45 user 32 critic

The Detective (1968)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 28 May 1968 (USA)
3:15 | Trailer

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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)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Leland
Dave Schoenstein
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 <regis@apocalypse.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An adult look at a police detective. See more »


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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?


Frank Sinatra plays Detective Joe Leland from the novel "The Detective" by Roderick Thorp. Thorp wrote a sequel ("Nothing Lasts Forever") in which Leland is trapped in a Claxxon Oil Corp. skyscraper after it's taken by German terrorists and must rescue his daughter and grandchildren. Twenty years later the novel was filmed with some changes: the daughter became his wife, Claxxon became the Nakatomi Corporation and Joe Leland's name was changed to John McClane. The film was released under the title Die Hard (1988). Because of a clause in Sinatra's contract for "The Detective" which gave him the right to reprise his role in a sequel, he was actually the first person offered the McClane role, even though he was 73 years old at the time. Also, coincidentally, Bruce Willis (who played McClane) made his movie debut in The First Deadly Sin (1980) walking out of a bar as Sinatra walks into it. Additionally, 'Lloyd Bochner' plays Dr. Wendell Roberts in The Detective (1968); his son, Hart Bochner, plays Harry Ellis in Die Hard (1988). See more »


The racetrack where McIver commits suicide is clearly shown as the Garden State Park Racetrack - a now defunct track which was located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Thus New Jersey authorities would investigate the death, not the New York City police. See more »


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Written by David Raksin
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User Reviews

old fashioned cop movie with decency
4 June 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

An old fashioned, sometimes silly, but altogether decent and moral little film. The isolated accusation of homophobia present elsewhere in the list of reviews is not accurate. This assumption might be made from watching only the first few minutes of the film, when certain suspicions arise, but as the film develops those suspicions turn out to be quite ungrounded and in fact the Sinatra character openly defends gay characters from a homophobic cop, and so on.

Throughout this movie the hero has actual moral integrity and refuses to abandon it, most of the time, and if he does it is not glorified. This in itself makes it worth watching just the once, given the general state of other films in the genre.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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