Death Wish

Paramount Released 1974


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Movie Summary

Michael Winner
Death Wish is a 1974 thriller that was directed by Michael Winner and is based on the Brain Garfield novel, Death Wish. In the film, Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) and his wife Joanna (Hope Lange) are die-hard liberals, who have strong political convictions. Paul's liberal feelings quickly turn the opposite direction when his wife is beaten to death and his daughter, Carol Ann (Kathleen Tolan), is sexually assaulted by three men. With his wife dead and his daughter in the hospital catatonic, Paul is looking for revenge. He purchases a gun just for protection, but when a mugger approaches him he shoots him dead. Sickened by what he has done, Paul goes home and throws up. His disgust with himself does not last long because this is just the beginning of his killing spree. Paul turns into a vigilante determined to rid the town of whom he sees as bad people. Lt. Frank Ochoa (Vincent Gardenia) has been investigating the murders and has narrowed it down to Paul. Just as he is ready to arrest him, the DA has different plans.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    In Death Wish we get just about the definitive Bronson; rarely has a leading role contained fewer words or more violence.

  • 60

    Village Voice Andrew Sarris

    If it were even remotely realistic, it would be intolerable, but the first half of its premise, Bronson as a bleeding-heart liberal who turns, because of a personal tragedy into a ...

  • 50

    Time Out

    The sense of location is strong, emphasising a hostile, nightmarish terrain; but Winner's recourse to caricature when dealing with police and thugs, and his virtually overt sympath...

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Thrillers, Crime