Cruising (1980)

R  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller  |  15 February 1980 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 12,251 users  
Reviews: 135 user | 97 critic

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.



, (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.00 on Amazon Video

5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sea of Love (1989)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A detective investigating a series of murders becomes involved with a woman who may be the culprit.

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman
Scarecrow (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Max, an ex-con drifter with a penchant for brawling is amused by Lion, a homeless ex-sailor, and they partner up as they head east together.

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Gene Hackman, Al Pacino, Dorothy Tristan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two symbiotic sociopaths play obscurely deviant mind games with each other while engaging in perversely brutal acts of violence against victims apparently chosen at random.

Director: David F. Wheeler
Stars: Al Pacino, Paul Guilfoyle, Joseph Maher
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Bobby Deerfield, a famous American race car driver on the European circuit, falls in love with the enigmatic Lillian Morelli, who is terminally ill.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Al Pacino, Marthe Keller, Anny Duperey
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A lawyer (Al Pacino) is forced to defend a guilty judge, while defending other innocent clients, and trying to find punishment for the guilty and provide justice for the innocent.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Warden, John Forsythe
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This movie is a stark portrayal of life among a group of heroin addicts who hang out in "Needle Park" in New York City. Played against this setting is a low-key love story between Bobby, a ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Al Pacino, Kitty Winn, Alan Vint
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow
City Hall (1996)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The accidental shooting of a boy in New York leads to an investigation by the Deputy Mayor, and unexpectedly far-reaching consequences.

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: Al Pacino, John Cusack, Bridget Fonda
Two Bits (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

It's a hot summer day in 1933 in South Philly, where 12-year old Gennaro lives with his widowed mom and his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's ... See full summary »

Director: James Foley
Stars: Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Jerry Barone
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Johnny has just been released from prison, and gets a job in a café beside waitress Frankie. Frankie is a bit of a loner, but Johnny is determined their romance will blossom.

Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hector Elizondo
Sorcerer (1977)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal
Revolution (1985)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

New York trapper Tom Dobb becomes an unwilling participant in the American Revolution after his son Ned is drafted into the Army by the villainous Sergeant Major Peasy. Tom attempts to find... See full summary »

Director: Hugh Hudson
Stars: Al Pacino, Donald Sutherland, Nastassja Kinski


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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Al Pacino is Cruising for a killer.


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Friedkin's Cruising  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


James A. Contner originally wanted to shoot the film in black and white, as he felt it would fit the look of the S/M world. See more »


The medical examiner discusses the serrations in the wounds of a murder victim but the killer did not use a serrated knife on him. See more »


Loren Lukas: Where you from?
Stuart Richards: Mars.
Loren Lukas: Terrific, I never made it with a Martian before.
See more »

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 »


Referenced in Sex: The Revolution: Tainted Love (2008) See more »


Lions Share
Performed by The Germs
Written by Darby Crash and Pat Smear
Produced by Jack Nitzsche
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

subversive genius

I had the pleasure of seeing this movie recently and I highly recommend it to any people who savor the darker things in life. If I had never seen this movie the reviews left about it everywhere on the net would surely have made me miss it at every opportunity but luckily I only came across them looking for more information after its viewing.

The first thing that really got me was the fantastic soundtrack. This is American punk rock at it's best and most glorious and I cannot think of a more apt context for it than the New York gay S&M scene. This my friends ... is punk-o-rama.

This is not a gay film ... nor is it a porno film ... this is an in your face horror much like William Friedkin's other classic "The Exorcist" ... but not a hammer horror nor a gore filled voyage through some fiery "kissing the devil's ass" hell but a very real slice of a very real life that exists in every major city in the world as well as some smaller ones. This is a film about a world so few know anything about that it is far above common criticism ... yet at the same time the directions and nuances are all too common. I would say that any fans of the movies of David Lynch might enjoy the somewhat lost disenchantment of this flick as it slides further and further into the darkest realms of the grotesque. As well anyone who's enjoyed the backwards pleasures of watching the cult classic "Je'Taime ... Moi Ne Plus" starring Jane Birkin would also find a little gem here.

"Cruisin'" is pure subversive genius.


Pure *ART*

33 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Pro-gay? ace-150
Black cop with jock strap dpwrwlf
Finished the book. rpg1978-587-595128
Blu ray? JackForrester
Netflix censored or... GregsLubedAnus
Still have doubts about the killer. Sulaimone
Discuss Cruising (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: