Death Wish 3 (1985)

R | 92 mins | Adventure | 1 November 1985

Director:

Michael Winner

Writer:

Michael Edmonds

Cinematographer:

John Stanier

Editor:

Arnold Crust

Production Designer:

Peter Mullins

Production Company:

Cannon Films
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HISTORY

The third installment of the Death Wish series was announced in the 30 Jul 1982 DV, and would reportedly film in several U.S. cities. Other titles in the franchise include: Death Wish, (1974, see entry), Death Wish II, (1982, see entry), Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, (1987, see entry), and Death Wish V: The Face of Death, (1994, see entry).
       According to the 16 Nov 1983 DV, Charles Bronson signed a three-picture deal with The Cannon Group, Inc., which included reprising his starring role in Death Wish 3.
       Filming was announced in the 23 May 1984 DV to begin fall 1984, with Don Jakoby listed as the screenwriter, although the 28 Jan 1985 HR reported that principal photography would begin 18 Mar 1985, in New York City, and put rumors to rest that Chuck Norris would take on the starring role. Bronson was reportedly unhappy with scripts that Cannon presented to him, and threatened to drop out of the production. HR reported both parties finally agreed on a script by Jakoby. However, Jakoby’s name does not appear in the film credits, and a news item in the 30 Oct 1985 Var reported the dispute after Jakoby’s name appeared in advance film posters for the picture. Final screenwriting credits went to Michael Edmonds.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files reported that filming began in East NY, on 19 Apr 1985. According to the 1 Jun 1985 Screen International, the picture was filmed for ... More Less

