6.7/10
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19 user 7 critic

The Deadly Tower (1975)

The infamous story of Charles Whitman, "America's favourite sniper" (in Stephen King's words), is told here once again.

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(teleplay), (story) (as Antonio Calderon) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
... Charles Whitman
... Ramiro Martinez (as Richard Yñiguez)
... Allan Crum
... Lieutenant Lee
... Captain Fred Ambrose
... Lt. Elwood Forbes
... Narrator (voice)
... C.T. Foss
... Tim Davis
Maria Elena Cordero ... Vinni Martinez (as Maria-Elena Cordero)
... Mano
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Storyline

Charles Whitman is student at the University of Texas in Austin. He often suffers from headaches, during which he tends to violence. One night, he kills wife and mother, buys a number of rifles and loads of ammunition and takes them to the top of the tower of the university, where he barricades himself. With his long-range weapons his starts to shoot at everything that moves. Already until the police arrives, there are numerous people wounded or dead. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

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Details

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Release Date:

18 October 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sniper  »

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In notes left prior to the incident Whitman requested an autopsy, to see if there was a medical reason for his uncontrolled aggression. Autopsies and post-mortems were performed, and they confirmed he had a congenital brain tumor, that had recently gone from dormant to active, and the tumor could have caused his aggression. See more »

Goofs

The trunk that Kurt Russell carried had Cpl USMC when in fact Whitman had been busted to Pvt. Due to misconduct in the USMC. See more »

Quotes

[a receptionist on the top floor sees Charles Whitman exiting the nearby elevator and hauling a large trunk]
Receptionist: Sir? Can I help you. I'm sorry, you can't take that up their without permission!
Charles Joseph Whitman: [points to the door to the nearby security office] Who's in there?
Receptionist: Nobody now, they're at lunch but you still can't take that on the observation deck.
Charles Joseph Whitman: [grabs the receptionist and forces her to the elevator] Listen, you go on down and don't you come back here... not if your life means anything to you!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Drawn Together: Dirty Pranking Number 2 (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intelligently-crafted and appropriately grim...
9 August 2015 | by See all my reviews

Dramatization of horrific events out of Austin, Texas in August 1966 when disturbed young man Charles Whitman went on a shooting rampage from the tower overlooking the university. Well-written TV-movie (cast with familiar television actors in supporting roles, and Disney mainstay Kurt Russell effectively playing against type in the lead), is anything but entertaining; however, the approach here--tough and unrelenting--provides for a fascinating docudrama. Crossing the paths of Whitman and local police officer Ramiro Martinez (nicely-played by Richard Yniguez) gives the narrative its drive, though the real-life Martinez was unhappy with his portrayal and sued. Liberties were indeed taken for 'dramatic purposes,' yet the hard-hitting film is still memorable today for its no-nonsense handling, the realistic violence and taut characterizations.


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