More unsettling in its implications than in execution, this places a faceless gunman in a tower overlooking a Los Angeles football stadium filled to capacity. The persistent high-angle shots, use of long lenses (equivalent to the rifle's telescopic sight), and subjective camerawork inevitably distance the 'human' vignettes being enacted on the terraces below. Coldly and unemotionally, the film portrays the crowd individually as losers, collectively as innocent bystanders in a struggle between two sinister psychopathic forces, the assassin and the cops. The paranoid, edgy movie (best represented by Cassavetes' SWAT sergeant) finally erupts when the crowd turns almost effortlessly and devours itself in a climax of panic. Efficient enough as formula suspense, but it fails to confront the implications of its subject, preferring instead evasiveness and fast cynicism to pull it through.
Cast and crew
Charlton Heston John Cassavetes Martin Balsam Beau Bridges Marilyn Hassett David Janssen Jack Klugman Gena Rowlands Walter Pidgeon Brock Peters