The third installment of the Death Wish series was announced in the 30 Jul 1982 DV, and would reportedly film in several U.S. cities. Other titles in the franchise include: Death Wish, (1974, see entry), Death Wish II, (1982, see entry), Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, (1987, see entry), and Death Wish V: The Face of Death, (1994, see entry).
       According to the 16 Nov 1983 DV, Charles Bronson signed a three-picture deal with The Cannon Group, Inc., which included reprising his starring role in Death Wish 3.
       Filming was announced in the 23 May 1984 DV to begin fall 1984, with Don Jakoby listed as the screenwriter, although the 28 Jan 1985 HR reported that principal photography would begin 18 Mar 1985, in New York City, and put rumors to rest that Chuck Norris would take on the starring role. Bronson was reportedly unhappy with scripts that Cannon presented to him, and threatened to drop out of the production. HR reported both parties finally agreed on a script by Jakoby. However, Jakoby’s name does not appear in the film credits, and a news item in the 30 Oct 1985 Var reported the dispute after Jakoby’s name appeared in advance film posters for the picture. Final screenwriting credits went to Michael Edmonds.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files reported that filming began in East NY, on 19 Apr 1985. According to the 1 Jun 1985 Screen International, the picture was filmed for three weeks in New York, followed by seven weeks in London, England’s Lambeth borough, which began 8 May 1985. Director Michael Winner explained his move to England was a financial decision, and, as reported in the 7 May 1985 DV, a New York City street was recreated at a deserted hospital site. The picture, with a fifty-one day shooting schedule, anticipated a premiere on 25 Oct 1985, and the 23 Nov 1985 Screen International reported a budget of over $10 million.
       Due to excessive violence, Death Wish 3 was originally granted an X-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), but after filmmakers appealed to the MPAA’s Classification & Rating Appeals Board, the picture was given an R rating, according to the 12 Sep 1985 DV.
       Critics generally found nothing redeeming about the picture, and the release was reportedly rushed into theaters to capitalize on the Dec 1984 “subway vigilante” shooting that took place in NY, when four men attempted to mug Bernhard Goetz, according to the 30 Oct 1985 Var review. The Jan 1986 Box also noted the rush to open, and reported the result involved a lack of color correction in the final print. Box stated the film grossed $10 million after its first ten days of release.
       A news item in the 19 Jun 1990 The Times (London) reported a lawsuit was settled and damages awarded to stuntman, Rocky Taylor, who suffered injuries on the set of Death Wish 3, after a stunt went wrong. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Jan 1986.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jul 1982.
---
Daily Variety
16 Nov 1983.
---
Daily Variety
23 May 1984.
---
Daily Variety
7 May 1985.
---
Daily Variety
12 Sep 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1985
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
5 Nov 1985
p. 3.
New York Times
3 Nov 1985
p. 88.
Screen International
1 Jun 1985.
---
Screen International
23 Nov 1985
p. 92.
The Times (London)
19 Jun 1990.
---
Variety
30 Oct 1985.
---
Variety
30 Oct 1985
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
The Cannon Group, Inc. presents
in a Golan-Globus production
a Michael Winner film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
Unit prod mgr (USA)
1st asst dir (USA)
2d asst dir (USA)
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Co-prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
Cam asst
Cam asst
Cam asst
Stills
Stills
Gaffer
Gaffer
Best boy
Best boy
Key grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Cameras by
Grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir (USA)
FILM EDITORS
Exec ed
New York ed services by
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Set dresser
Const mgr
Const coord
Set builder
Prop master
Prop master
Prop master
Asst prop
Scenic artist
Prod buyer
COSTUMES
Cost des (USA)
Ward supv
Key ward (USA)
Ward mistress
Asst ward (USA)
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus arr and cond by
Electric guitars and synthesizers played by
Addl synthesizers played by
Orig mus published by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Casting
Casting
Asst prod mgr (USA)
Loc mgr
Prod office coord
Scr supv
Scr supv
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Prod auditor
New York payroll
Exec asst to Mr. Winner
Tech adv
Prod processing by
Pub dir
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Brian Garfield.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
1 November 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 1 November 1985
New York opening: 2 November 1985
Production Date:
19 April--late June 1985 in New York and London
Copyright Claimant:
Cannon Productions, N.V.
Copyright Date:
30 December 1985
Copyright Number:
PA274566
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Cameras by Arriflex®
Duration(in mins):
92
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27868
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Paul Kersey arrives by bus in New York City to visit his friend, Charley. As he makes his way to his friend’s home, gang members assault Charley in his living room. Paul arrives to hear Charley’s last words. Moments later, policemen arrive and arrest Paul for the murder. At the police station, the corrupt officers beat Paul, who remains silent. Inspector Richard Shriker arrives and recognizes Paul from a previous arrest, where he acted as a vigilante, although Paul has changed his name to “Kimble.” When Paul asks for a lawyer, he is denied, and Shriker threatens to have him killed, even though he does not believe that Paul is responsible for his friend’s death. Asserting his authority, the inspector punches Paul, prompting him to fight back, and be imprisoned. In the jail cell, Paul makes enemies with a gang member named Manny Fraker, and a fight ensues. As the outlaw is released from jail, he threatens to murder an elderly lady so he will be arrested and face Paul in jail again. Elsewhere, a lawyer named Kathyn Davis meets Shriker, warns that he is violating Paul’s civil rights, and orders his release. Shriker ignores her, and later meets privately with Paul, confessing his admiration for Paul’s past actions as a vigilante. With the crime rate becoming out of control, Shriker forces Paul to work for him in exchange for his release. The inspector promises Paul that he can deal with the criminals on his own terms. Upon leaving the station, Paul meets with lawyer Kathryn, who is surprised when he refuses to pursue legal ... +


