7.1/10
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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 »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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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
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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:

To the police - stop me. Find me and stop me. I'm going to do it again. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an early example of product placement, Arthur Franz as Eddie Miller drinks a Blatz beer from Marie Windsor's refrigerator. See more »

Goofs

Miller takes a full beer out of the refrigerator and takes one sip, but in the next shot, 80% of the bottle is empty. See more »

Quotes

Police Insp. Anderson: [noticing that curious onlookers are sticking their heads out of nearby windows] You know, some solid citizens are gonna' get their brains blown out if they don't pull their heads in... not that they got any brains to begin with.
Police Lt. Frank Kafka: Why don't you tell 'em?
Police Insp. Anderson: I'm waiting for the sound truck...
Police Insp. Anderson: [Sound truck has arrived, Anderson comes over the loudspeakers] This is Inspector Anderson speaking. Will the people please get their heads out of their windows? I repeat: get your heads out of the windows. There...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Tribute to Stanley Kramer (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Pennies from Heaven
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Johnston
Words by Johnny Burke (1936)
Played by Marie Windsor in piano bar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compact thriller with good San Fransisco location shots...
27 February 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

THE SNIPER reminds me of a more compact, more personal look at a psycho killer than THE NAKED CITY, which it resembles in style and content.

ARTHUR FRANZ gets his big break here, a starring role in a well-written thriller about a serial killer who wishes he could stop killing, if the police would only catch him. The final scene is a summation of that wish, but almost seems like a letdown after all the build-up to what we presume would be a bloody climax (if directed by someone like today's Martin Scorsese).

Franz's trouble is that he looks too much like any clean-cut, normal, handsome young man and his looks work against the grain of the role. He's intense when he has to be, but lacks the intenseness of a James Dean or even a Dane Clark as the man given to sudden outbursts of temper and a psyche that is screaming for help and attention. He's good, but never manages to be better than his material. Think of what someone like DANIEL CRAIG would do with this role today.

MARIE WINDSOR does a nice job as a glamorous night club pianist who has the young man (who works as an errand boy for the local cleaners) as a sort of friend she trusts. Her walk through an almost deserted looking San Francisco at night, down hilly streets on the way to her workplace, is photographed with noir precision and style, as is most of the film. Neat use of San Francisco's hilly environment is a constant point of interest throughout.

ADOLPHE MENJOU is not quite as colorful as Barry Fitzgerald was in THE NAKED CITY, playing a detective determined to catch the serial killer before he strikes again. MABEL PAIGE does a nice job as Franz's landlady who talks to her black and white cat as though it was her own dear child, and GERALD MOHR is briskly efficient as a psychiatrist who thinks the police are going about their search the wrong way.

Wonderfully photographed in B&W shadowy photography, it's a compact and efficient film noir that is perhaps a little too restrained in dealing with frank subject matter but nevertheless gets its points across with chilling clarity, thanks to a tight script and some good suspenseful footage.

Summing up: Stands on its own as a good thriller from the early '50s.


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