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The Deadly Tower (1975)

TV Movie  -   -  Thriller | Action | Drama  -  18 October 1975 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 539 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 5 critic

The infamous story of Charles Whitman, "America's favourite sniper" (in Stephen King's words), is told here once again.



(teleplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Deadly Tower (TV Movie 1975)

The Deadly Tower (TV Movie 1975) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast overview:
Charles Whitman
Ramiro Martinez (as Richard Yñiguez)
Allan Crum
Lieutenant Lee
Captain Fred Ambrose
Lt. Elwood Forbes
Narrator (voice)
C.T. Foss
Alan Vint ...
Tim Davis
Maria Elena Cordero ...
Vinni Martinez (as Maria-Elena Cordero)


Charles Whitman is student at the University of Texas in Austin. He often suffers from headaches, during which he tends to violence. One night, he kills wife and mother, buys a number of rifles and loads of ammunition and takes them to the top of the tower of the university, where he barricades himself. With his long-range weapons his starts to shoot at everything that moves. Already until the police arrives, there are numerous people wounded or dead. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thriller | Action | Drama


See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 October 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Deadly Tower  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Houston McCoy and Ray Martinez, the Police Officers who shot Whitman, both sued MGM. Martinez sued because he felt he and his family were portrayed in a manner that perpetuated hispanic stereotypes. His wife wasn't pregnant, and her ethnic background was German-American, not Hispanic-American. See more »


Police Officers Houston McCoy and Ray Martinez both shot Whitman during the final confrontation. The autopsy credited McCoy with firing the fatal shot, but he was not included in the movie. See more »


Lieutenant Elwood Forbes: Sorry to bother you, but I understand you told one of my men earlier about a guy in here buying guns and ammo. Could you tell me what he looked like?
Gun Shop Owner: Like I told the officer on the phone, I don't pay attention to how my customers look.
Lieutenant Elwood Forbes: Can't you try to remember?
Gun Shop Owner: Well, he was a big man. Short hair, nice looking.
Lieutenant Elwood Forbes: Did you know him? Have you ever seen him in here before?
Gun Shop Owner: Like I told the officer who called, I don't pay attention to how my customers look.
Lieutenant Elwood Forbes: Don't you think it's strange? A man walks in ...
See more »


Referenced in Drawn Together: Dirty Pranking Number 2 (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Charles Whitman, American psycho
14 August 2005 | by (Rain City, Pacific Northwest) – See all my reviews

When Charles Whitman did his psycho-sniper act in 1966 it seemed like an unfathomable act of total madness and a one-of a kind nightmarish freak occurrence. Flash forward to the 21st century and see the depressing regularity with which American men nut-up and start killing people.

At the time this played on TV Kurt Russell was known only from his appearances in light-hearted Disney comedies, so it must have been unnervingly effective to see him going off the deep end, sweating and approaching his sleeping mother with a knife clenched in his hand( he never says a word in the film) and then calmly loading up his arsenal for the trip to the bell tower.It is an amazingly dark role and kudos to the producers for casting him against type.

This is a very low-key approach to a fairly hair-raising true story. Kudos all around.

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