7.0/10
33,693
229 user 104 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:

Michael Winner

Writers:

Brian Garfield (novel), Wendell Mayes (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,116 ( 772)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Paul Kersey
Hope Lange ... Joanna Kersey
Vincent Gardenia ... Frank Ochoa
Steven Keats Steven Keats ... Jack Toby
William Redfield ... Sam Kreutzer
Stuart Margolin ... Aimes Jainchill
Stephen Elliott Stephen Elliott ... Police Commissioner
Kathleen Tolan 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 Christopher Logan ... Freak #2
Learn more

More Like This 

Death Wish II (1982)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 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
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 chief to fight street crime caused by a large gang terrorizing the neighborhoods.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 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 4.9/10 X  

Paul Kersey is back at working vigilante justice 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 6.9/10 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 (2018)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dr. Paul Kersey is an experienced trauma surgeon, a man who has spent his life saving lives. After an attack on his family, Paul embarks on his own mission for justice.

Director: Eli Roth
Stars: Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue
Murphy's Law (1986)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 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
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
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An LAPD detective and his rookie partner are on the trail of a psychopathic young man who is murdering young women.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens
Hard Times (1975)
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The adventures of a drifter turned illegal prize-fighter during the Depression Era in New Orleans.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Jill Ireland
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A top New York detective is sent to Los Angeles where he must solve a case involving an old Sicilian Mafia family feud.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

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

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

Photos

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:

AN EXPLOSIVE STORY OF URBAN VIOLENCE AND REVENGE See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The large bank where Paul Kersey picks up two rolls of quarters, to place in a sock as a weapon, was Central Savings Bank at 2100 Broadway at 73rd Street in NYC. It is now Apple Bank for Savings, and the building is a historic landmark. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning when Mrs. Kersey and daughter in-law leave store, they walk past 2 guys carrying a couch across the side walk. In the next shot, the two women are some distance past the movers but the couch is still being carried across the sidewalk. See more »

Quotes

Freak #1: Goddamn rich cunt!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs is Uncredited Mugger. This has been mistakenly reported/claimed as Denizel Washington, time and time again. It is not Denizel Washington, it is "Welcome Back Kotter" star Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. See more »

Alternate Versions

Following the introduction of the Video Recordings Act in 1984, Death Wish was withdrawn from proposed video release in 1987. When it was finally released in the UK in 2000 (and shown on television two years later), the film had been quietly trimmed by the BBFC to remove 29 seconds from the rape scene including shots of clear nudity and Carol's bottom being sprayed with paint. The film was finally passed completely uncut by the BBFC in June 2006 and all previous edits were waived. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Castle: Death Wish (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Death Wish (Main Title)
Written and Performed by Herbie Hancock
See more »

User Reviews

 
How Michael Winner and his Death Wish changed the outlook of the Crime genre
15 February 2009 | by CihanVercanSee all my reviews

One of the best favorite action movies of all time, Death Wish glitters Charles Bronson's glory famously. Followed by 4 script-free episodes the first episode had inspired millions worldwide. At present(2009) while the remake version is being filmed I have to say that; no matter who will perform Paul Kersey for the second time, he won't be able to impress us as Bronson did.

Rather than Bronson's performance Death Wish has its significant themes and screenplay components which were used at almost every action/crime movie later on, thus became clichés of their genre. Spending a lot of the running time through the bad guys' side is the most fundamental component. This development was so modern and original, after a while it changed the outlook of the Crime genre.

Death Wish is nearly as good as Eastwood's Dirty Harry, with just a different taste. Obviously, this should have been produced only once; since the sequels misrepresented its purpose.


30 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 229 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English | Italian | German | French

Release Date:

24 July 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sidewalk Vigilante See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$22,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed