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The Sniper (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 7 August 1952 (Denmark)
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2:16 | Trailer

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A sniper kills young brunettes as the police attempt to grapple with the psychology of the unknown assailant.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

Harry Brown (screen play), Edna Anhalt (story) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Adolphe Menjou ... Police Lt. Frank Kafka
Arthur Franz ... Edward Miller
Gerald Mohr ... Police Sgt. Joe Ferris
Marie Windsor ... Jean Darr
Frank Faylen ... Police Insp. Anderson
Richard Kiley ... Dr. James G. Kent
Mabel Paige ... Landlady
Marlo Dwyer ... May Nelson
Geraldine Carr Geraldine Carr ... Checker
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Storyline

Apparently rejected by women all his life, a loner with a high-power rifle starts on a trail of murder. The police are baffled by the apparently random killings until their psychologist comes up with some ideas. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To the police - stop me. Find me and stop me. I'm going to do it again. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1952 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

El Francotirador See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Adolphe Menjou shaved off his trademark mustache for this film. See more »

Goofs

In Mayors office with Liddele, the of the street (Van Ness Avenue), there is an electric bus and people waiting at the crosswalk in the picture they used for outside of the window. Obviously, the Bus nor people ever move. See more »

Quotes

E.R. doctor: [talking to the duty nurse] You know how much coffee I've had today? 17 cups. The Brazilians ought to give me a medal.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A word about the picture which follows: High among police problems is that of the sex criminal, responsible last year alone for offenses which victimized 31,175 women. Adequate and understanding laws do not exist. Law enforcement is helpless. Here, in terms of one case, is the story of a man whose enemy was womankind. See more »

Connections

References Raiders of Tomahawk Creek (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Plaisir d'amour
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Martini
Played by Marie Windsor in piano bar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compact thriller with good San Fransisco location shots...
27 February 2007 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

THE SNIPER reminds me of a more compact, more personal look at a psycho killer than THE NAKED CITY, which it resembles in style and content.

ARTHUR FRANZ gets his big break here, a starring role in a well-written thriller about a serial killer who wishes he could stop killing, if the police would only catch him. The final scene is a summation of that wish, but almost seems like a letdown after all the build-up to what we presume would be a bloody climax (if directed by someone like today's Martin Scorsese).

Franz's trouble is that he looks too much like any clean-cut, normal, handsome young man and his looks work against the grain of the role. He's intense when he has to be, but lacks the intenseness of a James Dean or even a Dane Clark as the man given to sudden outbursts of temper and a psyche that is screaming for help and attention. He's good, but never manages to be better than his material. Think of what someone like DANIEL CRAIG would do with this role today.

MARIE WINDSOR does a nice job as a glamorous night club pianist who has the young man (who works as an errand boy for the local cleaners) as a sort of friend she trusts. Her walk through an almost deserted looking San Francisco at night, down hilly streets on the way to her workplace, is photographed with noir precision and style, as is most of the film. Neat use of San Francisco's hilly environment is a constant point of interest throughout.

ADOLPHE MENJOU is not quite as colorful as Barry Fitzgerald was in THE NAKED CITY, playing a detective determined to catch the serial killer before he strikes again. MABEL PAIGE does a nice job as Franz's landlady who talks to her black and white cat as though it was her own dear child, and GERALD MOHR is briskly efficient as a psychiatrist who thinks the police are going about their search the wrong way.

Wonderfully photographed in B&W shadowy photography, it's a compact and efficient film noir that is perhaps a little too restrained in dealing with frank subject matter but nevertheless gets its points across with chilling clarity, thanks to a tight script and some good suspenseful footage.

Summing up: Stands on its own as a good thriller from the early '50s.


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