Death Wish (1974) - Action, Crime, Drama

Hohum Score



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
Stars: Charles Bronson, Hope Lange
Length: 93 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 23 out of 215 found boring (10.69%)

One-line Reviews (77)

Yet Death Wish is an interesting film as propaganda.

Despite the disturbing promotion for gun ownership and taking the law into your own hands, the filmmakers did take certain measures to imply Bronson's ill state of mind, as Bronson's character recites old Western movie cliche`s such as "Draw", when cornering a prospective mugger.

Any way you look at this film, you will see it is thought provoking and action packed.

Death Wish was also a shining example of the changing times, seedy and dreary, and a tad erotic too...

But despite these drawbacks DEATH WISH is strangely compelling and taps into our fascist souls .

This was a very enjoyable movie.

and then we go from 'pointless violence' to 'violence with a point'.

This movie was made in 1974 but the shock value, IMO, was intense.

It has a certain power & the helplessness some feel when it comes to crime & the inadequacies of the law is easy to relate too even now but as a film in it's own right it's a bit of a drag as it gets buried under various heavy handed ideas & themes that come & go & it's a bit repetitive as well.

Ironically surnamed director Michael Winner shoots the film in the most mundane and sterile way possible.

Compelling moment.

It's at once fascinating, and still very timely.

35 minutes the film last anyway the film is compelling due to the action sequences especially the shootouts which are choreographed in meticulous detail the cinematography is exquisite which gives us a gloomy and dark depiction of what a dangerous city New York was like in the 70s the script is extremely amateurish and half baked like it was rushed completely neglecting characterization and thoughtfulness when trying to write some genuinely appealing characters such as Paul kersey played excellently by Bronson conveying a sense of uncertainty and remorse this is undoubtedly his best performance of his entire career check it out its a really thought provoking piece of social commentary in the 70s .

Almost every scene in New York is desolate, devoid of scenery, carefully shot to show an empty shell of a city.

Charles Bronson was forever typecast out of serious acting after his compelling performance as an upper-class liberal who experiences the classic saying, "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.

Four sequels followed, the first of which was highly entertaining, the rest barely worth watching.

The original Death Wish movie is still the only one worth watching.

The film paints all the criminals the same way – animals, crazy people, crazy pointless people.

It starts with a chilling rape sequence - still provocative thirty years on - and develops from there into an exciting and perversely funny story of how a man whose life is affected by these disturbing events gets his revenge.

It's a drama with a slow build.

The action is restrained, and has a lot of suspense in it leading up to the actual killing, the dialogue is surprisingly well written given the genre, and it's quite compelling.

Comparatively, if it had followed the purely exploitative path of its descendants, it might have been that much more entertaining in the low-down, dirty way it was intended.

For an action movie, it's pretty slow, though I'm sure in the 70s it was a nail-biter.

The storyline of Paul Kersey is compelling and will always receive a great deal of sympathy from those who watch it.

DEATH WISH reads like simple, gut-level exploitation, and to a large extent that's exactly what it is, but Bronson's subtle, believable performance, the well-drawn characters, the effective NYC location shooting, Arthur Ornitz's grimy photography and Winner's knack for snappy action sequences help to rise the film above the sum of its parts and make it a minor classic.

The early rape scene is quite intense and disturbing (I was 14 when I first saw this movie) and that's the scene that stands out.

It's definitely worth the watch.

" In light of the later, inferior sequels, it is fascinating to see how the character came to be, how he made the transition from law-abiding man to cold-blooded vigilante.

Director Michael Winner relates the gripping story at a steady pace, ably crafts a harsh gritty tone, offers a nightmarish presentation of New York City as a dark, dirty, and dangerous urban jungle, and stages the action scenes with considerable skill and precision.

"Death Wish" isn't a perfect film, the set-up dragging listlessly to its middle, and the shooting becoming painfully repetitive (Bronson turns, gun in pocket, blam!

Highly compelling .

Gripping tale of Paul Kersey, a liberal architect,who takes revenge on the criminals of New York after his wife is murdered and his daughter left catatonic from an attack in their apartment by a bunch of random thugs.

It's a very entertaining movie.

Both films are, or course, supremely politically incorrect; and naturally even more entertaining to watch because of this.

There was an underlying propaganda of: "more guns means more safety.

Even in the optimistic early scenes of Paul(Charles Bronson) together with his wife Joanna(Hope Lange) have a very dry and lifeless feel to them.

