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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 <email@example.com>
The name of the sports stadium was the real-life Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The venue can be seen sporting Olympics Rings on its exterior wall adjacent to the arena's name. Los Angeles had unsuccessfully bidded for the Olympic Games in 1976 which was the year the film was released; they were held in Montreal, Canada. LA had hosted them in 1932, held them again in 1984 and had also unsuccessfully bidded to host them in 1980. At the time the movie was made and released, LA had not yet been elected as the 1984 Olympics Host city as the vote did not occur until 18th May 1978. Four years prior to this sniper stadium disaster movie, the Palestinian terrorist group Black September held Israeli athletes hostage at the Munich 1972 Summer Olympic Games, this being the subject of the Academy Award (Oscar) Winning documentary One Day in September (1999). See more »
When Pratt, the SWAT team member, is climbing up to the stadium lights platform, he is first shown in a long shot climbing up the fixed rung ladder attached to the platform's support pole. A close-up then shows Pratt climbing up the steel extension ladder that he used a moment before to ascend to the support pole. A wide shot then shows him ascending the fixed rung ladder on the support pole again. See more »
He's a hell of a charmer. Just make sure his hair doesn't fall in your drink.
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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.
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