Ashley Conlin

Written by Ashley Conlin

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Get ready to dive into the thrilling world of the iconic 1974 film, Death Wish. Directed by Michael Winner and starring the legendary Charles Bronson, this action-packed crime drama has become a cult classic that continues to captivate audiences to this day. Death Wish tells the gripping story of Paul Kersey, a mild-mannered architect turned vigilante, as he takes on the streets of New York City to avenge the brutal attack on his family. From intense action sequences to thought-provoking themes, this movie has left an indelible mark on cinema history. In this article, we will delve into 32 fascinating facts about Death Wish that will give you a deeper appreciation for this iconic film.

Key Takeaways:

  • Death Wish, released in 1974, stars Charles Bronson as a vigilante seeking justice. It sparked controversy, but became a classic in the action genre, inspiring sequels and a 2018 remake.
  • The film explores vigilantism, urban crime, and the psychology of revenge. Despite mixed reviews, it remains a pop culture phenomenon with a powerful and controversial ending.
Table of Contents

Death Wish was released in 1974.

Death Wish, directed by Michael Winner, hit the theaters in 1974.

The movie is based on a novel.

Death Wish is based on the novel written by Brian Garfield and published in 1972.

It stars Charles Bronson.

Charles Bronson plays the lead role of Paul Kersey, a man who becomes a vigilante after his family is brutally attacked.

The film sparked controversy.

Due to its controversial themes and graphic violence, Death Wish faced criticism from various groups upon its release.

It was a box office success.

Despite the controversy, Death Wish was a commercial success, grossing over $22 million in the United States.

The movie has several sequels.

Death Wish spawned four sequels, with Charles Bronson reprising his role as Paul Kersey in each installment.

The soundtrack was composed by Herbie Hancock.

Renowned jazz musician Herbie Hancock composed the film’s music, adding a unique and thrilling atmosphere to the story.

It explores the theme of vigilantism.

Death Wish delves into the moral implications of vigilantism and the concept of taking justice into one’s own hands.

Many cities refused to show the film.

Several cities in the United States refused to screen Death Wish due to its controversial content and violent portrayal of crime.

The film was remade in 2018.

A remake of Death Wish was released in 2018, starring Bruce Willis in the lead role.

The movie was shot in New York City.

Death Wish was primarily filmed on location in New York City, capturing its gritty urban atmosphere.

It was a critical success.

Despite the initial controversy, Death Wish received positive reviews for its gritty realism and Charles Bronson’s performance.

The movie features memorable action sequences.

Death Wish is known for its intense and gripping action scenes, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats.

It explores the psychology of the protagonist.

The film delves into the psychological transformation of Paul Kersey as he becomes a vigilante.

Death Wish has a cult following.

Over the years, the film has gained a strong cult following due to its gritty and uncompromising portrayal of revenge.

It inspired other vigilante films.

Death Wish influenced the creation of numerous vigilante-themed films in subsequent years.

The movie addresses the issue of urban crime.

Death Wish explores the escalating urban crime rates of the 1970s and the public’s growing fear.

Critics praised Charles Bronson’s performance.

Charles Bronson’s performance as Paul Kersey was highly praised for its stoic intensity and intensity.

It was directed by Michael Winner.

Michael Winner, known for his work in the thriller genre, helmed the direction of Death Wish.

The movie received an R rating.

Due to its violent content, Death Wish received an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

It explores the theme of revenge.

Revenge is a central theme in Death Wish as Paul Kersey seeks justice for his family’s attack.

Charles Bronson performed many of his own stunts.

Known for his ruggedness, Charles Bronson performed several of his own stunts in the film.

The movie has memorable dialogue.

Death Wish features several memorable lines of dialogue that have become iconic in the action genre.

It was a low-budget production.

Death Wish was made on a relatively low budget of $3 million but ended up becoming a huge financial success.

The film deals with themes of urban decay.

Death Wish depicts the decaying urban landscape and the social issues that plagued the cities during the 1970s.

It was initially banned in some countries.

Due to its violent content, Death Wish was banned in several countries upon its release.

The movie received a mixed response from critics.

Critical reception for Death Wish was mixed, with some praising its gritty realism and others criticizing its controversial themes.

It became a pop culture phenomenon.

Death Wish became a pop culture phenomenon, inspiring various spoofs, parodies, and references in other forms of media.

The film explores the concept of escalating violence.

Death Wish depicts the cycle of violence as Paul Kersey’s actions lead to further acts of revenge and retribution.

The movie showcases the darker side of society.

Death Wish lifts the veil on the darker elements of society, highlighting the rampant crime and corruption in the city.

It has a powerful and controversial ending.

The ending of Death Wish is both powerful and controversial, leaving audiences with a thought-provoking conclusion.

The film remains a classic in the action genre.

Even decades after its release, Death Wish continues to be regarded as a classic in the action genre, with its impact still felt today.


In conclusion, “Death Wish” is a gripping and intense movie that explores the theme of revenge and justice. With Charles Bronson delivering a powerful performance as Paul Kersey, the film captures the audience’s attention from start to finish. Its controversial subject matter and gritty portrayal of violence make it a thought-provoking piece of cinema.

Throughout the article, we’ve uncovered 32 fascinating facts about “Death Wish,” from its troubled production to its impact on the action movie genre. These facts give us a deeper understanding of the film’s significance and shed light on its enduring legacy.

If you’re a fan of action-packed thrillers or if you’re simply interested in exploring the history of cinema, “Death Wish” is definitely a must-watch. It’s a film that continues to captivate audiences and spark discussions to this day. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and prepare yourself for an adrenaline-fueled ride!


1. Who directed the movie “Death Wish”?

The movie “Death Wish” was directed by Michael Winner.

2. When was “Death Wish” released?

Death Wish” was released on July 24, 1974.

3. What is the premise of the movie?

The movie follows the story of Paul Kersey, a city architect turned vigilante, who takes the law into his own hands after his wife is murdered and daughter is sexually assaulted.

4. Who played the lead role in “Death Wish”?

Charles Bronson portrayed the lead role of Paul Kersey in “Death Wish.”

5. Is “Death Wish” a true story?

No, “Death Wish” is not based on a true story. It is a work of fiction.

6. How did “Death Wish” impact the action movie genre?

“Death Wish” is considered one of the pioneers of the modern vigilante film, influencing many subsequent movies in the action genre.

7. Are there any sequels to “Death Wish”?

Yes, “Death Wish” spawned four sequels, with Charles Bronson reprising his role as Paul Kersey.

8. What is the rating of “Death Wish”?

“Death Wish” has an R rating due to its violent content.

9. Did “Death Wish” receive any awards?

No, “Death Wish” did not receive any major awards, but it gained significant popularity among audiences.

10. Where can I watch “Death Wish”?

“Death Wish” is available on various streaming platforms or can be purchased or rented from online retailers.

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