7.0/10
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209 user 96 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
2,364 ( 481)

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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 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 Fred J. Scollay ... District Attorney (as Fred Scollay)
Chris Gampel 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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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
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

The role of Paul Kersey was originally intended for Steve McQueen, who turned it down. See more »

Goofs

After Kersey shoots the two muggers in the subway station and is stabbed in the left shoulder there is no blood on his coat or hole in it. When we see him sit in the subway car to make his getaway with his left shoulder visible from behind the wound should be evident. See more »

Quotes

Paul Kersey: Do you believe in Jesus? You're gonna meet Him.
See more »

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

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

Featured in Sledstvie veli...: Zazhda smerti (2008) 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

 
A powerful realistic cinema a real action drama classic the original vigilante
14 February 2018 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

Death Wish (1974) is a classic, realistic powerful cinema action drama about a men and origins of how he become one-men army type to fight against hoodlums and criminals at night on the street of New York. This is the original, powerful realistic performed film. It deals with realism and real performance on screen. "Death Wish" doesn't deal with CGI nor does it deal with special effects. It deals or tries to deal really hard on what is real. I love this film to death it is my favorite film in the franchise. The first four films are great I love action and drama in this movie delivered. Fifth film sucked and they are making now the remake with Bruce Wills and Eli Roth. The guy who directed Knock Knock another awful remake with Keanu Reeves that sucked. Remake "Death Wish" will suck I don't care if it is rated R, it will suck! Charles Bronson and Michael Winner are the real deal. The film is based on Brian Garfield's novel. Wendell Mayes wrote a script while Michael Winner powerful directed this film.

Charles Bronson acts perfectly as architect Paul Kersey who turns in to vigilante. The movie shows trough in tier film how this men become a vigilante and mysterious hero. He is not a super hero or The Punisher he is just a normal average working guy. He didn't just turn a vigilante at night so soon, he was a torn apart after his family was brutally assaulted in front of daylight in his apartment. His wife was beaten, murdered and his daughter was raped. The men becomes torn apart and the police doesn't do anything they don't have chance to catch those people who did it. I love the characters in this film, Charles Bronson's performance. I love Vincent Gardenia as Detective Frank Ochoa it also shows the police work, that they do everything to catch the guy who is killing muggers. Vincent Gardenia does a powerful realistic performance as police officer Frank Ochoa doing his job. The movie in my opinion shows realism, that it could have happen to everyone like it did to Paul Kersey.

I know sequels are bashed because they are more action films while this film is an action, realistic drama performance from everyone. I only wish that Paul Kersey would catch the killers who killed his wife the movie never showed that. The movie shows the real mean streets of New York that was filmed in the 70's and the movie was shot in New York. Paul Kersey is not a robot, he is a human been who also bleeds and is scared, terrified, not safe on his own streets at night and kills people only in self defense. He even safe a men from been beaten almost to death. This film is the best in the Death Wish series because I understand the character and I understand why he is acting violent. "Death Wish" doesn't bring us Paul Kersey, the action hero but Paul Kersey, a regular men with a lot of demons he must face. "Death Wish" is the best in the series. 10/10 my third favorite in the franchise I enjoy the sequels more, but this movie is arguably great that I will still watch.


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