The Sniper (1952)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir


The Sniper (1952) Poster

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


7.2/10
2,816


Videos


Photos

  • Arthur Franz and Marie Windsor in The Sniper (1952)
  • Mabel Paige in The Sniper (1952)
  • Arthur Franz and Marie Windsor in The Sniper (1952)
  • Danny Mummert and Adolphe Menjou in The Sniper (1952)
  • Arthur Franz and Marie Windsor in The Sniper (1952)
  • Marlene Lyden in The Sniper (1952)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


27 February 2007 | Doylenf
7
| Compact thriller with good San Fransisco location shots...
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.

Critic Reviews


Did You Know?

Trivia

The rifles used by the police on the rooftops circa 1952 are lever-action Winchesters, the same style as used in the old west nearly 70 years earlier. Later an officer is seen holding a Thompson sub machine gun, a weapon made popular about 30 years earlier by gangsters. Police special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams would not come into use in California for another 15 years.


Quotes

Police Insp. Anderson: You know, some solid citizens are gonna' get their brains blown out if they don't pull their heads in... not that they got any brains to begin with.
Police Lt. Frank Kafka: Why don't you tell 'em?
Police Insp. Anderson: I'm waiting for the sound truck...
Police Insp. Anderson: This is Inspector Anderson speaking. Will ...


Goofs

In Eddie's final rooftop scene, the high-angle white-washer throws his pail to warn the workers entering the cleaners. The pail and its contents splatter on the ground. After Eddie shoots the white-washer and the camera returns to the the workers, the pavement is unmarred.


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.


Soundtracks

Pennies from Heaven
(uncredited)
Music by
Arthur Johnston
Words by Johnny Burke (1936)
Played by Marie Windsor in piano bar

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller

Cate Blanchett's Favorite Films About Hope

Cate Blanchett shares her list of films to inspire hope in support of the UN Refugee Agency to assist those without a place to call home amidst our global health crisis.

See Cate's Picks

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com