Man on the Roof - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Man on the Roof Reviews

Page 1 of 2
November 20, 2014
The police procedural has long been the province of TV shows, so it is easy to forget that there are movies that may be able to do things better (for example, on a bigger budget or in a less formulaic way). I'm thinking of Kurosawa's High and Low or Fincher's Zodiac. But Bo Widerberg's Man on the Roof, based on one of a series of Swedish crime novels featuring homicide cop Martin Beck and his colleagues, should be ranked highly with them. After a bad police lieutenant is murdered in his hospital bed, the wheels start turning and Beck and his weary team (each given enough attention to have a distinct personality) begin their painstaking investigation. As usual, they start with interviews of people who might know something, record searches, and, yes, examination of evidence at the crime scene. Slowly this leads to a suspect, but just as things are at their most dreary (as investigations are wont to get), the film explodes into a different kind of situation requiring strategic action from the police (and giving the film its title). The cops (and Widerberg) handle things just as methodically as in the early part of the film (although less successfully at times), leading to the (not unexpected) conclusion. Still, it is absorbing all the way.
½ February 9, 2014
Police lieutenant Nyman who is a patient at a hospital in Stockholm is brutally murdered, stabbed repeatedly with a bayonet. The investigation that follows is led by Martin Beck (Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt) and Einar Rnn (Hkan Serner). It turns out that the murdered man had sadistic tendencies and was known among his colleagues for abusing his police privileges and brutalizing civilians. Although his colleagues had been aware of his behaviour, the police force's esprit de corps had suppressed complaints about him and prevented any reprisals.
The investigation proceeds, and finally Beck and his team find a trail that leads to the murderer, who turns out to be an ex-policeman named ke Eriksson (Ingvar Hirdwall). Eriksson's wife Marja had diabetes, and one day, in need of insulin, she had fallen into a coma. She was mistaken by the police as a drunk and put in a jail cell, under the orders of Nyman, where she died. Eriksson blamed the police force for the death of his wife. Now, some years later, he has become a social misfit and the authorities are in the process of removing his daughter Malin from his custody. As Beck and his team close in on Eriksson he climbs up on the roof of the apartment building where he lives in central Stockholm, bringing with him both an automatic rifle and a sharpshooter's rifle. He starts to fire at any policeman and police vehicle he can spot, picking off several policemen. When the police commissioner decides to bring in the anti-terrorist units, including two police helicopters, Eriksson shoots up one of the helicopters so it crashes on a crowded plaza near the building where he resides. Beck needs to figure out how to take Eriksson out together with his colleagues Lennart Kollberg (Sven Wollter) and Gunvald Larsson (Thomas Hellberg)...

"The Man On The Roof" is a 1976 Swedish film directed by Bo Widerberg, based on the 1971 novel The Abominable Man by Sjwall and Wahl. Widerberg was inspired by the 1971 film "The French Connection" and he wanted to make a Swedish equivalent of that film.
The actor Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt was picked for the part as the policeman Beck after Wideberg had seen him with a serious face in a talk show not knowing he was on air. Earlier Lindstedt was mostly known for roles in comedy films. Not one tripod was used for this movie - everything is shot with hand held camera, unique for the Swedish movie industry at the time of shooting. And insurance companies claimed that the helicopter crash would be too dangerous to shoot from a close distance, so director Bo Widerberg himself shot the sequence with a hand-held camera from the riskiest angles. The film won two swedish Guldbagge Awards in 1977, for Best Film and Best Actor (Hkan Serner). The critics were very positive and especially praised the dialogue. Around 750,000 people attended the film in Sweden, making it the most successful film produced by the Swedish Film Institute until Fanny and Alexander was released in 1982. What Bo Widerberg managed to do with "The Man On The Roof" was to create a very dramatic, intense (yet low-key and dialogue driven), nicely shot, action packed police thriller with an american touch you simply wont forget once you have seen it. Widerbergs style of direction was well known as being straight forward, crazy, intense and more or less anarchic, and I reckon thats how he made his best movies. The acting is superb and minimalistic (love how Widerberg could use someone literally from the street in a whim in the movie). The attention to detail is beautiful. And the dialogue is great in a combination with the cinematography. Widerberg perfected the swedish action thriller a bit later with "The Man from Majorca" in 1984. "The Man On The Roof" is still one of the best swedish movies ever made and it was a true pleasure to re-see it.
December 5, 2013
Police flick at its best!
April 22, 2013
Good film, very good concept. It is interesting and have a good klimax.
It is a perfekt duel beatween Action and Thriller. Just Awesome!
December 7, 2012
Top notch police action
August 28, 2012
Skilled action based on a profound crime story--Brutal & realistic!!
March 6, 2012
One of the great unseen police thrillers of the 70's. It is a film crying to be remade by Hollywood. A good idea,depending on who they would get to direct. Also very much in the gritty, stark style of filmmaking very much in vogue right now (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Killing) and David Fincher would be a obvious choice to direct. Not too twisted in plotting, so a broader audience could take to it. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a smart,well acted thriller.
December 19, 2010
Bästa svenska actionfilmen någonsin!
Det är bara att lägga ner dessa patetiska försök som Tredje vågen och allt vad det heter.
jag saknar Bo Wideberg...
August 22, 2010
Wow, it's actually on here, on Flixster O_OAnyways saw it in school, was pretty bad actually. I know you shouldn't expect much from a swedish movie, but the newer Beck movies are quite good.It get's a 2 star rating because the actors did kinda good.
August 15, 2010
It's probably too slow for most audiences, but I absolutely loved the pacing. The characters all have their little nuances and whilst many I'm sure would say they are boring, I find them very interesting and fleshed out. The police procedural is heavy influenced by contemporary American crime thrillers, especially The French Connection. The ending is very satisfying.
April 12, 2010
Gritty, realistic and highly suspenseful cop thriller by Bo Widerberg, one of Sweden's finest directors.
April 8, 2010
Innovative Swedish answer to the American 'cinema verit' cop movies like 'French Conection'. Bo Widerberg nailed it, big time.
January 22, 2010
Still this is one of the best Swedish attempts on a Police action kind of film! Great!!
January 25, 2009
PAN AND SCAN. No est mal... De hecho, es buena, pero su impacto tiene que haber sido mucho mayor en los 70, antes de que proliferaran las pelculas y series policiales. / It's not bad... In fact, it's good, but its impact must have been much greater in the 70s, before cop movies and series began to proliferate.
½ November 3, 2008
Very impressive. Probably the best Beck film, although there are others in which Beck himself is better portrayed.
September 6, 2008
Supercool and gritty police thriller, very much in the vein of movies like The French Connection and Dog Day Afternoon. Absolutely worth checking out!
½ March 24, 2008
Innovative Swedish answer to the American 'cinema verité' cop movies (French connection, for example) And they nailed it, big time.
March 14, 2008
Slow moving with nothing too interesting until the last thirty minutes... where the film changes gears and becomes an intense thrill ride! The realistic approach of the film adds to the gritty intensity, but it's a chore to sit through the beginning sequences... but it's all worth it for the great ending that is slightly reminiscent of Peter Bogdanovich's 1968 thriller "Targets".
January 21, 2008
The best swedish crime movie ever. So just shut up will you.
Page 1 of 2