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Death Wish

By Tom Keogh

This controversial, 1974 drama exploits urban paranoia and presents vigilantism as cathartic release. But it is also a captivating, Everyman-ish story of a New Yorker who goes through a sea change after crime depletes his family, and who runs afoul of the law while taking it into his own hands. Charles Bronson stars as the vengeance-seeking urban warrior who goes on a punk-killing spree after his wife and daughter are attacked by intruders. Director Michael Winner (The Wicked Lady) shamelessly builds upon audience identification with Bronson's rage, but he also makes an interesting story out of the latter's tug-of-war with disapproving police. It's an unpleasant film all around, but not nearly as bad as its horrifying, numerous sequels. Watch for a very young Jeff Goldblum--in this, his second movie--as one of the assailants of Bronson's loved ones.

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Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from! (Click here!)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Michael Winner

Stars: Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield, Stuart Margolin, Stephen Elliott, Olympia Dukakis, Christopher Guest

Released: July 6, 1974

Availability: DVD VHS CD

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