The Laughing Policeman

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Released 1973

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The Laughing Policeman

Movie Summary

Director:
Stuart Rosenberg
Released:
1973
Rating:
Not Available

A seemingly deranged killer has murdered (randomly?) eight passengers on a late-night San Francisco city bus. Two very different police detectives try to find a reason for this dreadful crime, and are drawn into the seamy underside of a great city.

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    • TRIVIA (2)

      • The film, which was shot on authentic San Francisco locations, does not credit anyone with set design. Canadian actor Don Borisenko appears under the pseudonym of "Jonas Wolfe", a name he used for both his two Hollywood films. However, the change of name did not revitalise his career and he gave up acting fairly soon afterwards.

      • The series of crime novels by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo concerning a lugubrious Swedish detective named Martin Beck proved very popular in English translation, and The Laughing Policeman, the best-known of them, sold extremely well in America. This Hollywood movie version, however, renamed Inspector Beck as "Jake Martin" and relocated the story to San Francisco. The film did not repeat the book's success with the paying public.

    • QUOTES (1)

    • NOTES (1)

      • The title of this film is somewhat mysterious, for, as one reviewer put it, "there is not so much as a tittering traffic cop". However, the title is of some significance in the original novel, where the police gain an important clue via an old British comedy record belonging to one of the other characters, entitled The Laughing Policeman. There really was a record of this name in the 1930s, a comic song performed by a veteran music-hall comedian named Charles Penrose. The film mysteriously leaves out all reference to this record whilst retaining its title. In Britain, the title of the film was changed - precisely because distributors were afraid cinemagoers would confuse it with the old song, which was still being heard on British radio in the 1960s. Prosaically, the film was re-titled An Investigation Of Murder.

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      User Score: 53

    More Info About This Movie

    Categories

    Suspense

    Themes

    Crime, Detectives, Murder & Mayhem