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on 30 September 2016
CLASSIC MOVIE MILESTONE - It was left to MICHAEL WINNER to shock the world and show us how best to deal with the scum that infests society. And he did it so well in this, initially, unique movie.
Charles Bronson is superb as the original vigilante, seeking revenge for vicious attacks on his wife and daughter, and who does his utmost, without regret, to cut down those who think nothing about ruining other peoples lives.
The movie has some great set pieces, which no doubt give any law-abiding viewer a feeling of great satisfaction, where Bronson deals out his kind of immediate justice, the scene on the train being one of the best. Wouldn't we all like to be in his shoes at that moment and really FEEL the satisfaction?
Michael Winner has to be commended for showing sickening violence as it really is, as those who have seen uncut versions of CHATO'S LAND, Bronson again, and LAWMAN, Burt Lancaster, can testify, and the attack on Bronson's wife and daughter in this movie is incredibly violent and shocking, but not for the sake of it, but to show how vile real life can be.
Would there be anyone, if they were capable, and were given the chance to follow in Bronson's footsteps, who would not do so?
Blame law's soft approach to crime, the light sentences, the do-gooders, the moralists, and the advocates for the Human Rights of scum for Bronson's reasons for revenge. But don't blame him. KAN
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on 19 July 2016
From all accounts this Michael Winner film shocked audiences back in 1974, and it's not hard to see why. From the early brutal attack on the main character's wife and daughter, to the unrelenting revenge dished out. Some of it feels a little dated nowadays, the side characters are given some truly awful dialogue (in particular Steven Keats as the son in law) , but the action and tension are all well delivered. Charles Bronson gives a mesmerising performance as the man driven too far. Bronson can deliver a look that can far more effective than anything he may say. Screen presence is often an over used compliment to actors, but Bronson has it in spades, watch the look he gives when he is first attacked in the park. Despite its flaws Death Wish is a classic 70's picture, and worthy of the highest praise.
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on 15 March 2018
charles bronson is the only paul kersey and yes i am guilty of buying the new one. For me Bronson is the definitive hardman. The sex scenes were brutal and tbh that is the only thing that ruins this film for me and all the others aswell. Thank god 4 and 5 decided to tone that down. They could have had the sex scenes and the brutality but toned them down a bit. I mean even for todays standards the language and graphic rape content is a bit much and i have watched millions of films. Apart from that, once he starts being the vigilante it starts getting very good. Seeing is believing and knowing Bronson will never make another movie again saddens me. Same as Bruce Lee and his son, there will never be another person like them. I love 1-5, Bronson carries every film. I never give a 5 star usually but this one deserves it for Bronson alone.
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on 3 March 2015
I am a great fan of this movie and as soon as I heard it was released on bluray UNCUT I just had to order it from amazon asap!-it appears to be uncut and the picture quality is a vast improvement to the previous UK DVD but I was a little disappointed it wasn't 16:9 widescreen,just normal 4:3 full screen.,and I was very very disappointed it had no bonus features apart from an original theatrical trailer.It is also REGION FREE and will play on all UK bluray players.(even tho it said region A.)I 100% fans of this movie go and order this bluray form amazon asap as its a classic and made much better on bluray.(even tho it could have and should have had better bonus features)
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on 21 August 2013
Everyone should know this is the five star revenge movie where Charlie Bronson gets to do the world a big favour by wiping out numerous Muggers, Freaks and, er, Punks. With just a little help from the N.Y.P.D. and Nigel Tufnel of course. The only doubt appears to be over which is the best version to get, as the standard UK DVD seems to be quite poorly presented.
Well, I took some helpful advice and went for this Dutch Film World DVD Import from, we may assume, Holland. And I can confirm it does have the full run time of 93 minutes, the print is very good and clean (once it gets going) and the ratio is definitely genuine wide screen. Although I can't confirm whether it's 1:1.78 or 1:1.85 etc, but it is certainly not just a stretched out 4:3. Overall the picture quality is very good indeed and I wouldn't expect anything better until they do a Blu Ray restoration. Possibly not even then. This includes the Original English stereo soundtrack without any subtitles. And don't let the fact it says 16 Cert on the box put you off, either. Remember that's a Broad-minded Dutch 16! In Holland, I guess they're pretty relaxed one way or another.
The fact that it's going for only about a fiver at the moment may also help in your decision. So, don't be afraid anymore. Go call the Vigilante - He'll turn the place upside down...
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on 22 June 2017
The original and undoubtedly the best Death Wish film. Condemned for its illiberal stance, but to me its about an individual taking control over his own environment. The state lets him down and he takes matters in his own hands, for me that's completely liberal! Gritty and enjoyable early seventies violent thriller.
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on 26 May 2015
Death Wish: 40th anniversary Blu-ray. Region free, R-rated. 1974.
The picture quality is truly outstanding, 1.85:1 no black bars.
Watch Bronson dishing out instant 'street justice' on grimy thugs.
Harsh, gritty & unpleasant, but the film is never anything less
than brilliant. I defy you not to cheer on Bronson. Top notch
soundtrack also. Run time:1hr 33min 23secs. It's also uncut. 33.
Extras: trailer.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 September 2010
Despite switching the emphasis around entirely from the novel's argument that vigilantes = bad to vigilantes = f---ing great, the first Death Wish is a surprisingly pretty decent film, if only because Michael Winner still had enough ability to hire a crew and cast who knew what they were doing to make him look good. It's a shame that at a fairly late date new producer Dino De Laurentiis took over the project and changed his mind about the direction the film would take, though: it was written originally for Sidney Lumet and Jack Lemmon and was more like a middle class version of Taxi Driver, the anti-hero's vigilantism descending into indiscriminate killing of anyone he doesn't like the look of that's just as bad as the lowlives he stalks. Unfortunately Winner happened to be reading the novel and described the plot to Bronson on the way back from the set of The Stone Killer.

