6.4/10
2,508
43 user 32 critic

The Laughing Policeman (1973)

In San Francisco, California, one victim in a mass murder is a police detective. His partner and a new partner investigate in the city's seamy side.

Director:

Stuart Rosenberg

Writers:

Thomas Rickman (screenplay), Per Wahlöö (novel) (as Per Wahlhoo) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Matthau ... Jake Martin
Bruce Dern ... Larsen
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Larrimore (as Lou Gossett)
Albert Paulsen ... Camerero
Anthony Zerbe ... Steiner
Val Avery ... Pappas
Cathy Lee Crosby ... Kay
Mario Gallo ... Bobby Mow
Joanna Cassidy ... Monica
Shirley Ballard Shirley Ballard ... Grace
William Hansen ... Schwermer
Don Borisenko Don Borisenko ... Collins (as Jonas Wolfe)
Paul Koslo ... Haygood
Louis Guss Louis Guss ... Gus Niles
Frances Lee McCain ... Prostitute (as Lee McCain)
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Storyline

A San Francisco city bus, with eight passengers and the driver, pulls out of a downtown bus station and moves through the city stopping once for a new passenger. The passenger, unseen above the chest, walks to the back of the bus pulls the pieces of a sub-machine gun from a tote bag, assembles them, and massacres the eight passenger and the driver. The bus crashes and the killer walks away. Driving onto the scene are homicide detectives Jake Martin (Walter Matthau), Leo Larsen (Bruce Dern) and James Larrinore (Lou Gosset). As they search the bus they find one of the bodies is that of Dave Evans (Anthony Costello), Martin's police partner. It is the search for the murderer and the reason for Evans' presence on the bus that pairs detective Martin and Larsen together. With the help of Evan's girlfriend Kay Butler (Cathy Lee Crosby), they determine that Evans was following leads to close a murder case which Martin, sixteen years on the force, was unable to solve two years previous. Thed ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern and Lou Gossett race against time to find the killer. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Larsen (Bruce Dern) and Martin (Walter Matthau) are on the way to pick up explosives from the Hell's Angels, the tune "Big Noise From Winnetka" plays in the background. Dern went to New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. See more »

Goofs

In the morgue scene, early in the film, there are a few "corpses" breathing. On one corpse, the toes curl. See more »

Quotes

Bartender: What are you drinking?
Insp. Leo Larsen SFPD: I'm looking for a certain little scumbag, you know what I mean?
Bartender: Can you narrow it down a little bit?
See more »

Connections

Edited into The Green Fog (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Give Me the Simple Life
(uncredited)
Music by Rube Bloom
Played on the clock radio
See more »

User Reviews

 
I wish more cop movies were like this.
10 January 2002 | by kelbertoSee all my reviews

I happened upon this movie the other night by accident, and I loved it. I got hooked early on by the way the police in this film are portrayed as real human beings, with real foibles and weaknesses and prejudices. Definitely worth a viewing for anyone who knows anything about movies.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 1974 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Laughing Policeman See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,280,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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