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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.

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, (novel)
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5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Steve Burns
... Capt. Edelson
... Nancy
... Stuart Richards
... Ted Bailey
... Patrolman DiSimone
... Skip Lee
... Det. Lefransky
... Dr. Rifkin
... DaVinci
Arnaldo Santana ... Loren Lukas
Larry Atlas ... Eric Rossman
... Chief of Detectives
Sonny Grosso ... Det. Blasio
... 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:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

15 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Friedkin's Cruising  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two of the notorious gay bars featured in the film - Mine Shaft and Eagle's Nest - eventually barred William Friedkin. 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?
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Christian Mingle: The Movie (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Three-Day Moon
Performed by Barre Phillips
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Controversial Document of Its Time
13 July 1999 | by See all my reviews

Viewed today, "Cruising" still elicits intense responses from both Gay and straight viewers alike. Mainstream Gays lament, as many protestors of the film at the time of its release, that it shows a homophobic image of Gay life, depecting them as sex-obsessed. Straights are put off by the frank look at the Gay sex "cruising" culture.

Interesting, however, some of the people involved in the Leather/SM subculture at the time this film was made have praised it for its accuracy of this particular lifestyle -- a pre-AIDS lifestyle concentrated on quick sex that was (and still is) pursued by a segment of the Gay community.

The film does not pretend to depict Gays as a whole. It is just a drama about a police investigation that uses the scene as a background and catalyst for an exploration into how one cop is affected by his work.

Not the greatest film ever made, but certainly a good springboard for discussion about the Gay community's politics, when one fully examines the controversy surrounding the film and the continued debate over public sex and body image in the community.

The strengths of "Cruising" are its use of locales and documentary-style cinematography, as well as the interesting performance from Paccino. In the end, it is hampered as a drama by problems with the narrative structure of the piece that seems to fizzle out in the last act, leading to an intriguing, but inconclusive, finish.


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