Paul Kersey arrives by bus in New York City to visit his friend, Charley. As he makes his way to his friend’s home, gang members assault Charley in his living room. Paul arrives to hear Charley’s last words. Moments later, policemen arrive and arrest Paul for the murder. At the police station, the corrupt officers beat Paul, who remains silent. Inspector Richard Shriker arrives and recognizes Paul from a previous arrest, where he acted as a vigilante, although Paul has changed his name to “Kimble.” When Paul asks for a lawyer, he is denied, and Shriker threatens to have him killed, even though he does not believe that Paul is responsible for his friend’s death. Asserting his authority, the inspector punches Paul, prompting him to fight back, and be imprisoned. In the jail cell, Paul makes enemies with a gang member named Manny Fraker, and a fight ensues. As the outlaw is released from jail, he threatens to murder an elderly lady so he will be arrested and face Paul in jail again. Elsewhere, a lawyer named Kathyn Davis meets Shriker, warns that he is violating Paul’s civil rights, and orders his release. Shriker ignores her, and later meets privately with Paul, confessing his admiration for Paul’s past actions as a vigilante. With the crime rate becoming out of control, Shriker forces Paul to work for him in exchange for his release. The inspector promises Paul that he can deal with the criminals on his own terms. Upon leaving the station, Paul meets with lawyer Kathryn, who is surprised when he refuses to pursue legal action against the department. Out on the street, Paul witnesses two crimes by gang members, and realizes the challenge he faces. He soon meets Bennett Cross, a neighbor and friend of Charley’s, and Paul explains that Charley had written to him for help because he was fearful of the neighborhood gang. Bennett tells Paul that the gang members killed Charley, and points out the three men on the street whom he witnessed fleeing the scene after the murder. Bennett gives Paul the keys to Charley’s apartment, where he can reside until month’s end. As Paul settles in, Bennett informs him of the names and activities of the gang members, and notes that Fraker is the gang leader. Later, Paul buys a new car to lure the criminals, and as two men attempt to steal it, Paul shoots them dead. Over time, Paul rescues several neighbors, and Fraker learns of Paul’s arrival on the scene. When Shriker visits Paul and asks him to secure an arrest for the police department, Paul declines, reminding him of their agreement that he will be left alone to deal with the criminals. Paul reports that Fraker is the gang leader, but Shriker claims the gangster has a clean arrest record and they cannot arrest him. Sometime later, Kathryn Davis tracks down Paul at Charley’s apartment, and asks him out on a date. As he accepts, and warns Kathryn to leave the dangerous neighborhood, Fraker looks on from afar. As gang members continue attacking and robbing residents, Paul encourages his neighbors to fight back. When one woman is raped by Fraker, and later dies from her injuries, Paul plans an aggressive attack. To the cheers of neighborhood residents, Paul kills a gang member named Giggler, after the man robs him. Later, Fraker and the gang members attack Paul, and a fight ensues. After several gang members are killed, Shriker asks Paul to slow down, as the police department is becoming suspicious. After Fraker murders an elderly woman in her home, he telephones Paul and reports the act as vengeance. Later, Paul visits Kathryn, and the two make love. Paul reveals that his wife and daughter were murdered, and Kathryn invites him to leave the dangerous city with her. As the couple drives to a restaurant, Fraker follows, and when Paul stops at a post office, Fraker attacks Kathryn as she waits in the car. After punching her unconscious, he pushes the vehicle down a hill, where it crashes into another car and explodes. As the gang violence escalates, Shriker suggests Paul lie in wait, but when Paul refuses, Shriker has him arrested and placed into protective custody. Meanwhile, the gang attacks Bennett, and throws him down a fire escape. While in the hospital, Bennett requests a meeting with Paul, and Shriker releases him from jail. After visiting Bennett, Paul flees the hospital and returns to the neighborhood to gather an arsenal, including Charley’s hidden machine gun and a missile launcher. Paul takes to the streets and guns down several gang members. A riot ensues. Shriker joins the vigilante in the gunfight as the neighborhood becomes a war zone. As Fraker prepares to shoot Paul, Shriker shoots the gangster and the men have a gun battle. Thinking Fraker is dead, Paul and Shriker turn away, but moments later, Fraker revives, revealing his bulletproof vest, and points his gun at them again. Paul grabs a missile launcher and blows Fraker away. After, Shriker tells Paul to leave before the police arrive, and he walks down the burned-out streets with his suitcases. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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