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From Death Wish (1974) to Death Wish (2018): A Change in Attitude toward Guns and Violence between the Release of the Movies

When Death Wish starring Charles Bronson came out it was a blockbuster. The movie has a scene where police discuss an internal report that crime in New York City was down, no doubt as a result of Bronson’s character walking the streets at night dishing out his own form of justice (the new version of the movie does not carry that scene). Two years after the original movie was released, Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor introduced legislation which would become copied across the country, leading to concealed gun laws in states. The re-make of Death Wish starring Bruce Willis, has elements of the original but does not carry the same community spirit in the movie that supports this vigilante walking the streets of Chicago. Instead, the movie has a radio show, for example, presenting Willis’s character in a way where some can support him and some cannot. The original movie was received with often applause in movie theaters when a bad guy was shot, not so with the re-make. How the newer version is received is, perhaps, different than the original and can lead to a discussion of guns, violence, and attitudes toward addressing crime.