1976's TWO MINUTE WARNING is one of those old school Universal Studios movies of the seventies with lots of stars featured on the poster, all potential targets of a sniper loose in the LA Coliseum during a football championship.
Charlton Heston was a busy boy at Universal back in 75 and 76, with this as his follow up to Airport 75 and Earthquake in basically the same role. This time, he is the police chief, working with John Cassavetes (decidedly slumming here for a paycheck to fund his own films) as the SWAT Team Sgt. chasing the sniper. The crowd of 91,000 is filled with gamblers (Jack Klugman) fighting couples (David Jannsen & Gena Rowlands), pickpockets (Walter Pidgeon) and other random stars. Who will get shot and who will survive? For most of the two hour running time, the film induces more desire for a nap than any real suspense. When the sniper does start taking aim at the crowd, it generates some decent action and some pretty good crowd panic scenes that must have been dangerous to film, but the last twenty minutes can't really save this TV caliber film. Director Larry Peerce went on to direct many sterling episodes of Touched By An Angel, which should give you some indication of the caliber of his work here. Two Minute Warning never caught me in its sights and fires blanks all the way to a D for me.