8.0/10
6,572
31 user 69 critic

Tower (2016)

Trailer
1:55 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

Animation, testimony, and archival footage combine to relate the events of August 1, 1966 when a gunman opened fire from the University of Texas clock tower, killing 16 people.

Director:

Keith Maitland
18 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Violett Beane ... Claire Wilson
Louie Arnette Louie Arnette ... Ramiro Martinez
Blair Jackson ... Houston McCoy
Monty Muir Monty Muir ... Neal Spelce
Chris Doubek ... Allen Crum
Reece Everett Ryan ... Alfred(Alfie) McAlister
Josephine McAdam ... Rita Starpattern
Aldo Ordoñez Aldo Ordoñez ... Aleck Hernandez Jr.
Vicky Illk ... Brenda Bell
John Fitch John Fitch ... Billy Speed
Karen Davidson Karen Davidson ... Margaret C. Berry
Jeremy Brown Jeremy Brown ... Jerry Day
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Séamus Bolivar-Ochoa Séamus Bolivar-Ochoa ... John Fox
Cole Bresnehen Cole Bresnehen ... James Love
Walter Cronkite ... Himself (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

Nearly fifty years ago, a gunman rode the elevator to the twenty-seventh floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire. TOWER, an animated and action-packed documentary, shares the untold story of that day - when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 2017 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Wieża See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin, Texas, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,542, 14 October 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$94,329, 2 December 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Whitman is portrayed by Kurt Russell in the 1975 made-for-TV movie The Deadly Tower. See more »

Quotes

Walter Cronkite: The horror of these, the sick among us, must be found in the horror of our hyper-civilization. A strange pandering to violence, a disrespect for life, fostered in part by governments which, in pursuit of the doctrine of self-defense, teach their youth to kill and to maim. A society in which the most popular newspaper cartoon strips, television programs, and movies are those that can invent new means of perpetrating bodily harm. A people who somehow can remain silent while their own civilization...
See more »

Connections

References A Fistful of Dollars (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Valle De La Luna (Tower Mix)
Written by Daniel Pruitt, Garrett Hellman, Patrick Patterson, Brockett Hamilton
Performed by Lord Buffalo
Courtesy of Lord Buffalo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Powerful and beautifully realized
11 March 2017 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

In his powerful and beautifully realized documentary, Keith Matiland's ("A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story") Tower movingly recreates the shock and heartbreak of the random shooting of 49 people at the University of Texas in the summer of 1966. The attack was the first mass shooting at any school in the U.S, but sadly, it was not to be the last. With seven guns and over 700 rounds of ammunition, 25-year-old Charles Whitman, a troubled ex-marine who had already murdered his mother and his wife, opened fire at 11:48 a.m., and kept firing round after round for one hour and 36 minutes before being shot and killed by police officers. When the carnage had stopped, there were 16 dead and 33 injured. It was a tragedy that those involved were never able to forget, though many tried to suppress its awful memories.

Using the technique known as rotoscoping, Maitland interweaves the animated recreations with archival footage, interviews culled from Pamela Colloff's 1996 Texas Monthly article "96 Minutes," and real-life images of the victims both at the time of the tragedy and as they are today, talking about the events 50-years ago. With devastating intensity, we become witness to the tragedy as it unfolds minute–by-minute, hour-by-hour, allowing us to be present to the impact on the victims and those who risked their lives to save them. The film builds up tension from the opening sequence as reporter Neal Spelce (Monty Muir, "Slacker 2011") is seen driving towards the campus, warning everyone to stay away from the University area because a sniper is "firing at will."

The first victims are Claire Wilson James (Violett Beane, "Slash"), a pregnant 18-year-old freshman walking to class with her boyfriend Tom Eckman (Cole Bee Wilson) after a coffee break. As the horrific sounds of the shots ring out, both are hit and fall to the ground, depicted in almost dreamlike fashion as white silhouettes falling against a background of bright red. The camera stays with the pregnant Claire who remains conscious while lying on the concrete in 100 degree heat, the unmoving body of her boyfriend lying next to her. Miraculously, another student Rita Starpattern (Josephine McAdam, "The Honor Farm") risks her life to keep Claire alive by lying next to her and engaging her in conversation. Rita's heroic efforts continue until the wounded girl is rescued by John (Artly) Fox (Seamus Bolivar-Ochoa), a student who, along with a friend, risks gunfire to carry Claire to safety.

The tragedy mercifully comes to an end when officers Ramiro Martinez (Louie Arnette, "Light From the Darkroom"), Houston McCoy (Blair Jackson, "Varsity Blood"), and the deputized Allen Crum (Chris Doubek, "Boyhood"), ascend to the observation desk to subdue Whitman while dodging bullets from well-meaning amateur gun owners on the ground firing up to the tower. Some of the most moving scenes of the film occur near the end when Maitland interweaves actual footage of the survivors as they reflect on the tragedy. In addition to Claire, interviewed are Aleck Hernandez, Jr., a teenager delivering newspapers on his bicycle with his cousin when he was shot, Brenda Bell, a student who observed the shootings from afar, and Allen Crum, the bookstore manager who helped subdue the shooter.

Crum, Martinez, and McCoy talk about whether or not they could have gone up to the tower sooner and Claire introduces us to the Ethiopian boy she adopted (she also sponsored 26 of his family members to come to the U.S.), though admitting she still dreams about reuniting with the child she lost in the killings. As some witnesses break down in tears, it is clear that the trauma associated with the events of 1966 has not disappeared, though some are talking about them for the first time. Though Tower never becomes overtly political or uses the incident to advocate for gun control, Maitland's reminder of the subsequent mass killings at Columbine, Newtown, Colorado Springs, San Bernardino and too many others say all that needs to be said.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed