THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN (an investigation of murder) (1973 U.S.) D/P: STUART ROSENBERG W: THOMAS RICKMAN
Semi-documentary style thriller based on a novel by Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall stars Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern as opposed San Francisco cops trying to solve a case where service bus passengers (including Matthau's old partner) were machine-gunned to death. Apart from the obligatory 70's car chase, this very low-key and deliberately paced gem is a pleasure to watch thanks to Matthau and Dern (both at their best), and the final punchline is great. A fine supporting cast doesn't hurt either: Lou Gossett Jnr., Anthony Zerbe, Paul Koslo, Cathy Lee Crosby, Joanna Cassidy, Matt Clark and Clifton James.

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