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Two-Minute Warning (1976)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  12 November 1976 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 2,222 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 17 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 »

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(novel) (as George La Fountaine) , (screenplay)
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Title: Two-Minute Warning (1976)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sgt. Button
...
Sam McKeever
...
Mike Ramsay
Marilyn Hassett ...
Lucy
...
Steve
...
Sandman
...
Janet
...
The Pickpocket
...
Paul
David Groh ...
Al
...
The Priest
Joe Kapp ...
Charlie Tyler
...
Peggy Ramsay
Jon Korkes ...
Jeffrey
Edit

Storyline

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 <homerjer@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

91,000 people. 33 exit gates. One Sniper... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pánico en el estadio  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film from Universal Pictures is considered part of the 1970s cycle of Hollywood Disaster Movies. A year later, the Paramount Pictures studio released the similarly themed Black Sunday (1977) which instead of a sniper threat had a terrorist plot at the Super Bowl. The same 1977 year saw Universal also produce Rollercoaster (1977) with bomb caused accidents at amusement parks. Moreover, a line of dialogue in Two-Minute Warning (1976) referred to "Sudden Death" in the football game, Sudden Death (1995) also being the title of the Universal's similarly themed later 90s disaster movie where a terrorist plot threatens an ice-hockey match. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, Sgt Button and Capt Holly are stalking the sniper in the tower where he is hiding. Visibility is almost nil because of darkness and the smoke from a smoke grenade, yet the two officers are wearing sunglasses. All this would have made it near impossible for them to see the sniper, yet Holly spots him immediately and shoots him. See more »

Quotes

Janet: I was on the same plane as you. I couldn't help but notice how attractive you are. You know you have a very beautiful mouth?
Steve: Yeah, so do you, but it's big. You go away, lady, or I'll call a cop.
Janet: I am a cop.
Steve: Well, then kiss me, I'm crazy about cops.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.112 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Undervalued thriller.
18 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A lone gunman has his sights set on a sell-out crowd at a championship football game. Captain Peter Holly leads the desperate fight to try and stop the maniac from picking people off at will. Perched high on top of of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the gunman has his pick of the targets, the Mayor-the President-or merely the innocent? Either way he has to be stopped before all hell breaks loose.

Much like Roller-coaster a year later, Two-Minute Warning is wrongly lumped in with the disaster movie genre that flooded the 1970s, and just like Roller-coaster, Two-Minute Warning is an excellently taut thriller. The build up is paced to precision, all characters are introduced to us to give us something to associate with should things go very wrong. As this is happening we get little POV snippets of our killer, accompanied by Charles Fox's harshly impacting music, the killer is never seen but we feel the dread, the impending sense of murder is a constant presence.

Once we are at the game and the authorities are aware that a sniper is on the roof, the film shifts up a gear and lays on the suspense thick and heavy. Captain Holly {Charlton Heston} is joined by the SWAT team, led by the cool and serious Sgt. Chris Button {John Cassavetes}, whilst stadium security manager Sam McKeever {Martin Balsam} prays that disaster can be averted. Then the final third of the picture is a ripper-heart pounding stuff, a final third that rewards the viewers patience for having invested in the film and its characters. Filling out the cast is Gena Rowlands, Jack Klugman {brilliant interplay with Mitch Ryan's priest}, Beau Bridges, Walter Pidgeon and David Jansen. Two-Minute Warning is a quality thriller that is sadly undervalued on the IMDb site, go on, give it a go and you might just be pleasantly surprised. 7.5/10

Footnote: I should point out that my thoughts are on the original unedited cut of this film, I have never seen the watered down TV cut and have no plans to ever do so.


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