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
This movie was Charles Bronson's first picture to feature the word 'Death' in the title. The next was Death Hunt (1981) made and released seven years later. Another Messenger of Death (1988) also featured the word. Bronson made seven movies with this word in the title, five of them being in the 'Death Wish' franchise. The final time film would be Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994), where the word actually appears twice. See more »
When Inspector Ochoa says that the first mugger killed by Kersey was carrying a clip, he was not, as some suggest, referring to a magazine as used in an automatic pistol but to a holster clipped to his belt which held the revolver. See more »
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 »
This visually-arresting action-drama tops the classic Dirty Harry in my opinion, the whole vigilante theme is there in both movies but Death Wish pulled on my heartstrings a little more than the testosterone filled Harry Callahan vigilantism. Do not get me wrong I love Clint Eastwood and the entire Dirty Harry series but the series of events that Mr. Bronson had to endure was very very upsetting (like I was almost in the same room with Mr. Bronson feeling his pain, that is how good I think Michael Winner did in shooting this film). The opening scene (AKA Jeff Goldblum's debut) is very unsettling, but without that opening scene, we as the viewer really wouldn't have much to get amped up over. Bronson's retaliation is classic and I found this movie truly redeeming in the end. A true classic that will never lose it's touch. 10 out of 10 stars.
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