The Laughing Policeman1973
The Laughing Policeman (1973)
The Laughing Policeman Photos
as Sgt. Jake Martin
as Insp. Leo Larsen
as James Larrimore
as Henry Camerero
as Lt. Steiner
as Kay Butler
as Bobby Mow
as Grace Martin
as Gus Niles
as Avakian's Brother
as Porno Cashier
as Dave Evans
as Ralph Martin
as Debbie Martin
as Jail Guard
as Squad Captain
Critic Reviews for The Laughing Policeman
It loses a great deal in the translation from Stockholm to San Francisco's Dirty Harry country. Gloomy authenticity, for one thing; pace and a genuine sense of puzzlement, for others.
After an extremely overdone prolog of violent mass murder on a bus, The Laughing Policeman becomes a handsomely made manhunt actioner.
By the end, complete with car chase and split-second shooting, the film has become indistinguishable from all those movies it's trying so hard to disown.
Though an essentially familiar amalgam of murder, manhunt and dogged police work in that scenic city, this Policeman stands a good deal taller than the norm because of the expert guidance of Stuart Rosenberg
The Laughing Policeman is an awfully good police movie: taut, off-key, filled with laconic performances. It provides the special delight we get from gradually unraveling a complicated case.
Audience Reviews for The Laughing Policeman
Stuart Rosenberg's solid, tense crime drama based on a Swedish award winning novel by Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall, the story is transplanted from Stockholm to San Francisco. The late great Walter Matthau delivers one of his most accomplished, detailed performances, as a tough police lieutenant investigating a grisly massacre on board a city bus by a madman, who opened up with a machine gun and murdered eight people. He discovers that his former partner, a detective is one of the victims, Matthau uncovers unsavory things about his ex-partner, and that many of the victims had shady lives, which shrouds the killer's identity even more. But Matthau and his current partner, played superbly by Bruce Dern, are running out of time because the killer is getting ready to attack another city bus. Astute direction by Stuart Rosenberg, fine supporting performances by Louis Gossett Jr, Albert Paulsen, Anthony Zerbe, Anthony Costello, Val Avery, Joanna Cassidy, and Cathy Lee Crosby. Good suspense and plot twists, outstanding cinematography by David M. Walsh. A gritty period piece, and accurate 70's police procedural from the golden age of urban American films. Highly Recommended.
Whatever you're reaching for had better be a sandwich, 'cause you're gonna have to eat it.
Matthau doesn't get to play many serious roles compared to his body of work in lighter fare. This is one of his best dramatic attempts. Despite the title, not only does he not laugh in this, he never even cracks a single smile.
This is a nice murder mystery. The whole supporting cast is excellent, particulary Lou Gossett, Jr. When he delivers the line quoted above, you can feel in your bones that he means it :)
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