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
Principal photography began a year after Serpico's resignation from the police force. See more »
When Leslie tells Serpico that she loves him at the party, her lips aren't moving. See more »
[looking suspiciously at Frank's mouse]
What's with the fucking mouse?
He's my partner. He sniffs out drugs. You know, I just send him through his little hole, he's gone for a while, and then he comes back with the heroin.
Oh, yeah, I heard of that.
You heard of that? Yeah.
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The first real power-house performance by Pacino, thirty years down the line still one of his finest
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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