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Cruising (1980)- coming from Arrow Video (1 Viewer)

atfree

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Arrow's recent release of Orgies of Edo contained an insert promoting Arrow's upcoming release of William Friedkin's Crusing.

Arrow has been tight-lipped in confirming details but did recently make the following statement:

"Arrow will be confirming the territory releases for Cruising in the coming weeks via our social channels, so please stay tuned for further updates."
 

Winston T. Boogie

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That's pretty interesting because at one point I believe William Friedkin said that this film was being prepped for blu-ray with a new scan and all that but that it was Warner that was doing it. I thought it was coming via Warner Archive. I will certainly welcome the release from Arrow because they are likely to go above and beyond with special features.

By the way here's an interesting clip of Friedkin talking about Cruising in relation to the apparently X-rated stuff he cut and a rather bizarre connection to The Exorcist involving some real life gruesome murders...meaning an actual murderer appears in The Exorcist and in part inspired Cruising!

 

Winston T. Boogie

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It is being released by Arrow in North America.

Cruising Blu.jpg
 

Dick

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God, how I despise this movie. If I was gay, I might view it differently, but even then, I don't think so. It seems like a repulsive anti-gay film that pretends to be progressive. I actually saw this in a theater and walked out feeling a bit nauseated and wondering what the hell had happened to William Friedkin, who had made several of my favorite films previously.
 
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JohnMor

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God, how I despise this movie. If I was gay, I might view it differently, but even then, I don't think so. It seems like a repulsive anti-gay film that pretends to be progressive. I actually saw this in a theater and walked out feeling a bit nauseated and wondering what the hell had happened had William Friedkin, who had made several of my favorite films previously.

Speaking as a gay man, I never found this anti-gay in the slightest. But I get that the milieu is repulsive, though. I like the film a lot, although I find the dialogue pretty trite at times. I don’t think dialogue is one of Friedkin’s strong suits. But overall, I found it a fascinating, depressing and very scary film. Will definitely be grabbing the blu-ray.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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God, how I despise this movie. If I was gay, I might view it differently, but even then, I don't think so. It seems like a repulsive anti-gay film that pretends to be progressive. I actually saw this in a theater and walked out feeling a bit nauseated and wondering what the hell had happened had William Friedkin, who had made several of my favorite films previously.

Well, Friedkin is not anti-gay so I don't think that was at all his intent. He was making a creepy thriller that happens to be set in that particular world. It is strange and repulsive at times but I think that was meant to add to the atmosphere.
 
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Gary Seven

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God, how I despise this movie. If I was gay, I might view it differently, but even then, I don't think so. It seems like a repulsive anti-gay film that pretends to be progressive. I actually saw this in a theater and walked out feeling a bit nauseated and wondering what the hell had happened had William Friedkin, who had made several of my favorite films previously.
I saw it in the theater as well and did not like it at all. I left as well.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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I saw it in the theater as well and did not like it at all. I left as well.

Yes, there is nothing warm and cuddly about this film. I believe a lot of people really don't like it. It's a nasty piece of business really. I am not gay so I don't at all view it from that perspective. To me it is a 1970s style thriller set in an intentionally seedy environment. This is typical of films from that period, the idea being that you are allowed entry into a world/life that typically would not be something a lot of people would ever experience. I don't think the film is meant as commentary on a gay lifestyle. It is more focused on the clubs and behaviors of some people that frequent them. It also does not portray the cops in a good light but I don't think anybody refers to it as a "cop bashing" film.

Here's where we get into one of those "filmmaker intent" discussions and what Friedkin might have been trying to do not really being important to how some people experience the film. This is in many ways a nasty and very unlikable picture so not a surprise that some folks will not at all like it. I certainly would not argue with people that want to call this picture ugly and vile...it certainly never tries to avoid being these things...but I don't think it is these things because it wants to disparage anybody.

As a filmmaker, Friedkin was always very intense. He would not shy away from things over how questionable the content might be. His desire was always to delve in and find what was there and to reveal something. Cruising was made at a time when filmmakers were still doing that and were able to present it in mainstream cinemas.

This was a studio backed picture...think about that. That would not happen now, no way, no chance.
 

johnmcmasters

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Well, as a gay man, I find the film loathsome and homophobic in its deepest core assumptions about sexual identity. I protested the film when it was being made in NYC -- and also was among the very first on opening night to view the film in a theater. I was hoping to be surprised. I once made a chart of the film, scene by scene, and identified each and every homophobic moment for a gay friend who didn't find the film offensive. To be fair, though, one of my favorite gay film historians and critics, Robin Wood, once wrote a very strong defense of the film. So it goes!

