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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. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Dr. James G. Kent
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Landlady
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May Nelson
Geraldine Carr ...
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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 | Plot Synopsis

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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Adolphe Menjou shaved off his trademark mustache for this film. 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 Photographer: [Referring to photographing the dead body] How about one with the sheet off, Lieutenant? Just one, that's all.
Police Lt. Frank Kafka: Not a chance!
Police Photographer: Why not? What's the matter?
Police Lt. Frank Kafka: Listen, food's too expensive to spoil people's appetite for breakfast. I wouldn't want a dead girl on my front page.
Police Photographer: You've got one anyway.
Police Lt. Frank Kafka: I don't like dead girls on the front page or anywhere else.
Police Sgt. Joe Ferris: [Interjecting] Should've been with me last night. You wouldn't have liked a couple of live ones. I had a lot of trouble last night.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in America's Sweethearts (2001) 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

 
Taking It Out On The World
16 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

Almost twenty years before San Francisco was terrorized by another sniper in Dirty Harry, this well received B film from Columbia Pictures painted a far less glamorous picture of a mentally ill individual taking his problems out on the world. Arthur Franz got his career role in The Sniper and a pity it didn't elevate him to stardom although he certainly had a distinguished and long career.

Franz paints us a portrayal of a socially challenged man who just can't get anywhere with the opposite sex. He conceives a pathological hatred of all women and an innocent encounter with a nightclub performer played by Marie Windsor finally triggers him off.

After that Franz is on a rampage, killing women almost at random from various San Francisco rooftops. The film was shot on location in San Francisco and The Sniper bears a whole lot of resemblance to The Naked City where Jules Dassin made New York's mean streets as much a star as the human players. Director Edward Dmytryk does the same for San Francisco.

And the cops here are much like Barry Fitzgerald and Don Taylor from that film. Watching the film I wonder how much persuasion it took to get Adolphe Menjou to shave off that famous wax mustache of his, a remnant of fashion from a bygone era. It certainly wouldn't have gone with his role as a homicide cop. But the voice is distinctive and Menjou put it over. Acting as his younger sidekick is Gerald Mohr.

What's ironic in The Sniper is that the whole thing is a desperate cry for help to a world to busy to care. The minor key ending of The Sniper brings that point home quite vividly.

The Sniper is a noir classic, not as glamorous as Dirty Harry Callahan's pursuit of another twisted individual through San Francisco, but a whole lot more realistic.


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