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Cruising (1980)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 10,497 users  
Reviews: 130 user | 87 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.

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Title: Cruising (1980)

Cruising (1980) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Capt. Edelson
...
Nancy
...
Stuart Richards
...
Ted Bailey
Joe Spinell ...
Patrolman DiSimone
...
Skip Lee
Randy Jurgensen ...
Det. Lefransky
Barton Heyman ...
Dr. Rifkin
...
DaVinci
Arnaldo Santana ...
Loren Lukas
Larry Atlas ...
Eric Rossman
...
Chief of Detectives
...
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 | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gay | subculture | s&m | police | undercover | See more »

Taglines:

Al Pacino is Cruising for a killer.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

15 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Friedkin's Cruising  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Friedkin returned to the project when some well-publicized killings in the gay community emerged. He recalled the Cruising (1980) project that The French Connection (1971) producer 'Philip d'Antoni' first talked to him about a few years earlier. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Stuart Richards: [he is being cruise by a muscular man] Do I qualify?
[exhales cigarette smoke]
Loren Lukas: I hate cigarettes.
Stuart Richards: Oh, really?
Loren Lukas: I think they're disgusting.
Stuart Richards: Well I enjoy them.
Loren Lukas: All it is is anal regressive. If you want to quit I suggest you try another form of childhood stroking.
Stuart Richards: I don't want to quit.
Loren Lukas: I suggest you try an ostrich feather along the small of your back, up your spine up to the nape of your neck.
Stuart Richards: Sounds addictive.
[...]
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 »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Quintettino in do maggiore: La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid, Op. 30, No.6 (3rd. mvt)
(uncredited)
Written by Luigi Boccherini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Controversial Document of Its Time

Viewed today, "Cruising" still elicits intense responses from both Gay and straight viewers alike. Mainstream Gays lament, as many protestors of the film at the time of its release, that it shows a homophobic image of Gay life, depecting them as sex-obsessed. Straights are put off by the frank look at the Gay sex "cruising" culture.

Interesting, however, some of the people involved in the Leather/SM subculture at the time this film was made have praised it for its accuracy of this particular lifestyle -- a pre-AIDS lifestyle concentrated on quick sex that was (and still is) pursued by a segment of the Gay community.

The film does not pretend to depict Gays as a whole. It is just a drama about a police investigation that uses the scene as a background and catalyst for an exploration into how one cop is affected by his work.

Not the greatest film ever made, but certainly a good springboard for discussion about the Gay community's politics, when one fully examines the controversy surrounding the film and the continued debate over public sex and body image in the community.

The strengths of "Cruising" are its use of locales and documentary-style cinematography, as well as the interesting performance from Paccino. In the end, it is hampered as a drama by problems with the narrative structure of the piece that seems to fizzle out in the last act, leading to an intriguing, but inconclusive, finish.


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