MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 245 this week

Cruising (1980)

6.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 10,832 users  
Reviews: 133 user | 88 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.

Director:

Writers:

, (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.00 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 18 Jan 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 16 Apr 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 15 Jan 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 4 days ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Cruising" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Cruising (1980)

Cruising (1980) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Cruising.

User Polls

4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Drama
    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
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
Scarecrow (1973)
Drama
    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
Two Bits (1995)
Drama
    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 | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After a long spate of bad luck, the little criminal Tony and his gang successfully rob one of Brink's security transports, taking $30,000. Surprisingly their coup doesn't make the press. ... See full summary »

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Peter Falk, Peter Boyle, Allen Garfield
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
Rampage (1987)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime, then drank their blood. He escapes, though, and starts killing again.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Michael Biehn, Alex McArthur, Nicholas Campbell
Drama | Thriller | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An ethical Baltimore defense lawyer disgusted with rampant legal corruption is asked to defend a judge he despises in a rape trial. But if he doesn't do it, the judge will have him disbarred.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Warden, John Forsythe
Crime | Drama | Romance
    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
Me, Natalie (1969)
Certificate: M Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young woman struggles for independence.

Director: Fred Coe
Stars: Patty Duke, James Farentino, Martin Balsam
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
Edit

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)
Edit

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

Taglines:

Al Pacino is Cruising for a killer.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During murder scene in a room at the St. James Hotel where a man is stabbed to death on a bed, director William Friedkin edited in several near-subliminal frames from a gay hardcore movie that can clearly be seen in slow motion on DVD. See more »

Goofs

The close up of the last body, you can clearly see his heartbeat in his neck for a few seconds. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Spy Boy
Performed by John Hiatt
Words & Music by John Hiatt
Produced by Jack Nitzsche
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Daring, brutal, and undeserving of its negative fame.
28 February 2008 | by (Palm Desert, California) – See all my reviews

First and foremost, Cruising is not a film about gay men in general. Friedkin explains this perfectly on the DVD -- it's a murder mystery of a cop going undercover that just happens to have a gay element in it. To those familiar with the 70s Italian giallos, Cruising is a "U.S. giallo" -- a successful combination of murder mystery, sex, alternative lifestyles and subcultures with that, and how getting into something too out of your element can affect you. Unlike the Italian giallos that often featured a gratuitous lesbian tease, Cruising gave us a masculine leather theme instead.

The controversy and protests surrounding Cruising were based on misinformation and unfairly gave the film a bad reputation, though lately many critics that originally panned it have since recanted their negative comments, finding more to appreciate about the film.

Two things factored into why people were uncomfortable with Cruising: First, the murder story was not the real reason. Frankly, they saw not effeminate stereotypes, but masculine gay men dancing, kissing, and experiencing S&M activities. When gay characters are weak and fey, many heterosexual men feel safe. They want non-threatening characters that will be kept in their place. The disclaimer that appeared before the film (that has thankfully been removed on the DVD) was to appease gay men that felt the film would be perceived as a representation of the whole gay community. If that's the case, then films like The Birdcage and TV's Will & Grace should have disclaimers as well that say not all gay men are effeminate finger-snappers that watch Desperate Housewives, are drag queens, nor are FABulous well-groomed clean-shaven cutie boys.

Second, the locations and activity in the bars was as it actually was (and still is to a degree) in many places. The characters and extras were "real" for this story -- bearded leathermen enjoying what they do, instead of buffed party circuit boys dancing to the latest diva tunes. To add to the darkness and mood of the story the bars were blasting with serious hard-driven songs by Willy DeVille, John Hiatt, Rough Trade, The Germs, The Cripples and others instead of loopy diva dance music. Some gay men as well as straight had a problem with this, thinking it was not a decent representation of what gay men "should" listen to. To date this is still one of the coolest soundtracks around, I cherish my vinyl LP copies of it.

Yes, this film was brutal. It will leave an impression on you. THAT'S A GOOD THING! It's what film is supposed to do. Amidst all this the journey of Al Pacino's "out of his element" slip into a different mindset was a great touch. It affected his whole being, his treatment of his girlfriend, his whole outlook. And it wasn't just because he got to dance with some leathermen, it was because the murder investigation he was doing was so horrifying. What, you were expecting a sweet ending? The only reasons Pacino distanced himself from this film was because footage was cut that he felt fleshed out his character better, and the protests during filming distressed him.

And think of it this way: if this were a film about lesbians, it would be hailed by hetero guys as an erotic masterpiece. But when it's about masculine gay men, it seems hard for some of them to handle it. This may sound cliché, but I know many straight guys that actually understood Cruising and have told me (on IMDb as well as in person) they thought it was quite a cool film.

After all these years, Cruising still packs a punch and does what it sets out to do: unnerve you. It's a taut thriller and a mindblower in its complexities. That's quite an achievement and while many films are forgotten, this one still seems to be well remembered no matter what. I for one love this film and think Friedkin and company deserve much praise for their effort.

The DVD released in 2007 can be considered a bit of a "director's cut" since Friedkin made some additions and changes. For a thorough article on the exact changes and where they occur, check out the magazine Video Watchdog #152, November 2009.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
40 minutes of censorship cuts? Nick7080
Finished the book. rpg1978-587-595128
Pro-gay? ace-150
Black cop with jock strap dpwrwlf
Blu ray? JackForrester
Netflix censored or... GregsLubedAnus
Discuss Cruising (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?