The Detective (1968)

Genres - Mystery, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Police Detective Film, Psychological Drama  |   Release Date - May 28, 1968 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 114 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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A lurid, jumbled storyline and a Frank Sinatra-on-autopilot performance are major setbacks for this ambitious -- if reactionary -- late-'60s crime thriller. Though it predates the notorious Cruising by more than a decade, The Detective peppers its plot with the grisly particulars of a murder of a young, prominent gay man in Manhattan. As if flinching from the initially shocking material, screenwriter Abby Mann (adapting Roderick Thorp's bestseller) then delves into a lengthy, confusing flashback recalling hero Joe Leland's (Sinatra) relationship with his (literally) nymphomaniacal ex (Lee Remick) and his steady ascent up the ranks of the NYPD. Police corruption, property-ownership conspiracy, and junkie pathos are all thrown in as bait-and-switch techniques before the inevitable return to the crime that opened the film, by which point, most viewers will have stopped caring.