Death Wish 3
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FAQ Contents

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Death Wish 3 can be found here.

Architect Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) comes to New York City to visit his friend Charley (Francis Drake) only to find Charley dying on his living room floor, the victim of a street gang led by Manny Fraker (Gavan O'Herlihy) that has been terrorizing the neighborhood. At first, the police think that Kersey killed Charley but, when Police Chief Richard Shriker (Ed Lauter) sees Kersey, he recognizes him as the vigilante that they unceremoniously kicked out of New York ten years ago. Shriker, who actually supports Kersey's work, recruits him to help clean up Charley's neighborhood. Paul moves into Charley's apartment, befriends the other residents of the building, purchases a .475 Wildey Magnum, and sets out to do what he's best at.

American novelist Brian Garfield created the main character, Paul Kersey, in his 1972 novel Death Wish, but the plot for Death Wish 3 is based on a screenplay by Don Jakoby (using the name Michael Edmonds). It was preceded by Death Wish (1974) and Death Wish II (1982) and followed by Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987), and Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994).

It's been ten years since the events of Death Wish, evidenced when Chief Shriker speaks with Paul at the police station. Since the events in Death Wish II took place four years after Death Wish, six years have passed between DW2 and DW3.

DW3 can be viewed without first seeing the first two movies. The plot is essentially the same in all three movies: Paul Kersey goes vigilante after the death of someone close to him and shoots up a lot of street thugs. Minor references are made to the important things that happened in DW and DW2, although some viewers suggest seeing the first two movies before the third one in order to appreciate the events and nuances as Kersey's epic story unfolds.

The assumption is that Fraker heads his own neighborhood gang but that his gang is part of a larger group of neighborhood gangs united in an attempt to control various parts of the city. As such, Fraker was calling another gang leader and asking him to send troops.

Shriker tells Kersey that he admires him and, because of the rising crime rate in NYC, he doesn't mind how many creeps he kills. He just wants Paul to tell him about any gang activities so that the police can get a bust and make the news. Given the gravity of the situation, Shriker is weighing necessity (and arguably morality too) above his duties as a law enforcement agent in the public trust. At the same time, he is human, and thereby wants positive publicity rather than to resign from his job on ethical principle.

An all-out war breaks out between the creeps against Kersey and the NYPD. Even the neighborhood residents take up arms against the creeps. Striker and Kersey join forces and take out numerous creeps until Kersey's gun runs out of bullets and he is forced to run home for more ammo. Fraker sees him and follows, breaking in through a window. Just as Fraker is about to shoot Kersey, Striker suddenly runs in and shoots Fraker, but Fraker also shoots Striker in the shoulder. As Kersey calls an ambulance, Fraker suddenly gets up. Turns out that he's wearing a bulletproof vest. Kersey picks up the LAW (bazooka) and blows Fraker to bits. With Fraker dead, the gangs start to disperse. As the police close in, Striker gives Kersey a few minutes to get away. In the final scene, Kersey walks down the street carrying his suitcases.

For the UK VHS released by Cinema Club, the rape sequences were trimmed in order to achieve a rating of 18 by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), and there's a total difference of approximately 10 seconds. A detailed comparison between both version with pictures can be found here.


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