Monday, December 5, 2011

The Detective (1968)

Director: Gordon Douglas

Starring: Frank Sinatra, Lee Remick, Ralph Meeker, Jack Klugman, Jacqueline Bisset, Horace McMahon, Robert Duvall, Tony Musante, Lloyd Bochner, William Windom, Sugar Ray Robinson, Tom Atkins

More info: IMDb

Tagline: An adult look at a police detective.

Plot: 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.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

This was surprisingly adult in the subject matter for a mainstream movie made 43 years ago. For the most part I really dug the performances. Sinatra was a no-nonsense Jack Webb type of cop who's doing the best he can and not without problems of his own. The picture feels uneven but it comes together by the end. I really liked its story structure as it's not completely linear. It was cool seeing Tom Atkins in his first film role. The relationship between Sinatra's character and his wife (played by Remick) was very interesting. There were a lot of subjects that were explored that didn't get much face time in Hollywood movies at that time. Sure, watching this one now feels outdated and naive in how gays were portrayed but you could tell they were at least trying. I dug it.

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