Two-Minute Warning (1976)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  12 November 1976 (USA)
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Reviews: 54 user | 18 critic

A psychotic sniper plans a massive killing spree in a Los Angeles football stadium during a major championship game. The police, led by Captain Peter Holly (Charlton Heston) and SWAT ... See full summary »



(novel) (as George La Fountaine) , (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sgt. Button
Sam McKeever
Mike Ramsay
Marilyn Hassett ...
The Pickpocket
David Groh ...
The Priest
Joe Kapp ...
Charlie Tyler
Peggy Ramsay
Jon Korkes ...


A psychotic sniper plans a massive killing spree in a Los Angeles football stadium during a major championship game. The police, led by Captain Peter Holly (Charlton Heston) and SWAT commander Sergeant Button (John Cassavetes), learn of the plot and rush to the scene. Still, they may be too late, as an all-star cast finds itself lined up in the sights of a gun-toting madman. Written by Tim Tompkins <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For some...too much time to wait. For the rest...too little time to run. See more »


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pánico en el estadio  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie was deemed too violent to show intact on broadcast television, so they re-wrote the story and added a heist element. The re-written material minimized both the main storyline and the subplots. See more »


When Sgt. Button and Lieber pull down and arrest the spectator who is sitting on the platform underneath the lights, the spectator's hands are free when they pull him down into the seats. In the next shot, as the spectator lies on his stomach in between the seats, his arms are bound behind him by twist-tie handcuffs. In the next shot, his hands are free, and Lieber is putting the twist-tie handcuffs around the spectator's wrists. See more »


Steve: He's a hell of a charmer. Just make sure his hair doesn't fall in your drink.
See more »


Edited into The Day After (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Terror At the Coliseum
8 December 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Seventies was the decade of the disaster film, but oddly enough Charlton Heston has never been credit for being King of the genre. We know Heston for his work in big budget spectacles like The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur, but he's probably appeared in more disaster films than any other player.

Think about it, Heston during the seventies starred in Earthquake, Grey Lady Down, Skyjacked, Airport 75 and this film Two Minute Warning. All of them with a cast of well known players put in harm's way of a terrible act.

In this case it's some psycho freak with a rifle with telescopic sight who decides he's going to take out a whole load of people at a championship football game at the Los Angeles Coliseum. As in all disaster films the guessing is as to who among the cast will survive until the end of the movie.

We're not sure what the freak's motivation is, we do know that as the film opens for target practice he shoots down one of a pair of bicyclers driving past his motel. On some level I really don't care. The time for societal soul searching stops when the bullets begin to fire. After that it's only one thing, get him.

Charlton Heston is the police captain at the precinct where the Coliseum is located and John Cassavetes is the SWAT commander assigned to kill or capture. By the way it is also shown earlier Cassavetes SWAT team actually taking a suspect alive, so it's not that they are just looking for an opportunity to use the weapons.

Among the crowd at the football game there are some performances I especially liked, one of them being Beau Bridges as a young father out with his family for the game who spots the sniper and tries to warn the already informed police. Also Mitchell Ryan and Jack Klugman have some nice scenes as a priest who happens to be sitting next to a gambling addict who literally has his life riding on the point spread.

Two Minute Warning is not the best or worst of the Seventies disaster films. The cast is competent enough, a bunch of real professionals without a sour note among them.

Terror is real, an evil unto itself without reason and Two Minute Warning dramatically drives that point home.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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