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Serpico (1973)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  5 December 1973 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 70,634 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 160 user | 94 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

The true story about an honest New York cop who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

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(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Serpico (1973)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jack Kehoe ...
Biff McGuire ...
Barbara Eda-Young ...
Laurie (as Barbara eda - Young)
Cornelia Sharpe ...
...
John Medici ...
...
Norman Ornellas ...
Edward Grover ...
Lombardo (as Ed Grover)
Albert Henderson ...
Peluce (as Al Henderson)
Hank Garrett ...
Malone
...
Joey
Joseph Bova ...
Potts (as Joe Bova)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

5 December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Serpiko  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sidney Lumet liked to do very simple things on the first day of shooting, like basic entrances and exits, to let actors and crew get used to each other and make them aware that things will move very quickly. He will often shoot just a single take and move quickly to another set-up. He said this process also helps to spot weak links in his team. The first day on this film, he worked at three different, fairly far-flung locations. Al Pacino was initially stunned, especially after coming off the methodically low, deliberate process of The Godfather (1972). But he and the rest of the cast soon learned that this fast pace had the benefit of keeping the inner tension of the narrative and the characters alive. See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence of the movie that shows Serpico having been shot, it is raining heavily while he is being rushed to the hospital in the police cruiser. Towards the end of the movie where this sequence of events picks up again, it is not raining. See more »

Quotes

Don Rubello: [looking suspiciously at Frank's mouse] What's with the fucking mouse?
Frank Serpico: 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.
Don Rubello: Oh, yeah, I heard of that.
Frank Serpico: You heard of that? Yeah.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Without a Trace: Snatch Back (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Aria di Rinuccio
(uncredited)
Written by Gianni Schicchi
Performed by Al Pacino
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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 (United States) – 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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