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The following written prologue precedes the opening credits: "A word about the picture which follows: High among police problems is that of the sex criminal, responsible last year alone for offenses which victimized 31,175 women. Adequate and understanding laws do not exist. Law enforcement is helpless. Here, in terms of one case, is the story of a man whose enemy was womankind." Reviews described the character of "Eddie" as a "sex criminal," and the film depicts the police grilling known sex offenders; while there was no indication Eddie molested his victims, in the film, his clear hatred of women identified him as a sex criminal.
The Hollywood Reporter review indicated that the film mirrored a series of recent sniper shootings in the Los Angeles area. Roy Maypole, a Los Angeles television news broadcaster, played a broadcaster in the film. Although a Hollywood Reporter news item indicated that broadcaster Howard K. Smith was cast in the picture, he was not in the released film. The film was shot on location in San Francisco and Long Beach, CA. In a full-page ad for The Sniper in Hollywood Reporter, the Stanley Kramer Co. apologized for sending out bullets to critics and industry personnel as part of a pre-invitational screening "teaser." Edward and Edna Anhalt's screen story received an Academy Award nomination in the Writing (Motion Picture Story) category.