6.7/10
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20 user 9 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.

Director:

Jerry Jameson

Writers:

William Douglas Lansford (teleplay), Antonio Calderón (story) (as Antonio Calderon) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Kurt Russell ... Charles Whitman
Richard Yniguez ... Ramiro Martinez (as Richard Yñiguez)
Ned Beatty ... Allan Crum
Pernell Roberts ... Lieutenant Lee
Clifton James ... Captain Fred Ambrose
John Forsythe ... Lt. Elwood Forbes
Gilbert Roland ... Narrator (voice)
Paul Carr ... C.T. Foss
Alan Vint ... Tim Davis
Maria Elena Cordero Maria Elena Cordero ... Vinni Martinez (as Maria-Elena Cordero)
Pepe Serna ... 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

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Deadly Tower See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin Texas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

MGM Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Houston McCoy and Ray Martinez, the police officers who shot Whitman, both sued MGM. Martinez sued because he felt he and his family were portrayed in a manner that perpetuated Hispanic stereotypes. His wife wasn't pregnant, and her ethnic background was German-American, not Hispanic-American. A disclaimer at the beginning of the movie reads: "Both the character and personality of Ramiro Martinez' wife and certain scenes about the Martinez family have been fictionalized for dramatic effect." See more »

Goofs

The movie was filmed in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, using the state capitol building as a stand-in for the tower on the University of Texas, in Austin. The Mississippi River is clearly seen in several shots from the top of the tower. There is no body of water that large close to Austin, where the tower is located. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Elwood Forbes: Sorry to bother you, but I understand you told one of my men earlier about a guy in here buying guns and ammo. Could you tell me what he looked like?
Gun Shop Owner: Like I told the officer on the phone, I don't pay attention to how my customers look.
Lieutenant Elwood Forbes: Can't you try to remember?
Gun Shop Owner: Well, he was a big man. Short hair, nice looking.
Lieutenant Elwood Forbes: Did you know him? Have you ever seen him in here before?
Gun Shop Owner: Like I told the officer who called, I don't pay attention to how my customers look.
Lieutenant Elwood Forbes: Don't you think it's strange? A man walks in ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXI (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intelligently-crafted and appropriately grim...
9 August 2015 | by moonspinner55See 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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