The Laughing Policeman (1973) - News Poster


Charley Varrick (Region B)

It’s the loose-censored early 1970s, and screen bandits shootin’ up the American movie landscape are no longer suffering the once-mandated automatic moral retribution. Walter Matthau launched himself into the genre with this excellent Don Siegel on-the-run epic, about an old-fashioned independent bandit who accidentally rips off the mob for a million. It’s great, wicked fun.

Charley Varrick

Region B Blu-ray


1973 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 111 min. / Charley Varrick the Last of the Independents; Kill Charley Varrick / Street Date January 22, 2018 / available from Powerhouse Films UK / £14.99

Starring: Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker, Andrew Robinson, John Vernon, Felicia Farr, Sheree North, Jacqueline Scott, William Schallert, Norman Fell, Benson Fong, Woodrow Parfrey, Rudy Diaz, Charles Matthau, Tom Tully, Albert Popwell

Cinematography: Michael Butler

Film Editor: Frank Morriss

Original Music: Lalo Schifrin

Written by Dean Riesner, Howard Rodman from the novel The Looters by John Reese

Produced by Jennings Lang, Don Siegel

Directed by
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A generic spy story becomes an inspired light comedy with the application of great talent led by the star-power of Walter Matthau. Matthau’s CIA spook hooks up with old flame Glenda Jackson to retaliate against his insufferable CIA boss (Ned Beatty) with a humiliating tell-all book about the agency’s dirty tricks history. Matthau’s sloppy, slouchy master agent is a comic delight; Ronald Neame’s stylishly assured direction makes a deadly spy chase into a wholly pleasant romp.



The Criterion Collection 163

1980 / Color / 2:39 widescreen / 105 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date August 15, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson, Sam Waterston, Ned Beatty, Herbert Lom, David Matthau, George Baker, Ivor Roberts, Lucy Saroyan, Severn Darden, George Pravda.

Cinematography: Arthur Ibbetson, Brian W. Roy

Production Designer: William J. Creber

Film Editor: Carl Kress

Original Music: Ian Fraser

Written by Bryan Forbes from a novel by Brian Garfield

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Decoy aka Policewoman Decoy

Unsung actress Beverly Garland becomes TV’s first lady cop, in what’s claimed to be the first TV show filmed on the streets of New York City. This one-season wonder from 1957 has vintage locations, fairly tough-minded storylines and solid performances, from Bev and a vast gallery of stage and TV actors on the way up.


(Policewoman Decoy)

TV Series


Film Chest Media

1957-’58 / B&W / 1:33 flat full frame (TV) / 39 x 30 min. / Street Date May 30, 2017 / 19.98

Starring: Beverly Garland

Art Direction (some episodes): Mel Bourne

Original Music: Wladimir Selinsky

Written by Lillian Andrews, Nicholas E. Baehr, Cy Chermak, Jerome Coopersmith, Don Ettlinger, Frances Frankel, Steven Gardner, Abram S. Ginnes, Mel Goldberg, Saul Levitt, Leon Tokatyan

Produced by Arthur H. Singer, David Alexander, Stuart Rosenberg, Everett Rosenthal

Directed by Teddy Sills, Stuart Rosenberg, David Alexander, Michael Gordon, Don Medford, Arthur H. Singer, Marc Daniels

How did I experience
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70s Rewind: The Laughing Policeman, The Quiet, Convincing Thinker

God bless Walter Matthau. In late 1972, when I began taking a closer interest in movies, Walter Matthau was the first "star" who appealed to me. Maybe it was as simple as his vague resemblance to my father, a lanky fellow born a year later and an inch or two shorter. Maybe it was how he walked with an uneven gait, or how he glared at stupid people doing stupid things, or how his smiles lit up the space around him. He was one of the rare actors who could convincingly think on screen, which is much in evidence in The Laughing Policeman, a police drama in which jokes are in short supply. Come to think of it, the title doesn't really make any sense...

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Off The Shelf – Episode 106 – New Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday, October 18th 2016

In this episode of Off The Shelf, Ryan and Brian take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for the week of October 18th, 2016.

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Episode Notes & Links Links to Amazon


Alice Through the Looking Glass Body Snatchers Bride of Re-Animator Cafe Society Child’s Play Cobra the Animation Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Fake Fuzz Gas-s-s-s Hamburger Hill Independence Day Resurgence King of Pigs The Laughing Policeman Little Fauss & Big Halsy The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection Nighthawks Pan’s Labyrinth The Pit Return of Dracula Salem’s Lot Short Cuts Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye Stephen King’s It Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro Villa Rides Waxworks Compilation What We Become


52 Pick-Up Burnt Offerings The Clan Dekalog and Other TV Works The Lion In Winter Remainder Stigmata Twilight’s Last Gleaming Credits Ryan Gallagher (Twitter / Website / Wish List) Brian Saur
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The Laughing Policeman

In the early '70s Walter Matthau excelled in three powerful cops 'n' robbers movies; the second sees him as a tough, laconic San Francisco detective charged with an impossible task -- running down a machine gun mass murderer, with no clues and no living witnesses. The Laughing Policeman Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1973 / Color / 1:85 enhanced widescreen / 112 min. / Street Date October 18, 2016 / available through Kl Studio Classics / 29.95 Starring Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, Louis Gossett Jr., Albert Paulsen, Anthony Zerbe, Val Avery, Cathy Lee Crosby, Mario Gallo, Joanna Cassidy, Shirley Ballard, William Hansen, Paul Koslo, Louis Guss, Clifton James, Gregory Sierra, Warren Finnerty, Matt Clark, Joseph Bernard, Leigh French, Anthony Costello. Cinematography David M. Walsh Film Editor Bob Wyman Original Music Charles Fox Written by Thomas Rickman from the novel by Maj Sjowall, Per Wahloo Produced and Directed by Stuart Rosenberg

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Viewers that like Walter Matthau in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
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Off The Shelf – Episode 97 – Blu-ray News & New Releases for July 2016

In this episode of Off The Shelf, Ryan and Brian take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for the weeks of, July 19th and 26th 2016.

