Coming to DVD this week is the 1980 movie “Cruising,” a film that William Friedkin made with a little known star – Al Pacino. The film had a rocky road from its inception, as the subject matter didn’t exactly lend itself as an easy sell. In the film Al Pacino plays a cop who has to go undercoverin the gay S&M scene in New York City to try and stop a serial killer of the gay community.
Back when it was made, no mainstream Hollywood film had come close to approaching the subject matter and no big star had even thought about taking this kind of role. It was a big movie and one the gay community was up in arms over. Half of the community thought the film needed to be shut down, and the other half embraced it with open arms. And while they were filming the movie, crowds would always gather and try to disrupt the filming. The film was a line in the sand for many in the community, and it seems like it still is. For more info on the movie and it’s history, we recently posted two reviews of the film – Matthew Wilder’s review is here and Andre Dellamorte’s here.
But as I said up top, this Tuesday Warner Bros. is releasing a terrific new DVD that has completely cleaned up the film and sound and made it look like it was created yesterday. So to help promote the release, I recently got to sit down with Mr. Friedkin and talk about the film. The interview is broken up into two parts and each part is labeled as to what we talked about.
Of course a big thank you to Warner Home Video for setting up the interview. And now, Mr. Friedkin.
William Friedkin – Part 1
- I ask if he thinks he could make the movie now in the current studio system.
- The casting of Al Pacino.
- We talk about the controversy when he was filming the movie and the new DVD and how amazing it looks.
- I ask if he thinks about the DVD when filming his recent movies.
William Friedkin – Part 2
- We talk about how he came to the project originally.
- My last question was what is he working on now.