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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 September 2006, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Winner's Death Wish 'most copied'
Michael Winner
Winner rejected an OBE for his work with the Police Memorial Trust
Director Michael Winner believes his 1974 film Death Wish to be the most copied film in cinema history.

Winner, 70, said Death Wish, which starred Charles Bronson as a vengeful vigilante, was a "watershed film".

The British director, who made two sequels, said that before he made the film it was "inconceivable" that a hero could be shown killing other citizens.

"It broke barriers that had existed since the inception of cinema," Winner told Reuters news agency.

Some critics have condemned the film and its sequels, arguing they promote violence.

But Winner, who is chair of the Police Memorial Trust and has campaigned in favour of the death penalty, said he feels the film still resonates today.

Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey in Death Wish
He had this marvellous face and this marvellous attitude
Michael Winner on Death Wish star Charles Bronson

"It is as fresh as ever and people still talk about it in the street," he told Reuters, in an interview to promote a new DVD edition of the film.

Winner credited much of the film's success to Bronson, who died three years ago and starred in all of the films in the series.

"He had this marvellous face and this marvellous attitude," said Winner.

"Charlie was awfully good at appearing to have a great deal of pent-up anger and you are waiting for him to explode."

The director, whose films include The Wicked Lady and A Chorus of Disapproval, said he still gets asked to do "the 23rd remake of Death Wish under a different name".

But added: "I don't want to do something for the sake of it. I am prepared to wait. If I wait until I am buried, too bad."

Earlier this year Winner turned down an OBE in the Queen's 80th birthday honours' list because he felt it is "what you get if you clean the toilets well at King's Cross station."


SEE ALSO
Winner's tribute to 'top star' Bronson
01 Sep 03 |  Entertainment

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