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Man on the Roof (1976)
"Mannen på taket" (original title)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  April 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,134 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 14 critic

Police lieutenant Nyman is murdered in his hospital bed and Martin Beck and his colleagues have another murder to solve. They discover that Nyman was a very brutal and tough policeman who ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt ...
Martin Beck (as Carl Gustaf Lindstedt)
Sven Wollter ...
Thomas Hellberg ...
Håkan Serner ...
Ingvar Hirdwall ...
Åke Eriksson (as Ingvar Hirdvall)
Bellan Roos ...
Mrs. Eriksson
Gus Dahlström ...
Mr. Eriksson
Stefan Nyman
Birgitta Valberg ...
Mrs. Nyman
Carl-Axel Heiknert ...
Palmon Harald Hult (as Carl Axel Heiknert)
Torgny Anderberg ...
Folke Hjort ...
Eva Remaeus ...
Gunnel Wadner ...


Police lieutenant Nyman is murdered in his hospital bed and Martin Beck and his colleagues have another murder to solve. They discover that Nyman was a very brutal and tough policeman who received many complaints about his brutality. Particularly interesting is a complaint from Åke Eriksson, whose wife died in police custody because of Nyman. Eriksson climbs up on a roof in central Stockholm and starts to shoot at people on the street below... Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man on the Roof  »

Box Office


SEK 3,900,000 (estimated)


SEK 10,780,000 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Every member of the main cast with the exception of Martin Beck (played by Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt) wears some kind of cap or hat. Bo Widerberg later commented on this, saying he wanted Beck to look cold (shot during the winter) throughout the movie. See more »


When Kollberg and Larsson is standing in the doorway to the closed section of the hold hospital, Larsson has a big wound and lots of blood on the right side of his head. Seconds earlier, when he helps 'Kollberg' to get over the railing, you can see his head without any wound or blood. See more »


Bohlin (civilian): Why the hell didn't you shoot him? I don't undertand...
Gunvald Larsson: Well no one's expected that. Do you have a license for that gun?
Bohlin (civilian):
Gunvald Larsson: Then you're in trouble
See more »


References Baretta (1975) See more »


Composed by Björn Afzelius
See more »

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User Reviews

Video surprise of the year: realistic, engrossing, ranks with best American crime films of the 70's
6 January 2002 | by (Hemet, Ca. USA) – See all my reviews

Wow! I wasn't expecting this - a sober, detailed, semi-documentary study of police investigation and tactics from, of all people, Bo Widerberg?!

I am astonished to say that this is a remarkably realistic and believable film and, as another viewer suggested, should be viewed by current filmakers as a prime reference for how films in this genre can be successfully approached. This truly ranks with the best American crime/police films of the 70's (and soars above all their pale French imitations), though it may lack the visceral impact of DIRTY HARRY or a character as indelible as Popeye Doyle. But character development is not really the film's focus; it is getting the details right - which it does - of the methodical police investigation of a murder and then their forced tactical response to a sniper. In doing this Widerberg and co. avoid a number of cliches and dramatic pitfalls that have plagued other films and television dramas working this turf over the last 40 years. These include cowboy heroics by "rogue" cops, an over-reliance on police jargon (that supposedly lets us know we are "inside the world" of police work), allowing interpersonal melodramas between characters to blur the focus of the story (i.e. catching the criminal), and, of course, the now ritual abuse of explosions, car chases, and machine-gun editing (to supposedly heighten our excitement). There are also no cartoonish twisted-genius serial killers masterminding absurd plot twists. Here the killer is as unspectacular, and as understandable (although we never meet him) as the men pursuing him. It is also remarkable how characters casually enter into the film as they enter the investigation - no one emerges as THE hero - everyone just does his job. And Widerberg is so effective at focusing us on the quiet, "routine" details of how the case develops that when violence erupts in the later part of the film it is truly startling. The scenes of panicking crowds have an unsettling documentary feel. The police response to this threat is, again, restrained, unspectacular (all right the helicopter attack may be pushing it a bit) and intensely dramatic for just that reason (no bells or whistles required). When the criminal is finally stopped it is almost anti-climatic (no drawn-out battles to the death, no swelling music) and this is as it should be for the world remains the same, evil still exists, and the job goes on. Can't wait to see MAN FROM MALLORCA. 9 out of 10.

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