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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Larsen (Bruce Dern) and Martin (Walter Matthau) are on the way to pick up explosives from the Hells Angels, the tune "Big Noise From Winnetka" plays in the background. Dern went to New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. See more »
The Anthony Zerbe character is Lieutenant "Styner" according
to his desk nameplate, but "Steiner" in the closing credits. See more »
Jake Martin (Walter Mattau) investigates massacre that took the lives of eight people on a city bus. One of those victims was Jake's partner, Detective Evans, who was supposed to be called in sick. The question is: what was Detective Evans doing on the bus when the shooting occurred? Jake's colleagues: Leo Larsen (Bruce Dern), James Larrimore (Lou Goessett Jr.) help him on the cast leading to various places throughout San Francisco
"The Laughing Policeman" is a police procedural film that runs at a slow pace, which made it difficult to follow sometimes especially with the leads the characters have on the case. This bothered me a bit - maybe it has something to do with my generation's attention span? But the slow pace allowed us as viewers to see police procedural of the early 70s. While today's police procedural films (and TV shows) rely on technology to aid on a case, back then it seem that the police will take anything necessary to get the bad guy in; relying on gut feeling. We also get to know about the characters' lives in their police work - how they hate their job while going after the killer.
"The Laughing Policeman" is worth watching despite of the slow pacing. The actors who play their roles have done a great job getting the audiences' attention to the scene. The plot will keep you guessing until the end.
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