Disgusting piece of right wing anti hippy pro-gun propaganda that is also showing its age even though not badly made for its time.

There'll be viewers who argue the merits of portraying vigilantes as anti-heroes and the disintegration of social values underpinning law and order, but cut the rhetoric and just enjoy the film for its suspense, thrills, action and engaging narrative.

Bronson undergoes a slow metamorphosis - to the credit of the film, he clearly has doubts about what he's doing - as he decides to take the law into his own hands upon finding that the cops can't do anything.

An entertaining movie with good set pieces and action scenes.

My father-in-law, a retired New York City police officer who witnessed and experienced a great deal of violence during his career, once told me that he was so disgusted by the rape scene that he walked out of the theater during the film's original theatrical release.

He really lights up the screen in a serious dramatic emotional and yet action packed role.

Yet, it is undeniably compelling; one of these movies that makes you wonder, "what if this happened to me?

MY VIEWS Being a fan of the late, great Charles Bronson I enjoyed "Death Wish" very much with it's exciting quick pace and engaging music by Herbie Hancock, builds the tempo for a great powerful 70's classic thriller.

This one has kills and a pretty good story so I enjoyed it, it just needed a bit more variety here and there as the kills all do seem the same and also the finale could have been done a bit better as well.

Slick, enjoyable, well made film, far better than its increasingly dismal sequels.

You see, he was a conscientious objecter in the Korean war, another fascinating character trait of Bronson's Kersey.

It's certainly thrilling , though the morality may be questionable , even in this time, as the spectators were clearly on the Kersey-Bronson's side .

Nevertheless it is Bronson that makes this worth watching.

The viewer observes and understands Kersey's slow transformation into a one-man judge, jury & executioner.

"It had a very predictable storyline, and you knew the outcome of the movie from the very beginning, which was a shame because director and writer Michael Winner didn't offer much to challenge the intellect of the audience.

Nevertheless it's a very enjoyable movie thanks to the strong performances, good screenplay, well done action scenes, and a great score.

Social justice commentary aside, this Bronson vehicle still packs a punch as an action-thriller with a particularly suspenseful ivories score by Herbie Hancock and a typically understated performance by Bronson as the wealthy architect, husband and father whose family is destroyed following a brutal home invasion.

Director Michael Winner does a good job creating a menacing feel to the mean streets of New York even if it goes seem conveniently empty at times.

And if that's not fully what you're into, there are plenty of shoot-em-up sequels around that are entertaining in their own right.

It makes the whole movie seem pointless.

One of the greatest disappointments of the movie is Bronson's dull acting.

They're also invariably exciting, and without any unnecessary stylish trimmings; Bronson shoots people with an aim to kill, and that's it.

Bob's brilliance states the following: "The film paints all the criminals the same way - animals, crazy people, crazy pointless people.

DEATH WISH is manipulative, but also persuasive, in its handling of the subject matter, but it does so with enough style to hold the whole thing together and make viewing a compelling, and at times even enjoyable, experience - leaving the viewer to decide on all the moral issues.

The premise itself is intriguing and the movie is interesting.


Worth watching!

Death Wish was extremely popular during a dreary period in the city's history when crime was rampant and presents the obvious ambiguity of vigilantism in a civilized society.

Winner handles the action matter of factly, with little sense of style, but Bronson's powerful performance ensures that the film is thoroughly engrossing throughout.

Maybe the point lies in the way Paul contemplates his accomplishments and life philosophy before seeing them sacrificed at the altar of pointless violence then examines the world of violence with the daring curiosity of a child who gets his finger close to a flame, until he decides to dirty his hands...

The story is a bit tiresome and never really satisfies the viewer.

I keep thinking: Is this representation of rape actually exciting some of the film's viewers?

Gripping, raw and impactive, this is one of Bronson greatest films, and stands as a classic.

The movie is never dull, and quite gripping at most times.

Herb Alperts score is lush and enjoyable, and the cinematography is competent enough to generate an eerie feeling when the lonely vigilante is roaming the streets.

From pointless violence to violence with a point...

Actually there is a lot of this kind of movies but this one is much more intriguing.

It features a brutal pace and action sequences which border on the frighteningly intense.

I have to honestly state that this is a very slow paced movie.

Mostly he exemplifies a bland form of typical British salaciousness.

Plus a completely unpredictable reaction aftermath to Bronson's first victim.