The Laughing Policeman
The Laughing Policeman (1973)

Stuart Rosenberg's taut police thriller, based on the Martin Beck novel by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahlöö, concerns a serial killer who is targeting bus riders. When a bus full of innocent commuters are killed on a San Francisco street,… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: February 1, 2005
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Critic Score: 58% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

It loses a great deal in the translation from Stockholm to San Francisco's Dirty Harry country. Gloomy authenticity, for one thing; pace and a genuine sense of puzzlement, for others.

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A.H. Weiler
New York Times

Though an essentially familiar amalgam of murder, manhunt and dogged police work in that scenic city, this Policeman stands a good deal taller than the norm because of the expert guidance of Stuart Rosenberg

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TV Guide's Movie Guide

Although an extremely violent movie, The Laughing Policeman benefits from skillful pacing, a literate script, and fine performances by Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern.

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Variety Staff

After an extremely overdone prolog of violent mass murder on a bus, The Laughing Policeman becomes a handsomely made manhunt actioner.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The Laughing Policeman is an awfully good police movie: taut, off-key, filled with laconic performances. It provides the special delight we get from gradually unraveling a complicated case.

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Duncan Fallowell
The Spectator

The film is interesting for what it shows of San Francisco's undertown but its psychology is lame [and] the plot an illogical mess.

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Chris Petit
Time Out

By the end, complete with car chase and split-second shooting, the film has become indistinguishable from all those movies it's trying so hard to disown.

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Adrian Turner
Radio Times

Much of the film is crude, full of "Visit San Francisco" photography and Matthau isn't on the same great form as he was as the transit cop in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.

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Steve Crum
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

Good Walter Matthau vehicle co-starring Bruce Dern.

More reviews for The Laughing Policeman

Flixster Audience Score: 52% Flixster User Reviews
Lanning : )
Whatever you're reaching for had better be a sandwich, 'cause you're gonna have to eat it. <p> Matthau doesn't get to play many… More
Danny Rovira
Stuart Rosenberg's solid, tense crime drama based on a Swedish award winning novel by Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall, the story is transplanted from Stockholm… More