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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)
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Popularity
3,881 ( 959)
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:

USA | West Germany

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
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

William Friedkin initially wasn't interested in the project when producer Philip D'Antoni first brought it to his attention. D'Antoni then tried Steven Spielberg who dropped out when--not surprisingly--none of the major studios were prepared to back it. 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: They told me that there was some... special assignment... and that I was right for it.
Capt. Edelson: Let me ask you something... Have you ever had your cock sucked by a man?
Steve Burns: A man? No. Well, I...
Capt. Edelson: Ever been porked? Or had a man smoke your pole?
Steve Burns: You gotta be kidding. Yeah, you're kidding, I knew it. No.
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

References Taxi Driver (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Shakedown
Performed by Rough Trade
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
subversive genius
30 January 2005 | by m-c-hohmannSee all my reviews

I had the pleasure of seeing this movie recently and I highly recommend it to any people who savor the darker things in life. If I had never seen this movie the reviews left about it everywhere on the net would surely have made me miss it at every opportunity but luckily I only came across them looking for more information after its viewing.

The first thing that really got me was the fantastic soundtrack. This is American punk rock at it's best and most glorious and I cannot think of a more apt context for it than the New York gay S&M scene. This my friends ... is punk-o-rama.

This is not a gay film ... nor is it a porno film ... this is an in your face horror much like William Friedkin's other classic "The Exorcist" ... but not a hammer horror nor a gore filled voyage through some fiery "kissing the devil's ass" hell but a very real slice of a very real life that exists in every major city in the world as well as some smaller ones. This is a film about a world so few know anything about that it is far above common criticism ... yet at the same time the directions and nuances are all too common. I would say that any fans of the movies of David Lynch might enjoy the somewhat lost disenchantment of this flick as it slides further and further into the darkest realms of the grotesque. As well anyone who's enjoyed the backwards pleasures of watching the cult classic "Je'Taime ... Moi Ne Plus" starring Jane Birkin would also find a little gem here.

"Cruisin'" is pure subversive genius.

Futurist-surrealism!

Pure *ART*


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