Death Wish 1974

When I started to watch this movie…I thought it was going to be Charles Bronson randomly mowing down the people in New York City…but it had a purpose and was a pretty good movie.

There was some controversy when this movie was released because of Bronson being a vigilante in the movie. The critics who disliked the film complained that it irresponsibly exploited fear. They also claimed the film gave an exaggerated picture of crime in New York and that it glorified vigilantism… that it endorses violence as a solution to violence.

I enjoyed the film. New York in the mid-seventies makes a great atmosphere…although not a safe one. The movie is brutal but realistic.

On a side note…this movie is Jeff Goldblum’s film debut.


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…


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

12 thoughts on “Death Wish 1974”

  1. Like you state, this is a movie that should be taken in the context of its time. It’s not for everyone, it is dark and bleak and it’s political–to me, it models Dirty Harry, which I believe is the prototype. Straw Dogs (1971) is also a similar film. Within these perimeters and the message that it is conveying, I think it’s a very good film. It meets and exceeds its objectives.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I first watched it… I was thinking more of a shooting without purpose movie… yes it does model after Dirty Harry without the catchphrases.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Death Wish” was cutting edge at the time (no pun intended.) I understand why police and other law enforcement would be getting nervous about the idea of vigilantes taking matters into their own hands, but it was fantastic to see revenge dealed out so well. I know I saw Death Wish 2 and liked it but not sure how many sequels there are or if I’ve seen them. Nowadays these revenge themes are commonplace in cinema. Death Wish may have been the first? One of my old co-workers told me about a female revenge movie that may have come before this one: “I Spit on Your Grave.” That one is a doozy also!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yea! I Spit On Your Grave! I remember seeing that way back when I was a teen. Made me happy I wasn’t one of her victims…of course they deserved it.

      I’ve read reviews back when this was released…this movie was a big deal…but the people he shot did wrong…he didn’t just mow people down.

      I was going to say something in the review but changed it…I’m NOT comparing the movies but The Joker…it has the same feel of New York…70s New York. Pam was right when she compared it to Straw Dogs also.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey. You did a movie! Excellent!

    Bronson, Eastwood, Norris…on in to Schwarzenegger, Willis, Stallone… I’ve seen ’em all. My dad was into all of these…so was an ex-husband.

    My fave Bronson movie is 10 to Midnight.


  4. I’m pretty sure I only watched it for the Jimmy Page soundtrack (which I thought was pretty dire, and this is from a Page fan…). I wasn’t as impressed as you are, but it had its moments.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: