Cruising (1980) Al Pacino - when???

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Any idea when this title will be released by Warner/MGM ? Has been on VHS for years.
     
  2. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I am always intrigued by the number of online postings I see wishing for a DVD release of this crummy (and controversial) film. Does it have a "camp" value I'm unaware of (like Showgirls, maybe)? Is there a clamor to see it based purely on the controversy it generated within the gay community? Like Song of the South, do consumers feel MGM/UA is withholding a DVD release out of some misguided attitude of Political Correctness? Are fans of this film merely Pacino (and/or Friedkin) completists? Or is there a revisionist critical opinion which actually finds some redeeming features in it?

    It's been many years since I saw Cruising, but I remember it most as a really crummy movie, and one of the low points of Al Pacino's career.

    So I ask respectfully, What's the attraction?
     
  3. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Cruising is a fine film, I feel. But I can imagine that there are people out there who detest it thoroughly.

    But to be honest, I'd rather see Scarecrow starring Pacino and Hackman on DVD first. Or even a proper anamorphic 1.85:1 SE of Friedkin's Sorcerer.
     
  4. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently watched it off one of the pay channels (Encore, maybe?) and it is actually far WORSE than I remember when I saw it upon intitial release.

    TV style production values don't help. Today it looks like a cheapie designed to "shock" viewers and exploit a very specific image of gays as sick, depraved individuals. But its far more routine than you would think. Another example of William Friedkin's downeward spiral.
     
  5. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    I'd rather see Friedkin's BOYS IN THE BAND on DVD,a t least he did NOT portray homosexuals in a negative light in that groundbreaking film that no one seems to remember anymore.
     
  6. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    You're a çunt, Walter. [​IMG]

    I agree that Boys in the Band is long overdue.
     
  7. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    Bring it on! I love sick, sleazy trash!
     
  8. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I liked Cruising when I first saw it. Thought it was a relatively suspenseful little thriller. And I never really thought it was anti-gay, since it took place in such a small subculture of urban life. But, I recently caught it again on cable, and was struck by how bad I thought the dialogue was. That was the part that stuck out like a sore thumb to me more than anything else.

    Would love to see Boys In The Band get released soon.
     
  9. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    While absolutely flawed, the film is one of the great, oddball films that somehow slipped out of a major studio and into Middle American theaters. What makes Cruising quite notable now, with plenty of hindsight, is the culture, time, and place that it documents. Although despised by most gays at the time, due mostly to the awful publicity the film got while it was still in production, many now see it as a valuable and unique portrayal of a subculture within the gay community and a positive representation of gay characters on the whole--Don Scardino's Ted is a well-rounded portrayal that avoids the usual stereotypes. There are no carictures like Will & Grace's Jack in sight. On top of that, it offers a fascinating look at a New York that just doesn't exist anymore.

    One area where the film really shines is in Friedkin's documentary-like filming of the seedy waterfront area and the after hours clubs that dot its landscape. The sound design in its use of smartly chosen music (Jack Nitszche score, hard blues/punk tunes from Willy DeVille, John Hyatt, Germs, et al.) combined with eerie environmental sounds, is also excellent. A scene it which two cops (Joe Spinell & Mike Starr) slowly drive through a street teeming with leather-clad clubgoers, bemoaning the changes in the neighborhood is a stunning confluence of all these elements. We see everything in slow motion and hear only the atmospheric Nitzsche score and Spinell's chilling diatribe. "Used to be able to play stickball in these streets..."

    These are Friedkin's strengths. Writing is not so much his forte and the script has its potholes--some clunky dialogue, yes, and a few too many loose ends. However, it seems quite obvious that this film was manhandled by the studio and censors. Friedkin is said to be working on, or already finished with, a longer cut (some say 40 min.) which may bring the whole thing into more focus.

    WB did strike a new print several years ago which played to packed houses in San Francisco (Roxie) and New York (Film Forum) and sparkling reviews from the S.F. critics.
     
  10. Sean Richardson

    Sean Richardson Stunt Coordinator

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    "Crusing: The Version You've Never Seen, Even If You've Seen The Other Version, Which Most Of You Haven't", right?
     
  11. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    For those eagerly awaiting a DVD release from WB, the Independent Film Channel is providing a decent "tide-you-over" alternative until the DVD comes along. IFC will be airing an uncut, letterboxed print of Cruising several times this month, beginning at 11PM (Eastern) on 5/6.


    IFC
     
  12. Claude North

    Claude North Second Unit

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    I've always been curious about this film. Although I was quite young when it came out, I was well aware of the controversy surrounding it. It would be interesting to see the response to the film at this point in history.

    I always associate this film with Windows, another film that was despised by the gay community. It used to turn up on cable, but as far as I know, it hasn't aired in years.
     
  13. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    I wouldn't mind a supplemented CRUISING. Interesting movie. Jon Hertzberg, I think MOONLIGHTING (82) is available in R1, no frills and full-screen, though.
     
  14. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Perhaps that 40 minutes of additional footage will help make sense of the spotty characterizations, particularly Pacino's Steve Burns' character. But in its present state, the film suggests that this particular gay lifestyle (the leather S&M faction) is something a heretofore straight cop could be psychologically flipped into joining for real. I just didn't buy it, and if I couldn't buy that, then the ending made no sense whatsoever.
     
  15. KieranO'C

    KieranO'C Agent

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    Will they ever just release the film, for cryin' out loud! I'm gay myself and couldn't care if this is homophobic or not - i've got more important things to worry about than Cruising!

    Some people should just learn to lighten up and not to take everything so personally, and studios shouldn't try and 'second guess' whether people will be offended or not!

    This and 'Song of the South' for 2007, please.
     
  16. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    They could package them together - fun for the whole family! [​IMG]
     
  17. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Someone on another board posted that the director said in an interview that a lot of the cut material is actual hardcore "fisting" scenes. Did anyone else hear that? If true, I can see why Warner might not want an "uncut" version out there. I guess they could always release this in another "Controversial" Collection or as a double feature with THE DEVILS.

    As for the film, it's horrible but I'd buy it in a minute. I haven't seen it in over a decade but I'll check it out tomorrow on IFC.
     
  18. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    Wow, you don't hear much about WINDOWS anymore. I think Warners is even MORE embarassed by it than they are about CRUISING since they never even gave WINDOWS a VHS release. Talia Shire stalked by a psychotic lesbian who hires a rapist to attack Shire so she can get a tape-recording of the 'erotic' event. Classy stuff! I also remember it airing on pay-cable all the time circa 1980-81, but it seems to have vanished off the face of the Earth since and never had any homevideo release. Besides the 'controversial' subject matter, I remember it as also being pretty lousy so I doubt it will ever see the light of day again. CRUISING, on the other hand, looks like a masterpiece in comparison.
     
  19. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

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    I'll be taping it on IFC tonight, glad to finally see it in widescreen! C'mon Warners, THIS defines "controversial"......maybe not the "classic" part though.
     
  20. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    Actually, WINDOWS is a UA film, thus it is controlled by MGM (now Sony). This was on cable once a week in 2000-2002 on flix, TMC, and MGM had a gorgeous new transfer, but alas, they never put it out on DVD. The film was out on video in the UK, but the entire rape scene was cut. The film is truly baffling, as in the end, there is no "big payoff" nor "big suprise scene" or "big finale" it just sorta ends!
     

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