RARA-AVIS: The Laughing Policeman

From: Nathan Cain ( IndieCrime@gmail.com)
Date: 24 Apr 2008

I watched The Laughing Policeman with the usually avuncular Walter Matthau playing an obsessed detective and Bruce Dern as his parter last night. It was an interesting film, even if the plot seemed kind of thin. I was impressed with the way it portrayed San Francisco. It was a very gritty portrayal, with the extras seeming like real people as opposed to actors pretending to be real people. There was a scene in a gay bar that would probably raise some eyebrows even today. The city depiction of the city seemed seedier and more believable than it does in say, Dirty Harry or Bullitt. I also liked the naturalistic way they handled the filming. People speak over each other, as they would in real life, and the soundtrack is minimal. Most of the noise is real background noise. I know the movie is based on a novel by a husband and wife team of Swedish authors who did a ten book series about Swedish detectives. I know TLP won an Edgar, and I wonder if it is any good, or if any other books in the series are worth reading?

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