I only own an official, studio-released, VHS tape of the film -- and by slowing down and still stepping through the murder scenes you do indeed see the notorious inserts of X-rated gay sex that were edited in to cause unconscious triggers of unease and disgust. That alone, inserting images of explicit and graphic gay sex into the murder moments, makes the film irredeemable and genuinely homophobic to me. Also by making the identity of the murderer ultimately unknowable – several actors play the murderer at different times as a kind of floating personality – the idea of contagion is linked to the impulse of gay identity. And finally, to have that “gay contagion” infecting a male/female relationship in the final images/sound effects, really puts the nail in the coffin for me personally. Perhaps my interpretations of the images and audio are faulty.

I honestly believe that Friedkin set out to make a film about homophobia, but ended up creating a horror film that is itself homophobic.

Just my opinion of course!
 

ahollis

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After watching this film, I went so far back into the closet, it took a decade to come back out. But, I have ordered the Blu-Ray and I really want to go back and see what really scared me “straight”.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Gonna be interested to hear other opinions of this transfer.

Superficially, many aspects look good, but I see artificial sharpening and suspect DNR use, as the movie looks less grainy than I'd expect from something shot in 1979.

It's the kind of image that looks fine on the surface but that seems off the more you watch it - or the more I watched it, as others may disagree.

Also, the 5.1 mix seems to be messed up, as the score comes more from the rear speakers than the front. Maybe that was an intentional remix choice but it makes no sense...
 

Powell&Pressburger

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Got my copy today.

Luckily it contains a 2.0 PCM Stereo Track, should sound good in Dolby Surround

Not sure if it is a downmix of 5.1 HD audio or not?



Has been reported by some that the last 30 mins there are sections that look DNR’d. Sounds like the drop in quality is apparent.
 

Powell&Pressburger

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I watched the film last nite.

Sadly this is the worst looking transfer Arrow has put out in years.

I blame Friedkin not sure why he wanted the film to look this digitally processed. There are some shots that remind me of those really bad Italian scanner noise transfers. Frozen grain/ noise fields.

It beats the DVD, but this is far from optimal. There is a shot 63mins in with Karen Allen in a well lit kitchen and WOW what the hell happened there!

The 2.0 PCM Stereo track has to be a downmix of the 5.1 because the added wind effects are heard on both tracks. Wow is that wind distracting.

I don’t regret buying it but truly one of the worst transfers of this year.
 

Powell&Pressburger

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Haha no actually she is just standing there and the whole image of her face looks overly processed it is really odd.

The background of what I recall are window blinds looked really funky also.

I’m rewatching the BLU tonite with a friend, I’m not going to say a word and just see how he reacts to it.


Really dying to see a few words from Robert Harris on the release. That and also for the new UK Studio Canal, Don’t Look Now 4K UHD which looks incredible.


Do you mean the one where it looks like her eyes are radioactive since they glow so much?
 

MatthewA

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Well I am gay and I watched it for the first time as an adult when Netflix had it up earlier this decade, and I was more disappointed than offended, and this is from someone who considers The Boys in the Band William Friedkin's best work. The sex wasn't sexy — BDSM just isn't my thing — but the violence was pretty violent. Take out the element of homosexuality and it would be a pretty routine police melodrama, honestly.

This was a studio backed picture...think about that. That would not happen now, no way, no chance.

Lorimar was primarily a TV studio that made films on the side. Ironically, they also made squeaky-family fare such as The Waltons and The Hogan Family in addition to the prime time soaps Dallas, Knots Landing, and Falcon Crest. Compared to this movie, I was more impressed with how Dallas handled Lucy Ewing being engaged to a gay man named Kit Mainwaring whose parents were also in the oil business: she defied J.R., who arranged it arguing "plenty of people do it", and got out of it rather than live a lie. Charlene Tilton called it one of her favorite episodes. That was a year before this movie came out.
 

JohnMor

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I think people have always made too much about this film. It’s just a standard police/serial killer thriller. It just happens to be set against the sub-culture of gay s&m. I don’t think the sex was ever meant to be sexy, and I don’t think it was meant as any type of comment on homosexuality in general or s&m in particular. It was just an interesting milieu to set the hunt against that hadn’t been done to death. I find it a very effective thriller with the exception of the dialogue, which is terrible. Friedkin is a genius in some things, but he can’t write decent dialogue to save his life. I’m looking forward to picking this up, although Jack’s is not the first criticism of the video quality I’ve read in the last couple of days.
 

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