6.7/10
755
19 user 7 critic

The Deadly Tower (1975)

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

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(teleplay), (story) (as Antonio Calderon) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

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 <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Thriller | Action | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 October 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sniper  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In notes left prior to the incident Whitman requested an autopsy, to see if there was a medical reason for his uncontrolled aggression. Autopsies and post-mortems were performed, and they confirmed he had a congenital brain tumor, that had recently gone from dormant to active, and the tumor could have caused his aggression. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Charles Whitman is seen driving a dark-green Dodge pickup truck. In actuality, Whitman drove a black Chevrolet Impala on the day of the mass shooting. See more »

Quotes

[a receptionist on the top floor sees Charles Whitman exiting the nearby elevator and hauling a large trunk]
Receptionist: Sir? Can I help you. I'm sorry, you can't take that up their without permission!
Charles Joseph Whitman: [points to the door to the nearby security office] Who's in there?
Receptionist: Nobody now, they're at lunch but you still can't take that on the observation deck.
Charles Joseph Whitman: [grabs the receptionist and forces her to the elevator] Listen, you go on down and don't you come back here... not if your life means anything to you!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Scenic Highway (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very intense movie indeed
12 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie when it first aired in October 1975. NBC ran a viewer advisory that it was very intense and may affect sensitive viewers. Yes, indeed! Whitman was one demented person and the casting of All-American Disney actor Kurt Russell to play him was incredible...it showed Russell could do heavy stuff. The casting of journeyman Latino actor Richard Yniguez to play Officer Martinez was also great. The supporting cast (Ned Beatty, John Forsythe, Pernell Roberts, etc.) was also excellent. It was interesting to see Mr. Forsythe as a detective investigating the gun stores-a far cry from Bentley Gregg or Blake Carrington. This was also Pernell Roberts' first time on TV in a while playing Martinez' sergeant. Part of the intensity of the movie came from the fact that Whitman shot at anyone or anything that moved and any attempt to take him out (shooting from a plane or citizens shooting with their hunting rifles) only agitated him. The bookstore clerk guiding Martinez and his fellow officers into the tower showed true heroism. I was in college in California when this movie first aired and I mentioned to my father that my college's library had an observation/study deck that somebody could use for such an act! In fact the college security department worked out a plan in case of somebody doing this. Thank goodness nobody tried this. Back to the movie...it was presented from Martinez' point of view and some have said there is a Latino bias, but I say it is a very intense depiction of true heroism. 43 years have passed since that tragic day. One would hope it would never happen again anywhere, but it does (Fort Hood, San Ysidro, Orlando, to name a few).


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