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Two-Minute Warning (1976)

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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Al
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Joe Kapp ...
Charlie Tyler
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Jeffrey
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Box Office

Budget:

$6,700,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production team actually contacted the National Football League about using the NFL and its team and uniforms as part of the film. NFL executives asked "What's the film about?" After they given a brief synopsis, they said that they would not bother reading the script because there was zero chance of the league ever lending any support to such a movie. Interestingly, a few years later the NFL did not object to the movie "Black Sunday" using real teams and game footage as part of its terrorism/bloodshed-set story. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mr. Green: You listen. I just hope you pick the right team today, Stu, because if I don't get that 28 G's in my pocket before sundown, you're going to take another trip out the window. And next time, nobody holds the ankles. You got it?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Of its time
16 August 2011 | by (hiding under my seat) – See all my reviews

What's most interesting to me about Two-Minute Warning is that it's exactly the sort of middle-of-the-road Hollywood flick that they simply will not make anymore. It isn't in the least bit arty, it's not a great script, it doesn't require method acting of its actors, nor a Ph.D. in psychology to understand. What it is, is blunt, brutal, and matter-of-fact. It's almost completely untainted with sentimentality (just a touch here and there), and it isn't trying to orchestrate your feelings as if your emotions were a violin section. It's just telling a sort of ugly but gripping story, and goes about it a step at a time.

Today when you go to a movie that covers similar thematic territory, the script is almost always overwritten, and badly written. (Both, with each amplifying the other's ugliness: because scripts are so overwritten -- that is, because you so loudly hear the voice of the author over the voice of the characters -- you are all the more painfully aware of the mediocrity of that voice, and of its allegiance to bland corporate values instead of specific human ones). The studios have gotten storytelling down to such a maudlin formula that they will keep bringing new "writers" onto the project until every box on their list of heart-tugging, tear-welling, triumph-savoring emotional epiphanies is represented and over-represented in every script. The end result as a viewer is sort of the storytelling equivalent of watching a two-hour tape of, um, climax shots from porn -- you are so oversaturated with "excitement" that all you see is the ridiculous falsity of everything.

So, even though Two-Minute Warning is not a great movie, even though no-one would likely get nominated for an Academy Award for writing it, it is a movie worth seeing, because it demonstrates that you can tell a story without pretense, and that a solid story, told without pretense, is far more enjoyable to sit through than a grandiose one, told with pretensions that seem to emanate from a supernaturally limitless well somewhere beneath the Earth's crust in Burbank.

When I come grousing out of another horrible summer action movie, and the anti-intellectuals in the crowd sneer that "not everything has to be Bergman", I want to tell them, "no, but everything could at least be Two-Minute Warning -- is that setting the bar too high for you?" The film is entertaining, suspenseful, violent, disturbing, and it has some pretty good actors just playing rather ordinary cops that are fun to watch (John Cassavetes? Are you kidding me?). I sure wish they'd make more movies like this to fill out the schedule these days.


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