Movies don’t come much more politically incorrect than Michael Winner’s 1974 vigilante flick Death Wish. You won’t find any sympathy for criminals in this movie. And you won’t find any nonsense about crime being caused by poverty or by the wickedness of capitalism. The movie’s prescription for dealing with crime may be a little extreme but its real crime (in the eyes of liberals) is that it suggests that extreme solutions might actually work, and that they might prove to be the only solutions that do work.
Death Wish is the story of a self-confessed bleeding heart liberal who comes face to face with the reality of crime. He doesn’t remain a bleeding heart liberal for very long when that happens. Like most liberals he wasn’t worried by violent crime when it happened to other people, and to other people’s families. When it happens to him it’s a whole different story.
Death Wish ignited a firestorm of controversy when it was released in 1974. Not surprisingly critics hated it and audiences loved it.
I have more to say about this important movie on my film blog. Here’s the link to my review.