Re: RARA-AVIS: The Laughing Policeman

From: Patrick King (
Date: 25 Apr 2008

--- Nathan Cain <> wrote:

> 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?
**************************************************** I haven't seen the movie but I've read all the books by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. I remember this book particularly and the plot is not thin at all. This pair are among the grittiest crime novelists around. Their characters are very well-rounded. They sort of invented the two-plots converging story that CSI & Law
& Order use all the time now. I remember when the movie came out and I think I missed it because I didn't want it translated into the United State. I just loved these books.

Patrick King

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