6.4/10
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Cruising (1980)

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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:

William Friedkin

Writers:

William Friedkin, Gerald Walker (novel)
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Steve Burns
Paul Sorvino ... Capt. Edelson
Karen Allen ... Nancy
Richard Cox ... Stuart Richards
Don Scardino ... Ted Bailey
Joe Spinell ... Patrolman DiSimone
Jay Acovone ... Skip Lee
Randy Jurgensen ... Det. Lefransky
Barton Heyman ... Dr. Rifkin
Gene Davis ... DaVinci
Arnaldo Santana Arnaldo Santana ... Loren Lukas
Larry Atlas Larry Atlas ... Eric Rossman
Allan Miller ... Chief of Detectives
Sonny Grosso Sonny Grosso ... Det. Blasio
Ed O'Neill ... 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Al Pacino is Cruising for a killer.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

William Friedkin's Cruising See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$19,798,718, 31 December 1995
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is very much a time capsule of a bygone era in gay life; a year after its release, the first reports of AIDS-related illnesses were reported in New York City. 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

Steve Burns: Hips or lips?
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 »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and 1987 video versions were cut by 54 secs by the BBFC. The 1997 Maverick Directors video release was cut by 39 seconds to remove subliminal shots of anal sex during the murder scenes (one of which appears in the film though heavily darkened) and to edit a pan shot of a gay bar interior and shots of a knife being traced over a bound victims body. Although the uncut version was shown by Sky TV the film was resubmitted to the BBFC in 2003 for a FilmFour showing and many cuts were restored apart from a 1 sec edit to remove the subliminal shots. For the initial release on UK DVD in 2008 all the cuts were waived. See more »

Connections

Featured in Californication: Hell Bent for Leather (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Three-Day Moon
Performed by Barre Phillips
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
a question of taste
14 February 2005 | by dixxjammSee all my reviews

This is a FRIEDKIN movie. Consequently, it is soulless, dark and physical. There are no heroes, the range goes from unclear/mixed up/tortured souls/loonies to the dephts of hell. It is also highly interpretative, you can not expect a logical script and a "I did it" smile or a "walk towards the sun" type of ending. So, it's a question of taste if you like his movies or not. I DO. I very much doubt that Pacino or Sorvino regret making this film. It is riveting. For one, characters are not even gray, they are a mystery. Sorvino's character, for instance is so blank, that you even wonder if he cares about anything, including Burns' fate. Pacino's character is pretty ambitious, but other than that he is completely controversial. Although he shows some kind of goodness (towards his neighbor, for instance), the ending even kinda questions that (was it because he had sexual intentions with the guy or that he just wanted to do some good?). Also, he sometimes feels overwhelmed by the undercover job ("I don't know if I can do this") but then he starts to adapt. One of the possible ideas of this movie is: you dance with the devil and then you start to like it. In any case, it leaves conclusions to the viewer. The atmosphere and especially the music are truly amazing and original. 9/10


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