"I'd like to do that," said Bronson.
"What, make a movie of the book?"
"No, shoot muggers."

The rest is history. To be fair, Bronson makes a decent stab at playing a bleeding heart liberal architect (the character hadn't yet undergone his metamorphosis into a gun-toting Superman), but whereas with Lemmon there would have been some surprise when his frustrated everyman killed, here it's more of a surprise that it takes Bronson so long to get down to it (the movie is nearly half over before his killing spree begins). And whereas Lumet would have drawn out the moral ambiguities, Winner just takes the story at face value and delivers what ends up as an efficient violent urban wish-fulfilment fantasy. On that level it delivers pretty well, tapping into both the urban frustration of the early 70s when society seemed to be in terminal decline as well as the frontier mentality that plays such a part in America's gun culture. It's a shame the film doesn't make more of the game of cat-and-mouse between Bronson and Vincent Gardenia's detective towards the end of the film after the vigilante's identity has been uncovered, but it's still a smarter and more emotionally honest film than it's sequels (check out Bronson's reaction of fear and self-disgust when he confronts his first mugger). It also offers a chance to see early performances by Jeff Goldblum (as one of the rapists), Olympia Dukakis and Christopher Guest, though it's a shame Herbie Hancock's score isn't a little more restrained at times.

Paramount's Region 1 DVD is a decent uncut widescren transfer and, unlike their UK DVD, includes the theatrical trailer
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on 8 July 2014
Famous film with Charles Bronson, first one from the Death Wish series and one of the best. Picture is fantastic on blu-ray and worth the upgrade. I got the US import as uncut, if you have not seen the film then you need to as it is one of the best vigilante films ever made, pretty violent and is still relevant today.
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on 24 June 2010
Though it may seem like another cheesey Bronson action 'flick, this is a surprisingly realistic and thought-provoking film. When his wife is murdered and raped, Paul Kersey (Bronson) decides to take revenge on the criminals who destroyed his life. It's surprising, we see Bronson spiral into a violent vigilante, compared to the mild-mannered architect we saw before. There's a graphic rape scene, though it should be said that there are much worse things in modern cinema.

There are sequels to the film, though they lost the realistic touch (especially DW3!), and seemed to take the more action approach. Overall, this film was, and still is, the best.

N.B.- You should watch out for Jeff Goldblum, in his debut role as one of the hoodlums.
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