The Laughing Policeman

( 2 )

Overview

Stuart Rosenberg's taut police thriller, based on the Martin Beck novel by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahlöö, concerns a serial killer who is targeting bus riders. When a bus full of innocent commuters are killed on a San Francisco street, Jake Martin (Walter Matthau) is assigned to track down the killer. Jake has a personal stake in the killings because his partner was one of the victims. Teamed up with new partner Leo Larsen (Bruce Dern), Jake investigates the back alleys of San Francisco to find the serial killer. ...
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Overview

Stuart Rosenberg's taut police thriller, based on the Martin Beck novel by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahlöö, concerns a serial killer who is targeting bus riders. When a bus full of innocent commuters are killed on a San Francisco street, Jake Martin (Walter Matthau) is assigned to track down the killer. Jake has a personal stake in the killings because his partner was one of the victims. Teamed up with new partner Leo Larsen (Bruce Dern), Jake investigates the back alleys of San Francisco to find the serial killer. The trail leads to a tour of the underbelly of the city's gay subculture.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
In many ways, The Laughing Policeman is the antithesis of the kind of cop-movie action thriller Clint Eastwood was perfecting with his Dirty Harry film series during the 1970s. This film is an entirely different ball of wax, downplaying action sequences and escapist thrills in favor of a realistic portrayal of police work. The storyline presents an unusually plausible detective scenario that is filled with dead ends, unexpected strokes of luck, and plenty of sleazy individuals trying to make a tragedy work in their favor. Screenwriter Tom Rickman presents the episodic scenario with skill, peppering it with plenty of profanely witty dialogue and believable street-level characters. Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern do an excellent job of creating flawed but humane policemen who often sacrifice the quality of their personal lives in their quest to solve crimes. Louis Gossett also turns in strong work an especially streetwise fellow cop. Stuart Rosenberg directs the film with a non-obtrusive sense of style, keeping the overall story low-key and gritty but bringing some flair to standout sequences like the opening machine-gun mass murder. All in all, The Laughing Policeman might be a bit too grim and languid for viewers who prefer action-oriented police dramas, but genre aficionados are likely to appreciate the film's no-nonsense portrayal of police work.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/1/2005
  • UPC: 024543131021
  • Original Release: 1973
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:49:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 33,079

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Walter Matthau Jake Martin
Bruce Dern Leo Larsen
Louis Gossett Jr. James Larrimore
Albert Paulsen Camerero
Anthony Zerbe Lt. Steiner
Dave Belrose Ralph Martin
Anthony Costello Dave Evans
James V. Christy Avakian
Matt Clark Coroner
Gregory Sierra Vickery
Val Avery Pappas
Shirley Ballard Grace Martin
Joanna Cassidy Monica
Warren Finnerty Ripple
John Francis Insp. Russo
Leigh French Porno Cashier
Wayne Grace Insp. Tom Brennan
William Hansen Schwermer
Clifton James Maloney
Paul Koslo Haygard
David Moody Pimp
Lavelle Roby Receptionist
Jonas Wolfe Collins
Joseph E. Bernard Avakian's Brother
Lee McCain Prostitute
Cathy Lee Crosby Kay Butler
Louis Guss Niles
Mario Gallo Bobby Mow
Dawn Frame Martin's Child
Technical Credits
Stuart Rosenberg Director, Producer
Charles Fox Score Composer
Jerry Jost Sound/Sound Designer
Doug von Koss Set Decoration/Design
Mike Moder Asst. Director
Tom Rickman Screenwriter
Theodore Soderberg Sound/Sound Designer
David M. Walsh Cinematographer
Bob Wyman Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Ride of Their Lives [:13]
2. Main Titles/Aftermath [6:03]
3. Survivor [:54]
4. Collecting Evidence [4:02]
5. A Good Cop [2:44]
6. Unhappy Homes [:17]
7. Autopsies [1:38]
8. Shaking Things Up [2:19]
9. Cold Case File [3:09]
10. Hardware Store [3:29]
11. A World of Trouble [2:19]
12. Harassment [1:23]
13. Following the Leads [4:52]
14. Freak [1:27]
15. Black & White [:56]
16. Working It [3:45]
17. A Line on the Weapon [3:12]
18. Link [:33]
19. Pieces of the Puzzle [5:11]
20. Tracking the Quarry [:18]
21. Delivering the Goods [4:04]
22. Streets of San Francisco [2:58]
23. Taking the Bus [3:01]
24. End Titles [4:07]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Language Selection
      Language and Audio: English Mono
      Language and Audio: English Stereo
      Language and Audio: Spanish Mono
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Theatrical Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Exciting 70's Dirty Harry Style Cop Thriller!

    Walter Matthau & Bruce Dern do an outstanding job in this fast paced cop thriller. It's a nice change for both actors, who usually were type cast in comedies (Matthau) or as a villain (Dern). They both bring a 'freshness' to their roles and add greatly to the character of the film. In addition I always love San Francisco as the backdrop . The city is a star unto itself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews