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Two-Minute Warning Academy Award Nomination! 

By Tom Keogh

Unfairly dismissed by a number of critics, Two Minute Warning is an absorbing contemplation of the phenomenon of violence. Based on a novel by George LaFountaine, the story concerns an anonymous (and, until the very end, faceless) sniper perched above the scoreboard at a championship football game in Los Angeles. His lack of identity and unstated motivation is key to the film's air of cautionary fable, in which the killer's rage is one end of a continuum that includes many different kinds of violence among numerous characters: emotional withdrawal, police brutality, subtle racism, chips on various shoulders. Produced in 1976, the movie has all the hallmarks of the decade's vogue for disaster flicks: an ensemble cast, a web of story lines, and a lot of people contained in one place where something awful happens. But it is also something more: a successful exercise in plastic storytelling, a clever interweaving of a dozen discrete subplots with a mix of documentary and original action footage. The explosiveness of the football game itself becomes a refrain of ritualized mayhem in director Larry Peerce's patchwork film, but without beating us over the head with its metaphorical obviousness. Two Minute Warning may not be a great or classic work, but it is far more than the sum of its many parts and does leave a lasting impression.

Academy Awards

Two-Minute Warning received an Academy Awards nomination for Film Editing (Eve Newman, Walter Hannemann).

Share Your Memories!

Is Two-Minute Warning one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"I agree very much with the opinion on TWO MINUTE WARNING. It is a scandalously underappreciated thriller, not so much a disaster movie as it is a taut suspense item. Much like Steven Spielberg kept the identity of the psychotic trucker in DUEL a mystery, so too does director Larry Peerce in this movie with his sniper. This film should be seen by those who like finding those hidden gems of their favorite genres."

--Anonymous

"I have to agree with Tom.Two Minute Warning is not a great film but it's a really good example of the Super70s Disaster Films.Charlton Heston & John Cassevettes lended an air of respectability to this standard Disaster Movie.One of the good aspects of this was the fact that the Film never explains why the Sniper was acting the way He was.A lot of Movies in the Super70s did not follow the usual happy Hollywood ending. It made them seem more real."

--Michael C

"When Two-Minute Warning was being filmed in January-February 1976, I was at the LA Sports Arena for a USC-Oregon State Basketball Game and noticed a lot of film equipment over at the LA Coliseum, so I checked it out and found out that "Two-Minute Warning" was getting ready later that week for the crowd scenes was being set up. Later that year, it was showned in theatres"

--Anonymous

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Larry Peerce

Stars: John Cassavetes, Charlton Heston, Martin Balsam, Beau Bridges, Jack Klugman, Marilyn Hassett, David Janssen, Gena Rowlands, Walter Pidgeon, Brock Peters

Released: November 12, 1976

Availability: DVD VHS


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