IMDb > Warning Shot (1967)
Warning Shot
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Warning Shot (1967) More at IMDbPro »

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6.9/10   433 votes »
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Down 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Whit Masterson (novel)
Mann Rubin (screenplay)
View company contact information for Warning Shot on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 January 1967 (USA) See more »
Gun, Gun, Who's Got the Gun? Is It Here? Is It Here? Is It Here? See more »
A police sergeant kills a man who pulls a gun on him during a stakeout. But the dead suspect is a respected... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Either or . . . See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

David Janssen ... Sgt. Tom Valens

Ed Begley ... Capt. Roy Klodin

Keenan Wynn ... Sgt. Ed Musso

Sam Wanamaker ... Frank Sanderman

Lillian Gish ... Alice Willows

Stefanie Powers ... Liz Thayer

Eleanor Parker ... Mrs. Doris Ruston

George Grizzard ... Walt Cody

George Sanders ... Calvin York

Steve Allen ... Perry Knowland

Carroll O'Connor ... Paul Jerez

Joan Collins ... Joanie Valens

Walter Pidgeon ... Orville Ames

Vito Scotti ... Designer
David Garfield ... Police Surgeon (as John Garfield Jr.)

Robert Williams ... Judge Gerald Lucas
Jerry Dunphy ... Himself - TV newscaster
Romo Vincent ... Ira Garvin
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Rodney Bingenheimer ... Picketer (uncredited)
Paul Bradley ... Man in Photograph (uncredited)

Jean Carson ... Cocktail Waitress (uncredited)

Phil Chambers ... Gardener (uncredited)

Donald Curtis ... Dr. James B. Ruston (uncredited)
Brian Dunne ... Philip 'Rusty' Ruston (uncredited)
Karl Lukas ... Custodian (uncredited)
Don Mitchell ... Black Protester (uncredited)

John Mitchum ... Reporter at Apartment (uncredited)
Robert Osterloh ... Reporter (uncredited)
Claude Stroud ... Photographer (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Inquest Spectator (uncredited)

Jason Wingreen ... Reporter Outside Courtroom (uncredited)

Directed by
Buzz Kulik 
Writing credits
Whit Masterson (novel "711--Officer Needs Help")

Mann Rubin (screenplay)

Produced by
Bob Banner .... producer
Buzz Kulik .... producer
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Joseph F. Biroc  (as Joseph Biroc)
Film Editing by
Archie Marshek 
Art Direction by
Roland Anderson 
Hal Pereira 
Set Decoration by
Robert R. Benton 
George R. Nelson 
Costume Design by
Edith Head 
Makeup Department
Nellie Manley .... hair stylist
Wally Westmore .... makeup artist
Art Department
Joe LaBella .... property master
Visual Effects by
Farciot Edouart .... process photography
Paul K. Lerpae .... special photographic effects
Ron Burke .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Tom May .... key grip

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Final film of Donald Curtis.See more »
Mrs. Doris Ruston:We're two of a kind, Mr. Valens, remember, two losers. And according to an old Chinese proverb, when you rub two losers together, sometimes you get surprises... sometimes even fire.
Sgt. Tom Valens:I'm a sore loser, Mrs. Ruston... a sore loser.
See more »


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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Either or . . ., 30 March 2006
Author: inspectors71 from Fly-Over Country

You can take Buzz Kulik's Warning Shot one of two ways. It's either a crackling good cop show, filled with procedure and great pacing, and David Janssen at his most heroically pathetic (and empathetic) as an LAPD detective facing a manslaughter charge or the movie is an over-clichéd snapshot of forced topicality in the Mirandized late '60's. It's really your call.

I'd like to think of Warning Shot as both, the way The Detective and Madigan mixed the vulnerable with the vulgar. After about the fourth time Janssen's character, Tom Valens, gets abused or beaten or gassed by the well-to-do slimeballs he's sworn to defend, you might start to notice how he'd probably be better off copping a plea for shooting a philanthropist doctor. Instead he swears grimly that he's going to defend his own honor to the bitter end (and repeatedly almost gets his way).

Warning Shot is packed with cameos, people who were legends when I was a kid, and now, forty years after its release, most of the performers are unrecognizable, which makes the story more accessible and less of an exercise in "Hey, look--it's . . . "

What makes the movie work is that David Janssen, looking ten years older than 35, is so very real as a man of good character with no excess intelligence, just grim determination.

A key figure in the story refers to Valens as "Sgt. Gumshoe" or something like that. It fits. Janssen's Valens is ordinary and vulnerable to the hyperventilating police-haters all around him. He can't do much more than reel and lurch from one disaster to the next, while awaiting his guaranteed-to-be-convicted trial. At one point, he gets the stuffing kicked out of him and doesn't even lay a finger on his attackers.

His ex-wife (played by the reptillian Joan Collins) tries to screw him while busting the very organs she's depending on for their quickie. The District Attorney (the equally scaley Sam Wannamaker) announces to Valens that he likes to crush solid and stolid cops whenever possible. By the end, Janssen has no one to turn to for even the most rudimentary support, not even a union rep (a very young and lovely Stephanie Powers, the dead doctor's nurse, can do no more than cluck over his sincerity and give him a ride home).

Nobody can help this poor shlub except himself.

Which brings me back to why Warning Shot is a mixture of reality and topical paranoia. Often, in crisis, people have to revert back to their core values to save themselves. Either they don't have anyone to help them or they don't trust anyone and decide to go it alone. Janssen's Tom Valens does just that.

Yet, at one point, he's told that his career is through no matter what happens. You can see the pain of this reality on Janssen's face as he surveys the damage he's done at the end of Warning Shot. He tosses his piece on the hood of a police car (no gun love here--it's just an ugly tool he wants out of his hand) and looks almost ready to cry from frustration and exhaustion. Like Frank Sinatra's Joe Leland and Richard Widmark's Dan Madigan, Tom Valens needs to get as far away from police work as possible.

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