While still in his teens, director Michael Winner had begun working as a film critic, publishing pieces in various London papers like The Evening Standard and The Spectator. After studies at Cambridge, where he edited Varsity, he entered the film industry in earnest. Working his way up through the ranks, Winner directed his first television projects in the 1950s. By the middle of the decade, he had begun to edit, write, produce and direct a series of short films, most notably "Haunted England" (1959). Winner founded his own production company, Scimitar Films, and went on to direct his first feature the teen musical "Play It Cool" in 1962. Other films of that ilk followed until he switched gears with the crime drama "West 11" (1963). He hit his peak in the mid-1960s with a series of taut, cynical films starring Oliver Reed, including "The System/The Girl-Getters" (1964) and "The Jokers" (1966). Winner then moved to Hollywood and directed several ambitious, but mostly unexceptional films. He was perhaps best known for his six films with Charles Bronson, most particularly "Death Wish" (1974) and its first two sequels.