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)
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Popularity
3,635 ( 229)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 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
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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:

AN EXPLOSIVE STORY OF URBAN VIOLENCE AND REVENGE See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only "Death Wish" movie produced by Dino De Laurentiis, who later sold the film rights to The Cannon Group for a reported $200,000. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Ames Jainchill (Stuart Margolin) and Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) are at the gun club, Ames hands Paul a blackpowder pistol stating it is an '1842'. Ames is totally incorrect. Paul takes it and lifts the gun to shoot it down range, it is clearly a Remington model 1858 blackpowder pistol based on the Fordyce Beals patent of September 14, 1858 (Patent 21,748), produced by Remington Arms from 1862-1875. See more »

Quotes

Freak #1: Cunts! I KILL RICH CUNTS!
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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 »

Alternate Versions

The UK version classified in 2006 by the British Board of Film Classification retained the 18 certificate, but all of the BBFC's previous cuts were waived. See more »

Connections

References Pirates on Horseback (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Do A Thing
Written and Performed by Herbie Hancock
Arranged and Conducted by Jerry Peters
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User Reviews

When push comes to shove, make way for Bronson!
4 November 2003 | by Captain_CouthSee all my reviews

Charley Bronson portrays Paul Kersay, a mild mannered soul who's life is turned upside down when some punks ruin his happy life. After some deep soul searching, Charley comes to the conclusion that all those punks out there walking the streets need a lesson. So, after donning a beannie cap and a heavy jacket, Charley decides to give them all a taste of their own medicine. The night time is the wrong time for muggers when Charley's around. This is the first film in what would later turn out to be a franchise of action/revenge flicks and it made Charley Bronson a household name and a part of Americana.

Highly recommended.

A.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | German | French

Release Date:

24 July 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sidewalk Vigilante See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$22,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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