This sleazy and highly controversial crime thriller finally made Charles Bronson a star in America, and set a regrettable trend for trashy and ultra-violent vigilante thrillers.
Bronson mechanically plays liberal New York architect Paul Kersey, who takes matters into his own hands after his wife is killed and his daughter is raped and left for dead by a Manhattan gang (led by Jeff Goldblum in his film debut).
Kersey decides to take revenge on all the muggers and thieves who populate the city – but his vigilantism brings him to the attention of the police.
Director Michael Winner’s blood-lusting shocker is as intense and upsetting as it is morally reprehensible, and was very influential in its day, but spawned a series of dismal sequels.
Fred J Scollay