A police detective goes undercover in the underground S&M gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer who is preying on gay men.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Capt. Edelson
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Nancy
...
Stuart Richards
...
Ted Bailey
...
Patrolman DiSimone
...
Skip Lee
...
Det. Lefransky
Barton Heyman ...
Dr. Rifkin
...
DaVinci
Arnaldo Santana ...
Loren Lukas
Larry Atlas ...
Eric Rossman
...
Chief of Detectives
Sonny Grosso ...
Det. Blasio
...
Det. Schreiber (as Edward O'Neil)
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Storyline

A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S&M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he has to learn and practice the complex rules and signals of this little society. While barely seeing his girlfriend Nancy anymore, the work starts changing him. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Al Pacino is Cruising for a killer.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

15 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Friedkin's Cruising  »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert De Niro and Roy Scheider turned down the role of Steve Burns. See more »

Goofs

When the first victim gets stabbed blood is shown running off his shoulder but the knife is spotless. See more »

Quotes

Steve Burns: There's a lot you don't know about me.
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Crazy Credits

The film only opens with the title in large letters, across the screen. It is only at the end where the filmmakers are credited. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gaydar (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

When I Close My Eyes I See Blood
Performed by Madelynn von Ritz
Words & Music by Phil Lee
Produced by Jack Nitzsche
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Still controversial after all these years
23 November 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Keep in mind when you watch this that William Friedkin based a lot, if not most, of the events and characters on real crimes of late 70's New York. Often dialogue was put in verbatim as he remembered hearing it. Knowing cops and criminals helped him gain insight and access to a world most of us never see in person.

One thing is certain. Gay men were and are being murdered in many cities, sometimes by closeted men, other times by those who hate homosexuals and get away with it because homophobia still resonates in police departments and these deaths aren't always a top priority to solve. Arthur Dong's brilliant film "Licensed To Kill" was powerful in letting us simply watch these kind of felons explain their horrific crimes in their own words. "Cruising" is a murder mystery where no form of justice can punish the guilty.

Al Pacino turns in his darkest work here, showing Patrolman Steve Burns as a young cop given an assignment no one should envy. Pose in clubs where men who looked like him met a man that butchered them. Paul Sorvino indeed shows what Friedkin calls "profound sadness" and is Burns' sole police contact for this incredibly dangerous mission. Burns, undercover as "John Forbes", meets people he likes and others he doesn't and they all have one thing in common. None know who he really is and that is the ultimate mystery of "Cruising". Watch this to see a New York that doesn't exist today.


9 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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