, the film picks up big-time. The movie also ends on a very satisfying note.


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