The Sniper

1952

Action / Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

3
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 88%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 64%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 2971

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 28, 2021 at 11:57 PM

Director

Cast

Frank Faylen as Police Insp. Anderson
Jean Willes as Woman on Street
Danny Mummert as Boy on Roof
Adolphe Menjou as Police Lt. Frank Kafka
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
807.79 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 27 min
P/S 3 / 7
1.46 GB
1440*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 27 min
P/S 1 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by marker28 8 / 10

Undeservedly obscure noir

Interesting noir from veteran director Dmytryk. Arthur Franz gives a good twitchy, sweaty performance as a sex criminal released from prison for assaulting women, only to be compelled to kill them with a stolen military rifle once free, and silent star Adolphe Menjou is the police officer in charge of stopping Franz's crime spree. As lurid as the subject matter is, the film's approach to it is admirably serious and even-handed, especially when contrasted to that taken by other films about serial killers. For example, Fritz Lang's noir "While the City Sleeps", made around the same time, features a character similar to Franz's as its villian (a disturbed young killer with a mother fixation, who leaves messages for the police urging them to catch him), but its portrayal of the murderer is comically overwrought in comparison. Some of the psychological shorthand used to illustrate Franz's fractured psyche may appear naive to contemporary audiences (stroking his phallic rifle in anticipation to his murders, wincing in pain when he passes a mother slapping her child on the street), but he's a much more realistic and credible criminal than the overheated creations that populate recent films about the same subject (Seven, Hannibal Lecter trilogy, etc). The film's sober and non-sensational tone can be attributed partly to producer Stanley Kramer; the redeeming social message that is commonly found in his films creeps into this one through the character of a police psychologist, who gives a speech about the need to change the laws that deal with sex criminals (not a lot has changed since the time this movie was released - so much for the redeeming social message). Dmytryk's direction is typically stylish (why did it become so turgid later on?), and he makes excellent use of San Francisco locations. The finale, where the police finally close in on the sniper is particularly well done, with one sequence standing out as especially memorable and effective: a construction worker gives the sniper away as he's about to claim another victim, and discovers too late that its a bad idea to cross a psychopath with a long distance rifle, especially when in the not very convenient position of dangling from a smokestack. The cast is strong, and includes a welcome appearance by B-movie fave Marie Windsor, as a bar pianist who ends up as the sniper's first victim. Nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay, "The Sniper" is fairly obscure compared to other noirs and is unavailable on video - it's really worth catching during one of its occaisonal appearances on cable TV.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 9 / 10

Interesting Character Study/Crime Story

For much of this film noir, it was almost more of a character study than a crime movie, since there was very little action and only some suspense in the final 10 minutes. However, I'm not complaining. I found the film got better and better as it went along and was an interesting story overall with an excellent cast. When the action did occur- the sniper's shots - they were shocking scenes, shocking in their suddenness.

I appreciated the fact they shot this on the streets in San Francisco, where the story takes place, instead of some Hollywood back-lot. That city, in particular, with its steep streets and bay-windowed houses, is fun to look at in any era. This happens to be very early 1950s. As with many noirs, the photography was notable, too. I liked a number of the camera angles used in this movie.

I also appreciated that cast. Arthur Franz is excellent in the lead role of the tormented killer, "Eddie Miller." Eddie knows right from the start that he's a sick man, that he can't help himself and that he needs him. (So, why didn't he turn himself in?) It was fun to see an older and sans-mustached Adolphe Menjou as the police lieutenant, and Humphrey Bogart- lookalike Gerald Mohr as a police sergeant. It was most fun, being a film noir buff, to see Marie Windsor. This "queen of noir," unfortunately, didn't have that big a role in here.

What really struck were some bizarre scenes, things I have never seen in these crime movies on the '30s through '50s. For example, there was an investigation of sniper suspects held at the police building in which three suspects at a time were grilled - in front of about a hundred cops. The grilling was more like taunting and insult-throwing by this sadistic cop in charge, who made fun of each guy. Man, if they tried that today, there would lawsuits up the wazoo (so to speak).

Then there was this James Dean-type teen who was on top of a city building with a rifle, right in the middle of this citywide sniper scare. The cops bravely bring him in without killing him and are yelled at for doing so, since the gun wasn't in serviceable order. Duh! The cops were supposed to just see a guy waving a gun on top of a rooftop and let him go, no questions asked?

A number of things in here stretched credibility, but there were some intelligent aspects, too. "Dr. Richard Kent," played by Richard Kiely, was a case in point. He was the police psychologist and gave strong speeches (the film got a little preachy at times) advocating what should be done with sex-crime offenders, some of it Liberal and some of it Conservative in nature. He made some good points. "Eddie" had sex problems, I guess, but I don't remember it being discussed in the film. Maybe I missed that. The film did miss that aspect: Eddie's background, which triggered all the violence.

The second half of this film is far better, because the killings increase and the suspense starts to mount. As it goes on, we get more of a feel of what motivates Eddie as we see his reactions to people and how he views things they say. I was surprised, frankly, that he didn't shoot his nasty female boss, since he only harmed women. She was the nastiest woman in the film, and nothing happened to her. What was Eddie thinking?

Reviewed by irvingwarner 9 / 10

A taut psychological study--pioneer of its genre.

This is a sleeper's sleeper--rarely seen, and difficult to rent on video and even harder to rent on 16mm. An opening letterbox announces "The Sniper" as a study of one man's violence against women. From there on, it does all of that in a highly charged, suspenseful storytelling style. This movie was shot on location in San Francisco, and the closing "chase" sequence--odd and highly symbolic concerning what ails the killer--is classic. This writer interviewed the director (Edward Dmytryk) about this and other scenes in "The Sniper", and though the interview was done in 1994 (Dmytryk was 80+ at that time) his artistic recall of "The Sniper" impressed. At that time, he had never been interviewed about that movie since its release. Arthur Franz played the killer, doing a wonderful job. And overall, the writing and acting in "The Sniper" is tight and extremely convincing. The opening shot of "The Sniper" catches you up in the plight of both the public at large, and the killer--and from there, it is quite a ride. Yet "The Sniper" is more than entertainment--it is indeed a classic early study of violence against women (With Richard Kiley playing the psychiatrist). If you can rent this--get it!

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