53 user 38 critic

The Detective (1968)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 28 May 1968 (USA)
3:16 | Trailer
Police detective Joe Leland investigates the murder of a gay man. While investigating, he discovers links to official corruption in New York City in this drama that delves into a world of sex and drugs.


Gordon Douglas


Abby Mann (screenplay), Roderick Thorp (novel)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Sinatra ... Joe Leland
Lee Remick ... Karen Leland
Ralph Meeker ... Curran
Jack Klugman ... Dave Schoenstein
Horace McMahon ... Farrell
Lloyd Bochner ... Dr. Roberts
William Windom ... Colin MacIver
Tony Musante ... Felix
Al Freeman Jr. ... Robbie
Robert Duvall ... Nestor
Pat Henry Pat Henry ... Mercidis
Patrick McVey Patrick McVey ... Tanner
Dixie Marquis Dixie Marquis ... Carol Linjack
Sugar Ray Robinson Sugar Ray Robinson ... Kelly
Renée Taylor ... Rachael Schoenstein


Police detective Joe Leland investigates the murder of a homosexual man. While investigating, he discovers links to official corruption in New York City in this drama that delves into a world of sex and drugs. Written by Regis M. Donovan <regis@apocalypse.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No cop...no man is so clean that he won't find something of himself in the dirt, perversion and violence of the city. (Australian poster) See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


When MacIver enters the gay bar the background music is an instrumental of the song Laura by Johnny Mercer. It is about romance with a passing stranger and which is more of a yearning than a reality. MacIver is in pursuit of the same elusive and non-permanent attraction. See more »


The racetrack where McIver commits suicide is clearly shown as the Garden State Park Racetrack - a now defunct track which was located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Thus New Jersey authorities would investigate the death, not the New York City police. See more »


Joe Leland: Somebody doesn't do something about those garbage cans, you're gonna see the god-damnedest explosion gonna tear this nation right down the middle!
See more »


Written by David Raksin
See more »

User Reviews

So Much Potential for Story - Thrown Away
5 September 2012 | by MRavenwoodSee all my reviews

Part of the Film Noir genre is the romance angle with a powerful female lead. This neo-noir fails on that point offering a watered down, trifling character portrayed by a non-threatening Lee Remick, whose eyes the director seems obsessed with capturing long expressionless shots of. Sinatra's acting is fine, but the film technique... I can't explain how it makes him seem uncool, and the character of Leland is extremely cool and wildly open-minded for the time. Trouble is, they go very far out of their way to make him seem at once overly modern, and decidedly anchored in his values. Doesn't work. I didn't care for the camera work at all. A brilliant performance by Tony Musante as the basket-case ex-lover of the murdered gay man in the opening sequence is dminished by not properly photographing it. Great story and plot. Very sadly executed in a "message over story" way.

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Release Date:

28 May 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Detective See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$4,490,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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