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Sniper
     

Sniper

Director: Jerry Jameson

Cast: Kurt Russell, Richard Yniguez, Ned Beatty

 
Made for television, Sniper originally aired under the title The Deadly Tower. In vivid, sweat-inducing detail, the film recreates the horror of August 4, 1966, when outwardly normal student Charles Whitman climbed to the tower of the University of Texas and began firing his rifle on the passersby below. 13 people were killed and 34 wounded before

Overview

Made for television, Sniper originally aired under the title The Deadly Tower. In vivid, sweat-inducing detail, the film recreates the horror of August 4, 1966, when outwardly normal student Charles Whitman climbed to the tower of the University of Texas and began firing his rifle on the passersby below. 13 people were killed and 34 wounded before Whitman himself was killed by courageous police office Ramiro Martinez. Filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this docudrama stars Kurt Russell as Whitman, Richard Yniguez as Ramirez, and Ned Beatty as Alan Crum, a reluctant bystander who became an equally reluctant hero when pressed into service by Ramirez. The Deadly Tower first aired October 18, 1975.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This retitled TV movie, originally known as The Deadly Tower, is a real white-knuckle affair. The script avoids gratuitous melodrama in favor of a just-the-facts docudrama style. It's a smart choice because it makes the horror of Charles Whitman's rampage all the more effective thanks via its matter-of-fact approach. It's also worth noting that the script weaves in an effective, subtle "gun control" theme into the story's second half. Kurt Russell is effective in a mostly-silent role as Whitman, using his physicality and facial expressions to convey a palpable sense of confused anger. However, the real dramatic weight of the film is carried by Richard Yniguez as Martinez, the resourceful cop who ultimately brings Whitman down, and he receives fine support from Ned Beatty as a helpful, talkative worker trapped in the crossfire and John Forsythe as the detective trying to figure out the motivation behind the mass murder. Director Jerry Jameson deploys these performances skillfully in the film, using real locations to atmospheric effect and weaving together a taut narrative that becomes a real nail-biter in its second half. Jameson's work also benefits greatly from a shivery, synthesizer-tinged musical score by jazz great Don Ellis and sharp lensing from cinematographer Matthew Leonetti. In short, Sniper is an effective thriller and worth rediscovering for anyone interested in tales of real-life horror.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/12/2010
UPC:
0883316221464
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
19,161

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