Sniper (1993)

R | 98 mins | Adventure | 29 January 1993

Director:

Luis Llosa

Producer:

Robert L. Rosen

Cinematographer:

Bill Butler

Editor:

Scott Smith

Production Designer:

Herbert Pinter

Production Company:

Baltimore Pictures
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HISTORY

End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Special Thanks to: Gavin Purdue and Mercantile National Bank; Kevin Jenkins, the Panama Canal Authority.” Also acknowledged: “Filmed entirely on location in Far North Queensland, Australia and the Republic of Panama.”
       According to a 9 Jul 1991 HR production chart, principal photography was set to begin on 26 Aug 1991 in Australia, despite earlier reports from the 22 Mar 1991 Screen International that announced a Jun 1991 start date, and a 16 Apr 1991 HR production chart that reported filming would begin in May 1991.
       The 30 Jul 1992 DV reported that ComEnt Funding Corp. had loaned Baltimore Pictures $5.3 million to fund the picture.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files list locations used in Queensland, Australia, including the nearby township of Port Douglas, sites in Paranella Park, the mountain village of Kuranda, and the Drumsara sugar plantation.
       Sniper inspired four direct-to-video sequels including: Sniper 2 (2002), Sniper 3 (2004), Sniper: Reloaded (2011), and Sniper: Legacy (2014). Actor Tom Berenger resumed his role in all the sequels except Sniper: Reloaded, which features his Sniper co-star, Billy ... More Less

End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Special Thanks to: Gavin Purdue and Mercantile National Bank; Kevin Jenkins, the Panama Canal Authority.” Also acknowledged: “Filmed entirely on location in Far North Queensland, Australia and the Republic of Panama.”
       According to a 9 Jul 1991 HR production chart, principal photography was set to begin on 26 Aug 1991 in Australia, despite earlier reports from the 22 Mar 1991 Screen International that announced a Jun 1991 start date, and a 16 Apr 1991 HR production chart that reported filming would begin in May 1991.
       The 30 Jul 1992 DV reported that ComEnt Funding Corp. had loaned Baltimore Pictures $5.3 million to fund the picture.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files list locations used in Queensland, Australia, including the nearby township of Port Douglas, sites in Paranella Park, the mountain village of Kuranda, and the Drumsara sugar plantation.
       Sniper inspired four direct-to-video sequels including: Sniper 2 (2002), Sniper 3 (2004), Sniper: Reloaded (2011), and Sniper: Legacy (2014). Actor Tom Berenger resumed his role in all the sequels except Sniper: Reloaded, which features his Sniper co-star, Billy Zane. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Jul 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 1993
p. 18, 47.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jan 1993
p. 6.
New York Times
29 Jan 1993
p. 8.
Screen International
22 Mar 1991.
---
Variety
25 Jan 1993
p. 133.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
TriStar Pictures presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Best boy
Asst lighting tech
Asst lighting tech
Generator op
Key grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Assoc ed
Post prod supv
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Australian asst ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Prop master
Prop asst
Scenic artist
Const mgr
Charge hand
Carpenter
Carpenter
Leading hand painter
Painter
Const asst
Const labourer
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Cost asst
Cost asst
Seamstress
MUSIC
Addl mus by
Addl mus by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Foley walker
Foley walker
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Spec eff makeup
Asst spec eff makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Australian casting dir
Australian casting dir
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Military tech adv
Military tech adv
Asst tech adv & weapons armorer
Asst armorer
Safety officer
Animal wrangler
Dir of accounting
Australian auditor
Accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Post prod accountant
Post prod accountant
Post prod accountant
Extras casting
Prod coord
Prod secy
Freight coord
Post prod runner
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst to Mr. Johnson
U. S. prod liaison
Unit nurse
Caterer
Asst caterer
Asst caterer
Asst caterer
Unit mgr
Asst unit mgr
Unit asst
Generator driver
Vehicle coord
Unit pub
Financing provided by
Completion guarantee by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Addl stunt coord
Asst to stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Medicine Man,” written and performed by Henry Lee Summer, courtesy of Epic Associated Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
“Turn It Up,” written and performed by Henry Lee Summer, courtesy of Epic Associated Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing.
PERFORMER
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 January 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 29 January 1993
New York opening: week of 29 January 1993
Production Date:
began 26 August 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Sniper Productions
Copyright Date:
16 March 1993
Copyright Number:
PA605649
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
Australia, Panama, United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In Panama, American soldiers, Master Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Beckett and Corporal Doug Papich, crawl through the jungle in camouflage. The men come to the edge of a village and see their target arrive. Thomas carefully sets the range on his rifle with Doug’s coordinates, and kills the man in one shot, igniting a swift return of gunfire from the Panamanian military. Sometime later, a helicopter flies in to retrieve the Americans, and Thomas is angry that they have come in broad daylight, ignoring his orders to arrive under cover of darkness. As they run toward the helicopter, Doug Papich is killed by a rebel sniper. Thomas returns for his body, refusing to leave him behind. In the U.S., the National Security Agency (NSA) learns that a coup is being planned during the Panamanian presidential election in one week’s time. Colombian drug lord Raul Ochoa is behind the coup and plans to place General Miguel Alvarez in power so that Ochoa will gain access to the Panama Canal. Civilian Richard Miller is briefed on events and assigned to serve as Sgt. Thomas Beckett’s new spotter. Having no experience in the field, Richard is handpicked after winning the Olympic Silver Medal in marksmanship, and is ordered to kill Gen. Alvarez. He is given full command of the covert operation, and instructed to kill Thomas Beckett should he compromise their mission. Meanwhile, Thomas meets with his senior officer in Panama and learns that he has been assigned a new spotter with no field experience. However, his senior officer insists the NSA would only send the best man for the job. ... +


