Original Australian Daybill movie poster Cruising
Cruising is a 1980 crime film written and directed by William Friedkin, and starring Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, and Karen Allen. It is loosely based on the novel of the same name by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker about a serial killer targeting gay men, particularly those men associated with the leather scene in the late 1970s. The title is a play on words with a dual meaning because "cruising" can describe police officers on patrol and gay men who are cruising for sex. The Motion Picture Association of America originally gave Cruising an X rating. Friedkin claims he took the film before the MPAA board "50 times" at a cost of $50,000 and deleted 40 minutes of footage from the original cut before he secured an R rating. Cruising performed moderately at the box office with a take of $19.8 million.