IMDb > Death Wish (1974)
Death Wish
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Death Wish (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   21,870 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Brian Garfield (novel)
Wendell Mayes (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Death Wish on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 July 1974 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Vigilante, city style -- Judge, Jury, and Executioner See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(594 articles)
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User Reviews:
Thought-provoking 70's agit-prop that can be hard to watch See more (185 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Bronson ... Paul Kersey

Hope Lange ... Joanna Kersey

Vincent Gardenia ... Frank Ochoa
Steven Keats ... Jack Toby
William Redfield ... Sam Kreutzer

Stuart Margolin ... Aimes Jainchill
Stephen Elliott ... Police Commissioner
Kathleen Tolan ... Carol Toby

Jack Wallace ... Hank
Fred J. Scollay ... District Attorney (as Fred Scollay)
Chris Gampel ... Ives

Robert Kya-Hill ... Joe Charles
Edward Grover ... Lt. Briggs (as Ed Grover)

Jeff Goldblum ... Freak #1
Christopher Logan ... Freak #2
Gregory Rozakis ... Spraycan
Floyd Levine ... Desk Sergeant

Helen Martin ... Alma Lee Brown
Hank Garrett ... Andrew McCabe

Christopher Guest ... Patrolman Reilly
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ken Ackles ... Mugger in Park #1 (uncredited)
John G. Becher ... Subway Station Mugger #1 (uncredited)
Robyn Blythe ... Woman in Chicago (uncredited)
William Bogert ... Fred Brown (uncredited)
Bruce Brown ... Newsman (uncredited)
Robert Dahdah ... Man on street (uncredited)

Paul Dooley ... Cop at Hospital (uncredited)

Olympia Dukakis ... Cop at the Precinct (uncredited)
Hector Freeman ... Mugger on Street (uncredited)
Larry Gilman ... Man in Park (uncredited)
Beverly Goodman ... Little Bo-Peep (uncredited)
Trent Gough ... Crime Scene Photojournalist (uncredited)

Carson Grant ... Street Gang and Police Officer (uncredited)

John Herzfeld ... Train Mugger #2 (uncredited)

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs ... Mugger in Park #2 (uncredited)

Marcia Jean Kurtz ... Receptionist (uncredited)
Eric Laneuville ... Subway Station Mugger #2 (uncredited)

Damien Leake ... Alley Mugger #2 (uncredited)

Len Lesser ... Cop at the Precinct (uncredited)

Al Lewis ... Guard at Hotel Lobby (uncredited)

Sonia Manzano ... Grocery Clerk (uncredited)

Robert Miano ... Mugger (uncredited)

Jay Rasumny ... Architect in Office (uncredited)
S. Pearl Sharp ... Reporter (uncredited)
Lee Steele ... Office Security Guard (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Winner 
 
Writing credits
Brian Garfield (novel)

Wendell Mayes (screenplay)

Produced by
Hal Landers .... producer
Bobby Roberts .... producer
Michael Winner .... co-producer
Dino De Laurentiis .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Herbie Hancock 
 
Cinematography by
Arthur J. Ornitz (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Bernard Gribble 
 
Casting by
Cis Corman 
 
Production Design by
Robert Gundlach 
 
Set Decoration by
George DeTitta Sr.  (as George DeTitta)
 
Costume Design by
Joseph G. Aulisi 
 
Makeup Department
Phil Rhodes .... makeup artist (as Phillip Rhodes)
Verne Caruso .... hairdresser (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Stanley Neufeld .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Larry Y. Albucher .... assistant director (as Larry Albucher)
Charles Okun .... assistant director
Ralph S. Singleton .... assistant director (as Ralph Singleton)
Howard Himmelstein .... dga trainee (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Connie Brink .... property master (as Conrad Brink)
Sante Fiore .... scenic artist
Richard Adee .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Joe Gerson .... assistant production designer (uncredited)
Robert H. Klatt .... set dresser (uncredited)
Carlos Quiles .... carpenter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Alfred Cox .... dubbing editor
James Sabat .... sound recordist
Jim Shields .... dubbing editor (as James Shields)
Hugh Strain .... re-recordist
Arthur Bloom .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Robert Rogow .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Alan Gibbs .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Lou Barlia .... camera operator (as Louis Barlia)
Charles Kolb .... head grip
Willie Meyerhoff .... gaffer (as Willy Meyerhoff)
Don Biller .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Louis Cappeta .... grip (uncredited)
Joseph Di Pasquale .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Jack Gereghty .... still photographer (uncredited)
Cornelius Hannan .... electrician (uncredited)
John Khorigan .... grip (uncredited)
Owen Marsh .... camera operator (uncredited)
Sal Martorano .... best boy (uncredited)
Richard Meyerhoff .... electrician (uncredited)
Jack Stager .... still photographer (uncredited)
Ken Thompson Sr. .... grip (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Frank Kennedy .... extras casting: locations (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joseph W. Dehn .... wardrobe (as Joseph Dehn)
 
