IMDb > The Laughing Policeman (1973)
The Laughing Policeman
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The Laughing Policeman (1973) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Thomas Rickman (screenplay)
Per Wahlöö (novel) ...
View company contact information for The Laughing Policeman on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 January 1974 (Sweden) See more »
This movie is so real it makes every other movie in this town look like a movie. See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
From the golden age of urban American film See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Walter Matthau ... Sgt. Jake Martin SFPD

Bruce Dern ... Insp. Leo Larsen SFPD

Louis Gossett Jr. ... Insp. James Larrimore SFPD (as Lou Gossett)
Albert Paulsen ... Henry Camerero

Anthony Zerbe ... Lt. Nat Styner (Steiner on End Credits) SFPD

Val Avery ... Insp. John Pappas SFPD

Cathy Lee Crosby ... Kay Butler

Mario Gallo ... Bobby Mow, Snitch

Joanna Cassidy ... Nurse Monica, Beth's Roomate
Shirley Ballard ... Grace Martin
William Hansen ... Mr. Schwermer, Bus Vicitm
Don Borisenko ... Det. Mike Collins (as Jonas Wolfe)

Paul Koslo ... Duane Haygood, Drug Pusher
Louis Guss ... Gus Niles / Andrew Medford - Bus Victim

Frances Lee McCain ... Prostitute (as Lee McCain)
David Moody ... Pimp
Ivan Bookman ... Rodney Davis

Clifton James ... Officer Jim Maloney SFPD Bomb Squad

Gregory Sierra ... Ken Vickery, Outlaw Biker (as Gregg Sierra)
Warren Finnerty ... Ripple, Outlaw Biker

Matt Clark ... Coroner
Joseph Bernard ... Avakian's Brother Samuel
Melvina Smedley ... Maydala
Leigh French ... Porno Cashier
James Klawin ... Fowler
Anthony Costello ... Det. Dave Evans - Bus Victim
John Francis ... Inspector Russo, SFPD
John Frederick Vick ... Inspector Lou Terry SFPD

Wayne Grace ... Inspector Tom Brennan SFPD
Cheryl Christiansen ... Beth, Nurse on Bus
James V. Christy ... Lemuel Avakian, Bus Victim (as James Christy)
David Belrose ... Ralph Martin
Dawn Frame ... Debbie Martin
Ellan Nance ... Camerero's Receptionist #1 (as Ellen Nance)

Lavelle Roby ... Camerero's Receptionist #2 (as Lavelle Robey)
Hobart Nills Nelson ... Jail Guard
Gus Bruneman ... TAC Squad Captain SFPD (as Capt. Gus Bruneman)
The San Francisco Strutters ... Street Musicians
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elaine Collins ... Go-Go Dancer (uncredited)

Sacheen Littlefeather ... Undetermined Minor Role (uncredited)

Directed by
Stuart Rosenberg 
Writing credits
Thomas Rickman (screenplay)

Per Wahlöö (novel "Den skrattande polisen") (as Per Wahlhoo) and
Maj Sjöwall (novel "Den skrattande polisen") (as Maj Sjowall)

Stuart Rosenberg  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Stuart Rosenberg .... producer
Original Music by
Charles Fox 
Cinematography by
David M. Walsh (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Bob Wyman (film editor)
Casting by
Joyce Selznick 
Set Decoration by
Doug von Koss 
Makeup Department
Gary Morris .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Jack Wilson .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Mike Moder .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mike Moder .... first assistant director
Ron Wright .... second assistant director
Charles Ziarko .... second assistant director
Art Department
Barry Bedig .... property master (uncredited)
Jack M. Marino .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jerry Jost .... production mixer
Theodore Soderberg .... re-recording mixer
Bill Hank .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Ron Sterling .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Stanley Amborn .... special effects (uncredited)
A. Paul Pollard .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Joseph Edesa .... gaffer (uncredited)
Richard N. Hannah .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Norman Harris .... best boy (uncredited)
Gary Haselbusch .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Jack E. Kelly .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Fred Murphy .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Jack Richter .... key grip (uncredited)
Phillip R. Sarabia .... second grip (uncredited)
Roger Shearman .... camera operator (uncredited)
Don Whipple .... dolly grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lambert Marks .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Nat Tolmach .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Transportation Department
William Charles Hauer .... driver: honeywagon (uncredited)
Other crew
Gus Coreris .... technical advisor: SFPD (as Inspector Gus Coreris)
Charles Ellis .... technical advisor: SFPD (as Lieutenant Charles Ellis)
Peggy Locke .... production secretary
Lucille Baumann .... auditor (uncredited)
Earl Fahey .... caterer (uncredited)
Francis X. Feighan .... unit publicist (uncredited)
H. Bud Otto .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"An Investigation of a Murder" - Australia (imdb display title), International (English title) (alternative title)
See more »
112 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

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 »
Errors in geography: The SF Municipal "Mission 14" bus line route did not and does not run north of Market street to traverse down Clay street from Nob Hill through Chinatown.See more »
Sgt. Jake Martin SFPD:I want you to help me follow Henry Camarero for a few days, that's all.
Insp. Leo Larsen SFPD:Why?
Sgt. Jake Martin SFPD:Well he knows me from the original Teresa investigation...
Insp. Leo Larsen SFPD:[cutting off Jake] No, I mean why do you suddenly need me for anything? You've been doing this all by yourself all along. I've seen you. You never even bothered to show me the picture you showed the man upstairs just now.
Sgt. Jake Martin SFPD:Evans was following Gus Niles, right? Well I think Niles wanted Evans to follow him.
Insp. Leo Larsen SFPD:You mean you think he was setting the kid up?
Sgt. Jake Martin SFPD:That's exactly what I think.
See more »
Give Me the Simple LifeSee more »


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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
From the golden age of urban American film, 23 June 2002
Author: Harry Nagle from New York

From a period before marketing departments and focus groups took over the movie industry and began pumping out formulaic happy-ended regurgitated baby food, The Laughing Policeman offers gritty urban drama, acted by the great character actors of the day, actors that filled out such classics as The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon...

It's shortcomings are there, to be sure, but as a stylistic gem - as a sample of the type of movies they just don't or can't make anymore, it's worth watching. Matthau is as angry and as serious as you've ever seen him - a performance sterner that even the MTA traffic official in The Taking of Pelham 123.

There is no formula here - no overbearing Sargent hanging over the detectives, no goofing off in the office downtown to lighten things up. No romantic interest or hot sex scene crammed in between bullets.This is reality, harsh and complicated - if you can handle it, that is.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (33 total) »

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Just a 6.2? SpacemanBob
Is that William H Macy? jhands-1
misplaced scene Flkysoh
The Ramrod obtuse_angle
Comparinig it to Life on Mars amcalabrese
Sacheen Littlefeather? Erich-13
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