In Panama, American soldiers, Master Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Beckett and Corporal Doug Papich, crawl through the jungle in camouflage. The men come to the edge of a village and see their target arrive. Thomas carefully sets the range on his rifle with Doug’s coordinates, and kills the man in one shot, igniting a swift return of gunfire from the Panamanian military. Sometime later, a helicopter flies in to retrieve the Americans, and Thomas is angry that they have come in broad daylight, ignoring his orders to arrive under cover of darkness. As they run toward the helicopter, Doug Papich is killed by a rebel sniper. Thomas returns for his body, refusing to leave him behind. In the U.S., the National Security Agency (NSA) learns that a coup is being planned during the Panamanian presidential election in one week’s time. Colombian drug lord Raul Ochoa is behind the coup and plans to place General Miguel Alvarez in power so that Ochoa will gain access to the Panama Canal. Civilian Richard Miller is briefed on events and assigned to serve as Sgt. Thomas Beckett’s new spotter. Having no experience in the field, Richard is handpicked after winning the Olympic Silver Medal in marksmanship, and is ordered to kill Gen. Alvarez. He is given full command of the covert operation, and instructed to kill Thomas Beckett should he compromise their mission. Meanwhile, Thomas meets with his senior officer in Panama and learns that he has been assigned a new spotter with no field experience. However, his senior officer insists the NSA would only send the best man for the job. As Richard is flown into Panama, his helicopter comes under heavy rebel gunfire. He raises his sniper rifle, but fails to shoot. However, when another officer guns down a rebel and is killed in return, Richard takes credit for the kill. At the military base, Richard is warned by the other Marines that being Thomas Beckett’s partner is a dangerous endeavor, noting the collection of dog tags that Thomas has taken from former spotters killed-in-action. When Richard meets Thomas, his inexperience is painfully obvious, as he fails to understand common military jargon. However, Thomas accepts his new partner and shows him the ropes. The men make their way deep into the jungle where Richard struggles to keep up. They arrive at an abandoned dwelling where Thomas greets a local Indian named Cacique. Cacique and his tribe lead the two snipers through the jungle to avoid rebel patrols. Thomas explains to Richard that in return for safe passage, they will murder Cacique’s enemy, El Cirujano. Richard argues that this is a deviation from their mission, but Thomas notes that El Cirujano is listed by the U.S. as a “target of opportunity,” and they are therefore allowed to kill him. He doubts that Richard has ever killed a man, and orders him to shoot El Cirujano. Thomas informs Richard there will be two targets when they arrive at Alvarez’s hacienda: Alvarez and his business partner, Raul Ochoa. Richard wonders where Thomas got his new information, and Thomas credits local contact Father Ruiz. The snipers get into position along the river where El Cirujano and his men are on patrol. Richard carefully sets the range on his rifle, and is surprised to see that their target is American. Thomas explains that El Cirujano is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer who now works as a drug cartel enforcer. Richard’s first shot misses, and alerts El Cirujano to their presence. The snipers fire a few more rounds and Richard insists he killed El Cirujano, but Thomas is doubtful. When one of Cacique’s tribesmen is killed, the Indians refuse to guide the Americans through the jungle. Sometime later, Thomas asks Richard why he accepted the mission. Richard was told the operation would be easy. He notes that Thomas