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The Laughing Policeman (1973)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,321 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 16 critic

In San Francisco, one victim in a mass murder is a police detective. His partner and a new partner investigate in the city's seamy side.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the novel "Den skrattande polisen" by), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Laughing Policeman (1973)

The Laughing Policeman (1973) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Insp. Leo Larsen SFPD
...
Insp. James Larrimore SFPD (as Lou Gossett)
Albert Paulsen ...
Henry Camerero
...
Lt. Nat Styner (Steiner on End Credits) SFPD
...
Insp. John Pappas SFPD
...
Kay Butler
Mario Gallo ...
Bobby Mow, Snitch
...
Nurse Monica, Beth's Roomate
Shirley Ballard ...
Grace Martin
William Hansen ...
Mr. Schwermer, Bus Vicitm
Don Borisenko ...
Det. Mike Collins (as Jonas Wolfe)
...
Duane Haygood, Drug Pusher
Louis Guss ...
Gus Niles / Andrew Medford - Bus Victim
...
Prostitute (as Lee McCain)
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Storyline

A policeman is among the victims when the passengers of a late-night bus are machine-gunned. With only one semi- conscious survivor and no other witnesses, the detectives try to learn from the identities of the dead why this happened and who the killer could be. Climax includes excellent chase. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

killer | bus | detective | mass murder | city | See more »

Taglines:

The laughing policeman is never amused. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 January 1974 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Laughing Policeman  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The same distinctive green station wagon with wood panels was used in multiple scenes as an "automobile extra" and appears throughout the film in background shots. See more »

Goofs

In the morgue scene, early in the film, there are a few "corpses" breathing. On one corpse, the toes curl. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Jake Martin SFPD: [about Niles' girlfriend] She left for lunch yesterday afternoon and hasn't been heard from since. What do you think?
Insp. Leo Larsen SFPD: I'm only allowed one think a day.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Hard Day for Archie (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

I Had the Craziest Dream
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on the radio in the car
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Laughing Policeman
8 February 2005 | by (Toronto) – See all my reviews

This sullen, violent police drama is as detailed an investigation as you will find on film. The opening scene of The Laughing Policeman is extremely tense and sets the tone for a Dirty-Harry-style flick that delivers one of Matthau's moodiest performances. Basically, a mass murder takes place on a San Francisco bus, and we find out that a policeman was one of the victims. He turns out to be Matthau's late partner. Bruce Dern is assigned to be his new partner, working with Matthau, a conflict of interest, to find out why this SFPD detective was on the bus in the first place. Their subsequent relationship is a play the standard, portrayed in the Laughing Policeman as "mute cop/bad cop". So, teams of gritty cops (a young Lou Gossett) meander through the roughest neighborhoods of San Francisco bullying pimps, pushers, hip drag queens and sidewalking street-wheelers in an attempt uncover what turns out to be a very complex underworld fraternity. The purpose (seeing as this plays as a Matthau character study), to quell Matthau's melancholic contribution to this Dirty Harry spin-off. It is more violent and much more precise than Dirty Hary but not as entertaining. A must see, however, for all Matthau fans.


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