The Detective (1968)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  28 May 1968 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,901 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 19 critic

Police detective Joe Leland investigates the murder of a homosexual man. While investigating, he discovers links to official corruption in New York City in this drama that delves into a world of sex and drugs.



(screenplay), (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Tony Rome is a Miami based detective who while diving in the ocean finds the body of a young woman. He is hired by Gronsky to find her killer. Tony has to sift through a stack of suspects, ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Raquel Welch, Richard Conte
Tony Rome (1967)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Tony Rome, a tough Miami PI living on a houseboat, is hired by a local millionaire to find jewelry stolen from his daughter, and in the process has several encounters with local hoods as well as the Miami Beach PD.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Jill St. John, Richard Conte
Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Toward the end of World War II, two American soldiers fighting in Southern France become romantically involved with a young, American woman. Her background will reveal more about them than her.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood
Can-Can (1960)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

1896, Montmartre: the Can-Can, the dance in which the women lift their skirts, is forbidden. Nevertheless Simone has it performed every day in her night club. Her employees use their female... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, Maurice Chevalier
Madigan (1968)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Policemen Bonaro and Madigan lose their guns to fugitive Barney Benesch. As compensation, the two NYC detectives are given a weekend to bring Benesch to justice. While Bonaro and Madigan ... See full summary »

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Nick tries to kill his wife to get her money, but when learning of this, she plans the same for him!

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Tony Curtis, Rosanna Schiaffino, Lionel Jeffries
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A former intelligence officer is tasked by the heir to the Gleneyre estate to investigate the unusual deaths of a disparate group of eleven men on a list.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Tony Curtis
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A former Korean War POW is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin. But another former prisoner may know how to save him.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An impractical widower tries to hang onto his Miami hotel and his 12-year-old son.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Eleanor Parker
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

With her infant daughter Margaret Rose in tow, Georgette Thomas pulls up stakes from Tyler, Texas to head to Columbus, Texas to be reunited with her husband, Henry Thomas, who has just been... See full summary »

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Steve McQueen, Lee Remick, Don Murray
Ada (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Bo Gillis is running for Governor. Steve writes the speeches, Sylvester runs the campaign and Bo plays the guitar. Everything is going according to the plan until a hooker named Ada is ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Susan Hayward, Dean Martin, Wilfrid Hyde-White
Ocean's 11 (1960)
Comedy | Crime | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Danny Ocean gathers a group of his World War II compatriots to pull off the ultimate Las Vegas heist. Together the eleven friends plan to rob five Las Vegas casinos in one night.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.


Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Leland
Dave Schoenstein
Lloyd Bochner ...
Dr. Roberts
Colin MacIver
Tony Musante ...
Pat Henry ...
Patrick McVey ...
Dixie Marquis ...
Carol Linjack
Sugar Ray Robinson ...
Rachael Schoenstein


Police detective Joe Leland investigates the murder of a homosexual man. While investigating, he discovers links to official corruption in New York City in this drama that delves into a world of sex and drugs. Written by Regis M. Donovan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This case could cost New York's toughest cop his badge and his life. (dvd) See more »


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 May 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Detektiv  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert Evans had acquired the rights to "The Detective" and was supposed to produce the movie for Twentieth Century-Fox, which had signed him to a contract. (He had earlier worked for Fox as an actor.) When Charlie Bluhdorn, the owner of Paramount, offered Evans a job as the head of European production at Paramount, Evans had to surrender the project to get out of his Fox contract. See more »


In the credits, the last name of the character played by William Windom is spelled "MacIver". But on the envelope containing his taped confession, Dr. Roberts has spelled it "McIver". See more »


Referenced in The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Frank Sinatra (1978) See more »


Music by Lionel Newman
Played at the bar when Joe runs into Karen
Also played at the restaurant when Karen runs into Joe and Norma
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Big Town Corruption
16 May 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In this film done one year before the Stonewall Riots we get a picture of corruption and homophobia in the NYPD. The Detective should be required viewing for those who want to know about the days before Stonewall when as a people we were subject to routine abuse and violence.

A nude man is found murdered in his apartment which usually spells one thing, a homicide with gay overtones. Such an occurrence allows the police to be more brutal than usual all in the pursuit of a killer.

Back in those days it's hard for people today to believe how bars that catered to gay people were the subject of random police raids, usually because the cops didn't get their payoffs. In those days just being in one of those places could constitute an arrest for disorderly conduct and if you touched a member of the same sex and not necessarily in a sexual way that could land you in jail for some time, unless you had the money to pay your way out.

A man's been killed and suspicion falls on a street punk played by Tony Musante. Frank Sinatra plays a cop who has a specialty in extracting confessions and he does it the hard way, without the rubber hose. Miranda was new at the time, so they can't beat it out of Musante as per normal. Musante confesses he gets convicted and he gets the still operative electric chair.

But right after Musante is killed, prominent citizen William Windom jumps to his death from the roof at Aqueduct racetrack. Sinatra is again the detective and connections are established with the two deaths. Sinatra's investigations are opening a lot of doors powerful folks just don't want opened. In this he has the support of Windom's widow Jacqueline Bisset.

Sinatra's dealing with some personal problems at the same time. His marriage is breaking up because it turns out his wife, Lee Remick is a nymphomaniac. Still it's the story of the two gay related deaths that dominate the film.

The Detective boasts one of Frank Sinatra's best latter film performances. Sinatra eschews the hipster mannerisms and delivers a straightforward performance as an honest Serpico like cop in the midst of big town corruption.

In the supporting cast I liked Ralph Meeker as a sleazy cop on the take who's quite willing to stop Sinatra any way he can. Also Jack Klugman as Frank's honest sidekick and Renee Taylor as his wife.

Forty years after The Detective came out who would have thought in 1968 that we would have something called the Gay Officers Action League among the police fraternal societies in New York and many other metropolitan police forces. Their organized presence in police departments have gone a long way in bringing a sensitivity and awareness for the GLBT community.

And this review is dedicated to two out police officers now retired from the job that I knew and worked with in New York City when I was at Crime Victims Board. To Detectives Vanessa Ferro and Mark Caruso who are the finest of the finest in New York and to all the other out gay law enforcement officials.

31 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What I did not like about the movie. nyrider
Racist Robert Duvall line cut from DVD release? BillFenner1967
Saving budget money hankmcn
Helicopter wilstjb312
Frank + Lee dimsung_09
Lee Remick nude? Soujurn
Discuss The Detective (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: