7.0/10
32,930
219 user 107 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
2,256 ( 2,058)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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 5.4/10 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
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
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
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
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
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
Mystery | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

John Deakin is being transported, as a prisoner, on a train with supplies and medicine to Fort Humboldt, Nevada.

Director: Tom Gries
Stars: Charles Bronson, Ben Johnson, Richard Crenna
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
Death Hunt (1981)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1931 Canada, Yukon trapper Johnson has a feud with a dog owner who later retaliates by publicly accusing Johnson of murder and thus triggering a police manhunt in the wilderness.

Director: Peter R. Hunt
Stars: Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Andrew Stevens
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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
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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:

Judge. Jury. Executioner. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Charles Bronson once said of this movie: "I certainly don't advocate anyone taking the law into their own hands. I don't think that the film advocates that, either. If my films have a lesson, it's that violence doesn't pay. My opinion is that violence only breeds violence." See more »

Goofs

When Ochoa has a locksmith pick the lock to Kersey's apartment door, he broke the law, as he did not have a warrant. The gauze with the blood taken by Ochoa could never be used against Kersey, if they charged him in court. Any half-decent lawyer, or even a paralegal would know this. See more »

Quotes

Freak #1: We want money, mother, now get it!
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

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

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.24 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Joanna's Theme
Written and Performed by Herbie Hancock
Arranged and Conducted by Jerry Peters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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.


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