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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.



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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.


R | See all certifications »

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?


The film takes place from 1960-72. See more »


In the opening sequence, when Serpico has been shot, a police cruiser rushes him to the hospital in heavy rain. Towards the end of the movie, when the sequence of events picks up again, it is not raining. See more »


Capt. Insp. McClain: Frank, has anyone ever told you that you have a tendency toward self-pity?
Frank Serpico: No, you're the first.
See more »


Referenced in Friends: The One with the Ride Along (1999) See more »


Aria di Rinuccio
from "Gianni Schicchi"
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Al Pacino
See more »

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User Reviews

Realistic movie with a gripping and gritty story.
22 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

The movie tells the true story of Frank 'Paco' Serpico who was about the only honest cop of the entire New York police department at his time. The movie provides a realistic view in the corrupt and tough world of the New York police and tells the story of Serpico in an intriguing and realistic, perhaps maybe even documentary like way.

"Serpico" is a movie with a typical fantastic '70's atmosphere and it's a movie that still holds up today. This is mainly thanks to the fantastic story of the movie and the way it is told. Yep, they really don't make movies like this anymore. I think "Serpico" may already be regarded as a 'classic'.

Actually the story itself or concept isn't that terribly original compared to many other movies from the same period. Still this movie distinct itself from most of those movies, thanks to the perfect directing from Sidney Lumet. Also Pacino's acting and the fact that his movie is based on a true story makes this movie better than most others. Lumet and Pacino continued working together and later made the even better "Dog Day Afternoon" together.

But fair is fair, even though Pacino is fantastic, this is far from his best role. The 'explosion' he later used for his characters in movies is still missing here and it seems like he's holding back. I also think that his Oscar nomination he deserved for this movie was also a bit too much credit for him. Pacino was just a young beginning actor at the time (He had just done his first big role and movie; "The Godfather".) and he obviously had still a lot of learning to do.

The rest of the cast consists out of unknown actors (with the exception of apparently Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham in one of his first small movie roles, to be honest I didn't even noticed him.) but for a movie like this a cast with unknown actors work really well. It keeps the focus on the movie's its intriguing story better.

Apparently there is a lot of hate for it but I really liked the musical score by Mikis Theodorakis. It was really fitting with the movie its atmosphere.

All in all this is a already 'classic' typical '70's cop flick in the style of, for instance "The French Connection" and is an absolute must see.



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