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The Killing of America (1981)

A documentary of the decline of America. It features a lot a great footage (most exclusive to this film) from race riots to serial killers and much-much more.


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Credited cast:
Chuck Riley ...
Ed Dorris ...
Himself (as Sgt. Ed Dorris Ret.)
Thomas Noguchi ...
Sirhan Sirhan ...
Wayne Henley ...
Ed Kemper ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Susan Atkins ...
Herself (archive footage)
David Berkowitz ...
Himself (archive footage)
Kenneth Bianchi ...
Himself (archive footage)
Lawrence Bittaker ...
Himself (archive footage)
James Brady ...
Himself (archive footage)
Arthur Bremer ...
Himself (archive footage)
Sam Brown ...
Himself (archive footage)
Louise Bundy ...
Herself - Ted Bundy's Mother (archive footage)
Ted Bundy ...
Himself (archive footage)


A documentary of the decline of America. It features a lot a great footage (most exclusive to this film) from race riots to serial killers and much-much more.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The film the American authorities didn't want you to see! See more »


Documentary | Crime


See all certifications »





Release Date:

5 September 1981 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Adeus América  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was never released, distributed, televised, or made available for sale in the USA until it finally received an official release in both the DVD and Blu-ray formats by Severin Films on October 25, 2016 . See more »


[last lines]
Narrator: While you watched this movie, five of us were murdered. One was the random killing of a stranger.
See more »


References Stir Crazy (1980) See more »


Give Peace A Chance
Written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Performed by John Lennon
©1969 Northern Songs Limited
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User Reviews

A Shocking Statement About Violence in America
8 September 2011 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Take the "Happiness is a Warm Gun" two minute shocking segment presented in "Bowling for Columbine" and multiply for almost two hours, then you have this excellent documentary named "The Killing of America". It reminds of what Michael Moore did in his powerful masterpiece, but this film haven't reach the impact of the Oscar winning documentary since it wasn't released in the U.S. back in 1982 and not even now (but it's easy to find on the internet). Leonard Schrader's film touched a deep wound of America and of course this couldn't be released in there, it would be misinterpreted and still can be depending of how one view this documentary. Strangely, this was made for the Japan market, another reason of why this wasn't shown in U.S. not even for home video.

What we have here is a look at some of the most horrendous figures and crimes that ever appeared in U.S. between 1950's and 1980's, most of them captured on camera, broadcasted on TV, followed by an haunting voice over from Chuck Riley. There you'll see the Kennedy's assassination, John Lennon's murder, Jim Jones, Ted Bundy, Charles Whitman, Sirhan Sirhan, Charles Manson, Brenda Spencer and other bigger and minor criminal and tragical events recorded on film that took place in America.

The intelligence of this documentary is to provoke a debate on why there was so much violent crimes in America in all the images presented here without reaching the sensationalism of things like "Faces of Death". It intrigues its viewers by exploring a dark past of one the most powerful countries of the world showing a unflattering and sad side of it. It gives us numbers, facts, informations and impressive things to make its audience think about possible reasons behind this enormous stream of crimes and violence.

The images are haunting and quite depressive, but it should never be viewed as an attack to a country's past, it's just a critical piece that exposes its great arguments over a current critical situation of that period. It could happen at any place, and it happens indeed. I'm hoping to find such an brutal and honest film like this concerning the violent facts and images of my country, someday in a future until we have someone with the guts like the creators of this powerful media. 10/10

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