The Mad Bomber (1973)

R | 91 mins | Drama | 1973

Director:

Bert I. Gordon

Producer:

Bert I. Gordon

Cinematographer:

Bert I. Gordon

Editor:

Gene Ruggiero

Production Company:

Jerry Gross
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HISTORY

As noted by the Box review, this film was re-released in Sep 1973 under the title The Police Connection . The viewed 2005 DVD print included a crew credit for “William Quinn & Son, Freehold N.J.” but the accompanying job description was not readable. Special effects artist Van Dutch, who is sometimes credited as William “Dutch” Vanderbyl, is listed onscreen as “Dutch Vanderbyle.” In addition to his credit as producer, director and writer, Bert I. Gordon is listed onscreen as the film’s photographer, under the name B. I. Gordon. Although the viewed print included a copyright statement, the film was not registered with the Copyright Office. End credits include the following acknowledgment: “With thanks to the Culver City Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department.”
       No production charts for the film were found, but an undated HR news item announced that it would begin shooting in late Apr 1972. Location shooting took place in and around Los Angeles, including the downtown and Century City areas. In the late 1970s, Chuck Connors, who plays “Dorn” in the picture, was married briefly to Faith Quabius, who plays “Martha.” The Mad Bomber marked their first onscreen appearance together. Although an Apr 1973 Var items stated that a sequel to The Mad Bomber titled Stake Out was to be made, no evidence that a second picture was produced has been found. Modern sources add Jeff Connors to the ... More Less

As noted by the Box review, this film was re-released in Sep 1973 under the title The Police Connection . The viewed 2005 DVD print included a crew credit for “William Quinn & Son, Freehold N.J.” but the accompanying job description was not readable. Special effects artist Van Dutch, who is sometimes credited as William “Dutch” Vanderbyl, is listed onscreen as “Dutch Vanderbyle.” In addition to his credit as producer, director and writer, Bert I. Gordon is listed onscreen as the film’s photographer, under the name B. I. Gordon. Although the viewed print included a copyright statement, the film was not registered with the Copyright Office. End credits include the following acknowledgment: “With thanks to the Culver City Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department.”
       No production charts for the film were found, but an undated HR news item announced that it would begin shooting in late Apr 1972. Location shooting took place in and around Los Angeles, including the downtown and Century City areas. In the late 1970s, Chuck Connors, who plays “Dorn” in the picture, was married briefly to Faith Quabius, who plays “Martha.” The Mad Bomber marked their first onscreen appearance together. Although an Apr 1973 Var items stated that a sequel to The Mad Bomber titled Stake Out was to be made, no evidence that a second picture was produced has been found. Modern sources add Jeff Connors to the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Oct 1973
p. 4636.
Daily Variety
28 Mar 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Apr 1973.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
9 Apr 1973
Section B, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
4 Apr 1973.
---
Variety
7 Mar 1973.
---
Variety
4 Apr 1973
p. 26.
Variety
11 Apr 1973.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Subliminal still photog
Gaffer
Key grip
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Sd mixing
Sd mixing
Sd mixing
at Metro Goldwyn Mayer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opt
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
Scr supv
SOURCES
SONGS
"Reaching Out," words and music by Don Yordan, vocal by Nancy Honnold.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Police Connection
Release Date:
1973
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 4 April 1973
Production Date:
began late April 1972 in Los Angeles
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastman Color
Lenses/Prints
Movielab
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While walking on a Los Angeles street, tall, intimidating William Dorn yells at a fellow pedestrian for littering, then forces the frightened man to pick up his trash. Later, at home, Dorn fashions a crude bomb using an alarm clock and sticks of dynamite. After placing the bomb in a paper bag, Dorn walks to the campus of a nearby high school, where he overhears two teenage girls casually discussing another friend’s pregnancy. Disturbed by the conversation, Dorn follows the girls into the high school, then quickly exits without the bag. A few seconds later, Dorn’s bomb explodes, tearing apart the school’s entrance. Sometime later, at a state mental hospital, deaf patient Martha is attacked and raped by a nighttime intruder. As the rapist is fleeing the scene, he sees a bomb-carrying Dorn slip into the building. Dorn leaves his bomb, and the hospital is soon rocked by an explosion. The next day, police detective Geronimo Minneli and his partner, Blake, question Martha at the mental hospital. Using sign language, Martha relates a few details about the rape but is too distraught to reveal much information. After inspecting the bombing site, Minneli realizes, however, that the rapist must have seen the bomber enter the building. Faced with public pressure to find the bomber, who has sent an angry, mocking tape recording about the police’s investigation to a local radio station, Police Chief Marc C. Forester questions Minneli about the case. Although Minneli believes that the best way to find the bomber is to find the rapist, Forester refuses to place female decoys on the street to trap ... +


