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||IMDB Rating: 6.5/10 from 1,882 votes
||Release: 28 May 1968 (USA) /
||Genre: Crime, Drama
||Director: Gordon Douglas,
||Stars: Al Freeman Jr., Dixie Marquis, Frank Sinatra, Horace McMahon, Jack Klugman, Lee Remick, Lloyd Bochner, Pat Henry, Patrick McVey, Ralph Meeker, Renée Taylor, Robert Duvall, Sugar Ray Robinson, Tony Musante, William Windom
||Synopsis: Police detective Joe Leland investigates the murder of a homosexual man. While investigating, he discovers links to official corruption in New York City in this drama that delves into a world of sex and drugs. Written by Regis M. Donovan <[email protected]>
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In this film done one year before the Stonewall Riots we get a picture
of corruption and homophobia in the NYPD. The Detective should be
required viewing for those who want to know about the days before
Stonewall when as a people we were subject to routine abuse and
A nude man is found murdered in his apartment which usually spells one
thing, a homicide with gay overtones. Such an occurrence allows the
police to be more brutal than usual all in the pursuit of a killer.
Back in those days it's hard for people today to believe how bars that
catered to gay people were the subject of random police raids, usually
because the cops didn't get their payoffs. In those days just being in
one of those places could constitute an arrest for disorderly conduct
and if you touched a member of the same sex and not necessarily in a
sexual way that could land you in jail for some time, unless you had
the money to pay your way out.
A man's been killed and suspicion falls on a street punk played by Tony
Musante. Frank Sinatra plays a cop who has a specialty in extracting
confessions and he does it the hard way, without the rubber hose.
Miranda was new at the time, so they can't beat it out of Musante as
per normal. Musante confesses he gets convicted and he gets the still
operative electric chair.
But right after Musante is killed, prominent citizen William Windom
jumps to his death from the roof at Aqueduct racetrack. Sinatra is
again the detective and connections are established with the two
deaths. Sinatra's investigations are opening a lot of doors powerful
folks just don't want opened. In this he has the support of Windom's
widow Jacqueline Bisset.
Sinatra's dealing with some personal problems at the same time. His
marriage is breaking up because it turns out his wife, Lee Remick is a
nymphomaniac. Still it's the story of the two gay related deaths that
dominate the film.
The Detective boasts one of Frank Sinatra's best latter film
performances. Sinatra eschews the hipster mannerisms and delivers a
straightforward performance as an honest Serpico like cop in the midst
of big town corruption.
In the supporting cast I liked Ralph Meeker as a sleazy cop on the take
who's quite willing to stop Sinatra any way he can. Also Jack Klugman
as Frank's honest sidekick and Renee Taylor as his wife.
Forty years after The Detective came out who would have thought in 1968
that we would have something called the Gay Officers Action League
among the police fraternal societies in New York and many other
metropolitan police forces. Their organized presence in police
departments have gone a long way in bringing a sensitivity and
awareness for the GLBT community.
And this review is dedicated to two out police officers now retired
from the job that I knew and worked with in New York City when I was at
Crime Victims Board. To Detectives Vanessa Ferro and Mark Caruso who
are the finest of the finest in New York and to all the other out gay
law enforcement officials.
Tags for The Detective Full Movie
Al Freeman Jr.
, Dixie Marquis
, Frank Sinatra
, Horace McMahon
, Jack Klugman
, Lee Remick
, Lloyd Bochner
, Pat Henry
, Patrick McVey
, Ralph Meeker
, Renée Taylor
, Robert Duvall
, Sugar Ray Robinson
, Tony Musante
, William Windom
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