has killed seventy-four people during his career and asks how he lives with that fact. Thomas tells him that only his first kill mattered, and he has put the rest out of his mind. The men hear gunshots in the distance and suspect that a rebel sniper has attacked someone. Elsewhere, a camouflaged gunman stands over the body of Cacique. Thomas believes the shooter is a Panamanian he trained named DeSilva, who now works as a mercenary, and believes it was DeSilva who killed Doug Papich. The next day, Thomas spots DeSilva in the distance but is too far away to shoot him. Later, when the men arrive at Father Ruiz’s village, they discover the priest has been murdered. With their contact dead, Richard refuses to continue their mission, but Thomas ignores him and goes on. As they rest for the night, DeSilva closes in on them. Thomas lies in wait and, and when DeSilva prepares to shoot Richard, Thomas kills him. In the morning, the men arrive at Alvarez’s hacienda and Thomas relays his plan to shoot Ochoa and Alvarez simultaneously. He warns Richard to take out Ochoa in one shot. When Thomas sees El Cirujano arrive, he is angry that Richard failed to kill him at the river. The men split up, and lie in wait overnight for Ochoa. From across the property, Thomas sees that Richard has been spotted and that one of Alvarez’s gunmen is preparing to shoot him. Thomas makes his way to the gunman to save Richard’s life. Meanwhile, Ochoa arrives by helicopter, and Alvarez comes outside to greet him. Richard wonders why Thomas is not in position, but takes his opportunity to kill Ochoa. He carefully aims and kills the drug lord with a single shot. Alvarez’s men retaliate with gunfire. Meanwhile, Thomas kills the gunman who was preparing to kill Richard, and returns to the jungle under heavy gunfire, setting fire to a field to prevent Alvarez’s men from pursuing. He rejoins Richard in the jungle and insists they return later to kill Alvarez. However, Richard claims his job is done and engages in a fistfight with Thomas. Richard loses control and threatens Thomas with a knife. Their fighting stops when Alvarez’s men approach. After they pass by, Richard shoots at Thomas, causing one of Alvarez’s men to discover him. However, Thomas shoots the man, saving Richard's life. Richard wanders into the jungle and empties his rifle at his own shadow, laughing madly. When Thomas approaches, Richard claims to be out of bullets and asks Thomas to kill him, for the agony he feels after completing his first kill. Thomas tells him the worst pain is when you begin to feel nothing after a kill. Alvarez’s men approach, and Thomas sends Richard to hide. When he realizes he is outnumbered, Thomas surrenders. As Richard watches from hiding, Thomas gestures that there is one bullet left in his rifle. Thomas is beaten by his captors and dragged into the jungle. An extraction helicopter hovers overhead, but Richard goes after Thomas. At a base camp, El Cirujano tortures Thomas. Richard enters the camp and stabs Alvarez in the throat. He views Thomas through the sight of his rifle, and Thomas mouths for him to use the last bullet for two kills. Thomas calls El Cirujano over to stand in front of him and signals for Richard to take the shot. Richard shoots El Cirujano in the head, and wounds Thomas. As Alvarez’s men pursue, Richard unties his friend and carries him toward the waiting helicopter. Richard offers Thomas cover and orders him to run to the nearby chopper. Thomas returns the favor, killing a man preparing to shoot Richard in the back. As the helicopter lifts off into the rainy night, Richard jokes that Thomas can now retire in Montana. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Jungle


Subject

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

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