While walking on a Los Angeles street, tall, intimidating William Dorn yells at a fellow pedestrian for littering, then forces the frightened man to pick up his trash. Later, at home, Dorn fashions a crude bomb using an alarm clock and sticks of dynamite. After placing the bomb in a paper bag, Dorn walks to the campus of a nearby high school, where he overhears two teenage girls casually discussing another friend’s pregnancy. Disturbed by the conversation, Dorn follows the girls into the high school, then quickly exits without the bag. A few seconds later, Dorn’s bomb explodes, tearing apart the school’s entrance. Sometime later, at a state mental hospital, deaf patient Martha is attacked and raped by a nighttime intruder. As the rapist is fleeing the scene, he sees a bomb-carrying Dorn slip into the building. Dorn leaves his bomb, and the hospital is soon rocked by an explosion. The next day, police detective Geronimo Minneli and his partner, Blake, question Martha at the mental hospital. Using sign language, Martha relates a few details about the rape but is too distraught to reveal much information. After inspecting the bombing site, Minneli realizes, however, that the rapist must have seen the bomber enter the building. Faced with public pressure to find the bomber, who has sent an angry, mocking tape recording about the police’s investigation to a local radio station, Police Chief Marc C. Forester questions Minneli about the case. Although Minneli believes that the best way to find the bomber is to find the rapist, Forester refuses to place female decoys on the street to trap the rapist. Soon after, Minneli and Blake are sent to a factory, where a burglar has been cornered and is threatening to set off some dynamite. Minneli quickly deduces the burglar is not the bomber, but is compelled to shoot and kill the man when he begins firing his gun at the police. Minneli is further distracted by a prank bomb threat at a college dorm. Dorn, meanwhile, is accosted outside his home by two hippies, who unwittingly try to steal a paper bag containing one of his bombs. Dorn easily overpowers the pair, then at a grocery store, loudly accuses a cashier of overcharging him for a can of peaches. Later, Dorn listens to a tape of his dead daughter Anne singing and records another warning message for the police. After harassing a coffee shop waitress, who resembles Anne, Dorn leaves a bomb in the restaurant of a large hotel, where a Society of Women’s Liberation meeting is taking place. Spurred by the ensuing explosion, Minneli uses the police department’s computer to create a criminal profile of Dorn, whom the police have nicknamed “The Mad Bomber,” and learns that the bomber is paranoid and motivated by revenge. Minneli then gets permission to set up an undercover operation to catch the rapist, who has just attacked a woman in a park. After many failed attempts, the operation finally snags the rapist, an ex-convict named George Fromley. Frustrated by Fromley’s refusal to describe the bomber, Minneli threatens to have Martha identify him as her rapist, but before he can, she commits suicide. At Fromley’s suburban home, Minneli questions his young German wife, who defends Fromley and provides him with an alibi. Although he has no warrant, Minneli forces his way into Fromley’s amateur photography studio, where he discovers pornographic home movies of Mrs. Fromley. Lacking any hard evidence, however, Minneli is forced to release Fromley, but later has him arrested for traffic violations. Fromley is delivered to Minneli at the police firing range, where a fierce Minneli threatens to shoot Fromley unless he helps identify the bomber. Fearing for his life, Fromley relents and works with a police identification technician to devise a composite photographic portrait of the bomber. Minneli then shows the portrait to an administrator at the mental hospital, believing that the bomber has some connection to the facility. The administrator identifies the suspect as the father of Anne Dorn, a former patient who died of a heroin overdose. Although publicly implicated in the rapes, Fromley, meanwhile, is released, and Dorn makes Fromley his next target. After Dorn tosses a bomb into Fromley’s photography studio, killing the rapist, Minneli and Blake scour Dorn’s now-abandoned apartment. There, Minneli finds newspaper clippings that reveal that Anne was arrested for drug possession at the hotel Dorn bombed and connect Dorn to a bus accident involving employees of a tool and dye company. At the company’s factory, Minneli learns that Dorn, a former employee, was injured in the accident and lost his job after trying unsuccessfully to sue the company, claiming permanent disability. Sure that Dorn’s next target will be the factory, Minneli has snipers posted around the building, but when Dorn appears on a stolen motorcycle, he dodges their bullets and escapes. Later, Dorn calls the police to announce that he is driving a dynamite-laden red van and plans to kill many people in a huge explosion. After the police zero in on the van's location, they follow it around the city, eventually trapping it in a downtown side street. With help from Dorn’s ex-wife, Minneli compels the distraught Dorn to exit the van. Although shot and downed by Minneli, Dorn grabs some dynamite lying next to him and is killed in the ensuing explosion. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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