The Laughing Policeman

EIGHT PEOPLE KNOW WHO THE KILLER IS – AND THEY’RE ALL DEAD!

laughingpolicemanOne late evening in San Francisco, a massacre takes place on a bus with a sole survivor; one of the victims turns out to be a cop. This Americanization of a Swedish crime novel is quite effective, with the obvious ambition to portray the work of policemen and doctors as realistically as possible. Unfortunately, after a dynamite opening the proceedings turn less exciting and, though well-acted, the characters played by Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern (who find their partnership an uneasy alliance) more clichéd. Still, it’s a good story and the San Francisco locations help.

1974-U.S. 111 min. Color. Directed by Stuart Rosenberg. Novel: Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö. Cast: Walter Matthau (Jake Martin), Bruce Dern (Leo Larsen), Louis Gossett, Jr. (James Larrimore), Albert Paulsen, Anthony Zerbe, Anthony Costello… Joanna Cassidy.

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