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Serpico (1973)

An honest New York cop named Frank Serpico blows the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.



(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Kehoe ...
Barbara Eda-Young ...
Laurie (as Barbara eda-Young)
John Medici ...
Norman Ornellas ...
Lombardo (as Ed Grover)
Albert Henderson ...
Peluce (as Al Henderson)
Joseph Bova ...
Potts (as Joe Bova)


Serpico is a cop in the 1960s-early 1970s. Unlike all his colleagues, he refuses a share of the money that the cops routinely extort from local criminals. Nobody wants to work with Serpico, and he's in constant danger of being placed in life threatening positions by his "partners". Nothing seems to get done even when he goes to the highest of authorities. Despite the dangers he finds himself in, he still refuses to 'go with the flow', in the hope that one day, the truth will be known. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Many of his fellow officers considered him the most dangerous man alive - An honest cop.


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Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

26 February 1974 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Serpiko  »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


After he decided to make the film, Al Pacino invited Frank Serpico to stay with him at a house that Pacino had rented in Montauk, NY. When Pacino asked Serpico, "Why did you do it?" Serpico replied, "Well, Al, I don't know. I guess I would have to say it would be because if I didn't, who would I be when I listened to a piece of music?" See more »


During the shooting gallery scene, Frank and a few other cops are practicing their marksmanship. All the bays are full except for bay two, which has the shooters table up, to allow access to the gallery itself. In the reverse scene, the table is down. See more »


Frank Serpico: When I come home, I want to come home to a clean house.
Laurie: Paco, don't take it out on me.
Frank Serpico: I'm not taking it out on you; I just don't wanna have to pick up *shit*!
Laurie: [starts crying]
See more »


E Lucevan le Stelle
from "Tosca"
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Giuseppe Di Stefano
See more »

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User Reviews

The first real power-house performance by Pacino, thirty years down the line still one of his finest
9 June 2003 | by See all my reviews

Sidney Lumet proved himself to be a highly competent and effective director/storyteller for the true story of New York Officer Frank Serpico, who became famous after appearing to testify before the NAPA Commission about payoffs and corruption in the Police Department. At the time, it was unheard of, and it gained Peter Maars attention to write the book, which thus got transferred to the screen as so. But what makes Serpico such a riveting and eye catching picture today are the little things about it, little details in specific scenes and locations that help ring Serpico's emotions far more than true- it's just there. Even more amazing on the part of the actual filming of the movie is that it was at the time filmed backwards (started with the beard, then the mustache, then clean-shaven).

Al Pacino, right off of the first part of the Godfather trilogy, took this role with all the fire and compassion that he had in him. He sees in Serpico not just an honest cop wanting some balance and honor in his work, yet also a man, who can get as joyful and humorous as he can act subtle, furious, and thoughtful. This will always remain one of his stand-out roles after all the Scarfaces and Scent of a Woman pictures he can do because he, as well as Lumet, know how to approach such a saga. Plenty of great, compelling set pieces, and even sweet ones (like when he first buys the sheepdog as a puppy). A+

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