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Cruising (1980)

Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen Al Pacino , William Friedkin  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen Al Pacino
  • Directors: William Friedkin
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: May 28, 2013
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00D4ABU02
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,867 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Al Pacino is no stranger to the role of tough, determined cops, as fans of Heat, Serpico and Sea of Love will attest. But in Cruising, he plunges into an even stormier sea as a New York policeman who infiltrates the lurid S&M subculture to trap a serial killer preying on gay men. William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection) directs (from his own screenplay adaptation of Gerald Walker's novel) this still-controversial, still-engrossing murder mystery that immerses audiences in a dangerous yet fascinating world. And Pacino's performance as a man whose identity and relationships are hauntingly affected by his assignment remains its magnetic centerpiece.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Frames Are Still There!!! September 26, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The CRUISING (DELUXE EDITITON) dvd has restored the movie and soundtrack, but doesn't add anything new. According to the film's director, William Friedkin, over 40-minutes of additional footage was cut from the original movie and has since disappeared. And though he would have liked to include the 40+-minutes on this dvd, Friedkin says that he feels that the movie is complete as is.

For those who aren't familiar with this movie, it's about a New York city cop (Pacino) who goes undercover in the S&M(Sado-masochism)/Leather subculture of the gay community looking for a serial killer who's targeting gay men. Even though he's a rookie, the cop is chosen for this assignment because he looks like most of the victims. The film is a gritty whodunnit and exposes an aspect of gay life that most will never see, and raises more questions than it answers. It can be very confusing at times and you never really know if the actual killer is caught; if the guy caught is the actual killer or if there's more than one.

For those who are familiar with CRUISING, I just like to say that the porn frames are still in it. I thought that they would take them out because of the dvd transfer, but they didn't, which is good. The film looks sharp and there are some graphic enhancements that I don't remember being on the original video, but it doesn't take away anything from the movie.

***Bonus Material***

***Friedkin's commentary

***Two featurettes that total about 45-minutes and include interviews with some of the actors from "Cruising," along with Friedkin (Pacino is not on it), which also talks about the controversy and backlash from the gay commmunity

***Theatrical trailer
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98 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites May 7, 2006
Format:DVD
I've always enjoyed "Cruising", Billy Friedkin's opus on violence, male homosexuality, leather and all things bizarre. Right from that great line, "Have you ever been porked?" between stars Paul Sorvino and a fresh-faced Al Pacino, this film draws me in like few others.

While the police action and the chase mystery are interesting, what I enjoy most about this film is Pacino's transformation from all-American boy cop to undercover cop to feigning homosexuality in the leather underground of New York and the changes he goes through to get there. The script suggests he and girlfriend Karen Allen lose their love life in the process; how could they not? Try chaning your sexual orientation sometime for the focus of your job.

The scene between investigative chieftain Sorvino and his boss, who makes it clear to Paul that he either catches the killer by the time of the upcoming 1980 political convention or "I'll put someone in your seat who can do just that" adds an element or reality to the film, which straddles the line between fantasy and reality much of the time.

After being given the ultimatum, Sorvino turns up the heat on his undercover cop turning gay man, Pacino. In a touching and dramatic scene, Sorvino not only turns down Pacino's request to be released from the case, he hands him potential new leads and in effect says, "Catch this guy."

So, for me, this film is full of human realities and conflicts that make it a great film. This transcends the somewhat mundane material -- the norish police drama focused on catching a serial killer in the gay leather underground -- that makes it a compelling film about people and situations and how the two come together in art.

One thing I've never understood -- the ending. All seems well afterward, but is it?
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as bad as its reputation suggests October 8, 2007
Format:DVD
Back in 1980, this William Friedkin shocker caused such a controversy that it seemed that everyone condemned it. The gay community was in an uproar over "Cruising"'s frank display of male sexuality and what amounted for many to be the generalization of a "lurid" gay lifestyle depicted in the film. The religous community followed with their own uproar over many of the same issues (albeit for different reasons). The movie was further slammed by critics and audiences alike, who either found the film to be homphobic, dull, nasty, and/or overly sensational. Personally, I think that critics, in particular, were disappointed because they found "Cruising" to be a major step down from William Friedkin's previous hits ("The Exorcist" and "The French Connection"). However, after viewing the recently released DVD of the deluxe edition, I have to say that "Cruising" is not nearly as bad as it's reputation might suggest. First of all, as a gay man who was recently out and about in 1980, I don't think that the gay culture of the time is misrepresented here. Friedkin made the film shortly before the spectre of AIDS descended upon the community, and there was a wide open, hedonistic sexuality that seemed to be prevalent in every aspect of gay life. The homosexuality depicted in "Cruising" was in context with the reality of the times, regardless of what revisionists may proclaim. I remember being very disturbed, at the time, by the hypocrisy of gay leaders who wanted to deny the overt sexuality that was a fact of our existence.

Second of all, I don't find "Cruising" to be a dull film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Love this movie and the director's cut!
Published 1 day ago by zane
5.0 out of 5 stars Great work. Al Pacino in his heyday
Great work. Al Pacino in his heyday.
Published 15 days ago by pamela prudhomme
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening!
A little harsh…but true to life!!!
Published 16 days ago by Marlin E. Woods
4.0 out of 5 stars That was a long time ago, and yet. . .
This film was important when it came out in 1980. We were just before the AIDS pandemic hit the world. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Jacques COULARDEAU
5.0 out of 5 stars A shattering journey
The lurid world of the gay universe is explored with silent and slow-paced intensity by Friedkin. New York as a kaleidoscopic frame at night; the roaring seventies, the hopeless... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Hiram Gomez Pardo
2.0 out of 5 stars I never liked Crusing and watching it again just confirmed my opinion
Reading Friedkin's very enjoyable memoir, The Friedkin Connection, I decided to watch all his films again. I never liked Crusing and watching it again just confirmed my opinion. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. J. Koger
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Very good for the year it was made. You should carry the uncut version.
Published 1 month ago by Gaj
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not great movie
Very interesting movie. Not the best movie, but an interesting look at a lost, underground, New York subculture. The acting is atrocious and this is Al Pacino at his worst. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dita von Krieg
1.0 out of 5 stars Cruising Movie Freezes
The movie keeps freezing. What a waste of my money. tried to replace it but is too late. I would like to replace it
Published 2 months ago by Luis Alarcon
3.0 out of 5 stars Definetly queer
A friend of mine highlighted this movie in his latest book about gay cinema so I wanted to watch it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ray
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