Cruising (film)  

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Cruising is the name of a film released in 1980, directed by William Friedkin and starring Al Pacino. The film is loosely based on the novel Cruising (written by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker), about a New York City serial killer targeting gay men in the 1970s.

Throughout the summer of 1979, members of New York's gay community protested the production of the film. Gay people were urged to disrupt filming, and gay businesses to bar the film makers from their premises. People attempted to interfere with shooting by pointing mirrors from rooftops, blasting whistles and air horns near locations, and playing loud music. A thousand protesters marched through the Village demanding the city withdraw support for the film.

The film features two seconds of unsimulated anal sex during the first murder scene.


In New York City, body parts of men are showing up in the Hudson River. Police think it is the work of a serial killer who is picking up gay men at bars and then raping them and mutilating their bodies. Officer Steve Burns (Pacino) is sent deep undercover to the urban world of gay S&M bars in order to track down the killer. His undercover work takes a toll on his relationship with his girlfriend Nancy (Karen Allen) and leads him to question his own sexual orientation.

Burns mistakingly leads the police to investigate the waiter Skip Lea (Jay Acovone), who is forced to strip and masturbate in front of four detectives in order to provide them with a semen sample. Burns is disturbed by this police brutality, and comes to believe that the police are merely motivated by homophobia. Outraged, he almost quits his job. However, he is convinced by his boss (Paul Sorvino) to continue the investigations. In the end of the film, Burns finds the real serial killer, a gay music student, and captures him. However, Burns can not put his undercover work behind him, especially after one of his gay neighbors is murdered by a copycat killer.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cruising (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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