Editorial Department
William Lustig .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
Jim Rivera .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Herbie Hancock .... music performer
Herbie Hancock .... orchestrator
 
Transportation Department
James Lake .... driver (uncredited)
Harold 'Whitey' McEvoy .... transportation captain (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Stephen Cory .... assistant to director (as Steven Cory)
Dino De Laurentiis .... presenter
Barbara Robinson .... script supervisor
Ernest Anderson .... press agent (uncredited)
Sam Goldrich .... location auditor (uncredited)
Michael Kennedy .... production assistant (uncredited)
Adeline Leonard Seakwood .... production office coordinator (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
93 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:R | Brazil:14 | Canada:R | Canada:R (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-18 (uncut) (2003) | Finland:K-18 (cut) (1974) | France:-16 | Germany:18 | Iceland:16 | Italy:T | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:18 | Peru:14 | Singapore:M18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating) | UK:18 (re-rating) (2006) (uncut) | USA:R (Certificate No: 23930) | West Germany:18 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The home of Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) is revealed as being 33 Riverside Drive, New York City. The real actual house was located on West 75th Street on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Numerous scenes were filmed around this location.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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:
Sam Kreutzer:[Sam complains about the crime situation in the city] You know, decent people are going to have to work here and live somewhere else.
Paul Kersey:By "decent people," you mean people who can afford to live somewhere else.
Sam Kreutzer:Oh Christ, you are such a bleeding-heart liberal, Paul.
Paul Kersey:My heart bleeds a little for the underprivileged, yes.
Sam Kreutzer:The underprivileged are beating our goddamned brains out. You know what I say? Stick them in concentration camps, that's what I say.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

From what did Paul's wife die?
Why did Carol let the thugs into the apartment?
Is 'Death Wish' based on a book?
See more »
44 out of 73 people found the following review useful.
Thought-provoking 70's agit-prop that can be hard to watch, 8 July 2002
Author: curtis martin from Bothell, Washington, Land of Rain

I recently watched "Death Wish" for the first time ever on video, having only seen edited-for-TV versions in the past. Before seeing the uncut versions, I thought the film was just an entertainingly intelligent little bit of slicked-up exploitation. Basically another take on the Dirty Harry formula--what if a peace-loving regular guy became a Dirty Harry? Even as a kid I could see that the simplistic political/social theory the film served up would only work in the self-contained, fictional world the filmmakers had created. But, that's art--a lie that tries to show truth. Well, I wouldn't say "DW" shows truth, but it does raise questions people often don't want to face. I also thought that the way Bronson's character made the transition from bleeding heart peacenik to fascist vigilante was very well written and well-played. And I don't think the story is as cut-and-dried as it seems on the surface. Near the end, Bronson's actions even seem to have driven him a bit mad, loosening his grip on reality (evidenced when he confronts the last thug and starts vacantly spouting Western cliches like they're both in "Gunfight at the OK Corral").

But (and as they say, this is a BIG BUT) I can't enjoy the uncut film because the murder of Kersey's wife and the viscous rape of his daughter is simply too repulsive to watch. Murder and rape are indeed repulsive, but for the melodrama to work, do I need to be subjected to such a graphic, in-my-face portrayal of the violence and humiliation? One that is presented like a porno snuff film?

This raises an interesting question: If violence is going to be used in a drama, should it be graphically represented to be as repulsive and foul as it really is? Or should we be spared the details?

Think about it: if all violence on TV and movies were as disgustingly graphic as in this film, violence might start to disappear from pop culture--we just wouldn't be able to take it. Instead, we as a society are constantly drowned in sanitized, videogame violence. The violent acts depicted in movies and on TV these days has no more effect on us than when a cartoon mouse drops a cartoon brick on a cartoon cat's head. Kill someone and them make a joke about it. So, even though violent acts are depicted everywhere in our popular culture, none of it seems real, thus disconnecting us from the consequences of real-life violence.

So, if we can say nothing else, we can say that the violence in "Death Wish" is "effective". It does seem real. It is repulsive.

Hence, the dichotomy: Even though I can intellectually defend the use of graphic violence in "Death Wish", that same depiction keeps me from enjoying the film. I simply can't watch it. I keep thinking: Is this representation of rape actually exciting some of the film's viewers? I feel complicit watching it. Dirty.

So, does that make the film a success, or trash? Is that strong a reaction a mark of art, or exploitation? I don't know. And I must say that this I do not ask these questions only because this is a exploitation film. I've had the same thoughts about Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange."

Was the above review useful to you?
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