7.1/10
1,694
39 user 23 critic

The Sniper (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 7 August 1952 (Denmark)
A sniper kills young brunettes as the police attempt to grapple with the psychology of the unknown assailant.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play by), (story by) (as Edna and Edward Anhalt) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Lineup (1958)
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In San Francisco, a psychopathic gangster and his mentor retrieve heroin packages carried by unsuspecting travelers.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Eli Wallach, Robert Keith, Richard Jaeckel
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer - until he finds his next target is a woman.

Director: Irving Lerner
Stars: Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi
Pushover (1954)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A larcenous undercover cop falls for the beautiful moll of a bank robber on the run and together they double-cross the hood nd the cops.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Kim Novak, Philip Carey
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four vets attending college on the GI Bill and a cabaret singer try to rob a Reno Casino and pull off the perfect crime.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Guy Madison, Kim Novak, Brian Keith
Cornered (1945)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Canadian flyer Laurence Gerard finds that his wife has been murdered by a French collaborator. His quest for justice leads him to Switzerland and Argentina.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Walter Slezak, Micheline Cheirel
Nightmare (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A New Orleans musician has a nightmare about killing a man in a strange house but he suspects that it really happened.

Director: Maxwell Shane
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Kevin McCarthy, Connie Russell
Time Table (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a train speeds through the Arizona night, a man posing as a physician holds up the baggage-car crew and escapes with a $500,000 payroll. The fake doctor, Paul Bruckner, leaves the train ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Stevens
Stars: Mark Stevens, King Calder, Felicia Farr
The Big Steal (1949)
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An army lieutenant accused of robbery pursues the real thief on a frantic chase through Mexico aided by the thief's fiancee.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, William Bendix
Illegal (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After an overly aggressive district attorney unknowingly sends an innocent man to the chair, he resigns, turns to drinking, and acquires a criminal clientèle.

Director: Lewis Allen
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Nina Foch, Hugh Marlowe
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dave Burke hires two very different debt-burdened men for a bank robbery. Suspicion and prejudice threaten to end their partnership.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White
T-Men (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two US Treasury agents hunt a successful counterfeiting ring.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Wallace Ford, Alfred Ryder
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Police Lt. Frank Kafka
...
Eddie Miller
...
Police Sgt. Joe Ferris
...
Jean Darr
...
Police Insp. Anderson
...
Dr. James G. Kent
Mabel Paige ...
Landlady
...
May Nelson
Geraldine Carr ...
Checker
Edit

Storyline

Apparently rejected by women all his life, a loner with a high-power rifle starts on a trail of murder. The police are baffled by the apparently random killings until their psychologist comes up with some ideas. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

police | rifle | killing | sniper | murder | See All (190) »

Taglines:

They were all brunettes... all under 30... and they all crossed the path of "THE SNIPER" See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 August 1952 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

El Francotirador  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Karen Sharpe. See more »

Goofs

In Mayors office with Liddele, the of the street (Van Ness Avenue), there is an electric bus and people waiting at the crosswalk in the picture they used for outside of the window. Obviously, the Bus nor people ever move. See more »

Quotes

Police Sgt. Joe Ferris: No word from the boyfriend yet.
Police Lt. Frank Kafka: He'll probably turn up as soon as he reads the papers. From what I know about musicians, they're not that neat when they decide to get rid of their dames.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in America's Sweethearts (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Plaisir d'amour
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Martini
Played by Marie Windsor in piano bar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Interesting Character Study/Crime Story
1 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For much of this film noir, it was almost more of a character study than a crime movie, since there was very little action and only some suspense in the final 10 minutes. However, I'm not complaining. I found the film got better and better as it went along and was an interesting story overall with an excellent cast. When the action did occur- the sniper's shots - they were shocking scenes, shocking in their suddenness.

I appreciated the fact they shot this on the streets in San Francisco, where the story takes place, instead of some Hollywood back-lot. That city, in particular, with its steep streets and bay-windowed houses, is fun to look at in any era. This happens to be very early 1950s. As with many noirs, the photography was notable, too. I liked a number of the camera angles used in this movie.

I also appreciated that cast. Arthur Franz is excellent in the lead role of the tormented killer, "Eddie Miller." Eddie knows right from the start that he's a sick man, that he can't help himself and that he needs him. (So, why didn't he turn himself in?) It was fun to see an older and sans-mustached Adolphe Menjou as the police lieutenant, and Humphrey Bogart- lookalike Gerald Mohr as a police sergeant. It was most fun, being a film noir buff, to see Marie Windsor. This "queen of noir," unfortunately, didn't have that big a role in here.

What really struck were some bizarre scenes, things I have never seen in these crime movies on the '30s through '50s. For example, there was an investigation of sniper suspects held at the police building in which three suspects at a time were grilled - in front of about a hundred cops. The grilling was more like taunting and insult-throwing by this sadistic cop in charge, who made fun of each guy. Man, if they tried that today, there would lawsuits up the wazoo (so to speak).

Then there was this James Dean-type teen who was on top of a city building with a rifle, right in the middle of this citywide sniper scare. The cops bravely bring him in without killing him and are yelled at for doing so, since the gun wasn't in serviceable order. Duh! The cops were supposed to just see a guy waving a gun on top of a rooftop and let him go, no questions asked?

A number of things in here stretched credibility, but there were some intelligent aspects, too. "Dr. Richard Kent," played by Richard Kiely, was a case in point. He was the police psychologist and gave strong speeches (the film got a little preachy at times) advocating what should be done with sex-crime offenders, some of it Liberal and some of it Conservative in nature. He made some good points. "Eddie" had sex problems, I guess, but I don't remember it being discussed in the film. Maybe I missed that. The film did miss that aspect: Eddie's background, which triggered all the violence.

The second half of this film is far better, because the killings increase and the suspense starts to mount. As it goes on, we get more of a feel of what motivates Eddie as we see his reactions to people and how he views things they say. I was surprised, frankly, that he didn't shoot his nasty female boss, since he only harmed women. She was the nastiest woman in the film, and nothing happened to her. What was Eddie thinking?


35 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
how does it end? kilmoonie-1
Where is a DVD for this... Wailmer1990
'prevention of sexually offensive criminology'? mooncaine-1
THe Horrible Irony photoe
Discuss The Sniper (1952) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?