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News Lost in Space Tweets The Abyss coming in 2017 at last, plus Aliens: 30th, Star Trek Beyond, Steven King’s It, new Scream & more! Raising Cain Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Detailed Sid & Nancy 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray The Man Called Noon Blu-ray Criterion: McCabe & Mrs. Miller Blu-ray Delayed James Cameron: The Abyss Remastered in 4K, Coming to Blu-ray in 2017 Scream Factory: 13 New Titles Prepped for Blu-ray Shout Factory: To Live and Die in L.A. Special Edition Blu-ray Coming Up Upcoming Code Red Blu-ray Releases The Laughing Policeman Blu-ray Detailed An American Werewolf in London 35th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition The Wolf Man: Complete Legacy Blu-ray Collection Frankenstein: Complete Legacy Blu-ray Collection Scream Factory:
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Off The Shelf – Episode 88 – New Blu-ray & DVD Releases for Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

In this episode of Off The Shelf, Ryan and Brian take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for Tuesday, May 3rd 2016.

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Follow-Up FilmStruck Follow-up: Mad Max, regions Over the Garden Wall deal News Criterion: Cat People Shout Factory: Shout Selects: Buckaroo Banzai, John Carpenter’s Elvis Scream Factory: Session 9, Invasion of the Body Snatchers Kino Lorber: The Laughing Policeman, 100 Rifles, Wolf Lake Warner Home Video: McQ, Chisum, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon Warner Archive: Love Me or Leave Me Universal: The Great Outdoors, The ‘Burbs, The Dream Team, The Money Pit (Bb exclusive?) Olive Films: July Titles 88 Films: Retroactive, Short Night of Glass Dolls, The Perfume of the Lady in Black Scorpion Releasing – City on Fire, + Truck Stop Women and Cheerleaders Wild Weekend to be sold through Diabolik & Code Red’s Sites Links to Amazon Airwolf – The
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The Cornetto Trilogy Golden Mile, Day 9: Edgar Wright And Quentin Tarantino Record One Of The Greatest DVD Commentaries... Ever!

There.s a myth out there that claims Quentin Tarantino doesn.t do director commentary tracks. It.s half true. He rarely sits down and overanalyzes his own films. But Tarantino Loves talking over other people.s films. He chimed in on Robert Rodriguez.s From Dusk til Dawn (which he co-wrote and starred), and Eli Roth.s Hostel. And then there is the marathon session Tarantino agreed to do with Wright for the Blu-ray release of my personal favorite Cornetto Trilogy film: Hot Fuzz. This isn.t as off-the-wall as one might assume. Apparently these two have been friends or years. As Wright explains on the commentary track, Tarantino coached the director through the writing stages of Hot Fuzz by playing him a double-feature for inspiration that consisted of Walter Matthau.s The Laughing Policeman and an Italian cop film called Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man.
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Wonder Woman Exclusive: An Interview with Cathy Lee Crosby

By 1974, Cathy Lee Crosby had decided she needed a change from her career as a professional tennis player, and looked towards acting. She had scored a role in the Walter Matthau feature film The Laughing Policeman, but then got what she thought was a dream role: that of Wonder Woman in a TV movie/backdoor pilot of the same name released on DVD December 11th. Says Wikipedia of that film, "The first serious attempt at adapting Wonder Woman to live-action TV starred Cathy Lee Crosby as a blonde Amazon with superhuman agility (à la Captain America) and gadgets, similar to those used by movie super-spy James Bond and secret agent Emma Peel of TV's The Avengers, both of which were still somewhat popular at that time, when the script of this pilot movie was in its early stages of development. Though this version owed much to a brief period in
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Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man

Reviewer: Jeffrey M. Anderson

Rating (out of five): ****

While director Edgar Wright was working on his fake trailer for Grindhouse (2007), and preparing Hot Fuzz (2007), Quentin Tarantino screened a couple of cop films for him: Stuart Rosenberg's The Laughing Policeman (1973) and Ruggero Deodato's Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man (1976).

Of the second film, Wright said it was "the most amazing title, ever, apart from Half Past Dead. It's probably the most homoerotic cop film I've ever seen. The cops in it share a bedroom. They have bunks, and they're both real lady killers, but the fact that they share a bedroom -- it's like Bert and Ernie from 'Sesame Street.'"
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Will Spiral become your new favourite Saturday night Euro cop drama?

After The Killing, BBC4 seems to have found a scheduling niche to rival its Friday music docs. But is there something peculiarly English about our fondness for Wallander, Sarah Lund et al?

In an unpleasant location, the body of a young woman is discovered. A detective is called to investigate, who brings not only a high level of expertise, but also a slightly careworn, been-round-the-block level of suspicion and world-weariness. And so begins another quality European detective drama: flawed hero/heroine, institutional cynicism and corruption, wheels within wheels. The crime is solved, of course, but somehow the solution is all faintly tinged with regret, collateral damage and moral compromise.

This, pretty much, is the thrust of Spiral, a French detective drama which begins its third season on BBC4 on Saturday – we'll be blogging every episode. But you could be forgiven for thinking that we were talking about some of the
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