7.8/10
88,410
174 user 99 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(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

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

26 February 1974 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Serpiko  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$29,800,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The aria Serpico listens to in his garden is "E lucevan le stelle" ("And the stars were shining") from Giacomo Puccini's opera Tosca. Among other things, the opera deals with corruption and abuse of power. See more »

Goofs

The prison "chain gang" being led into the wagon at the beginning has male and female prisoners on the same "chain," and both sexes are transported in the same wagon. The NYPD absolutely forbade that then, and now. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Insp. McClain: Frank, we wash our own laundry here!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Knocked Up (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Pacino Shines in Classic Grim & Gritty Crime Biopic

I'd been wanting to see SERPICO for some time; this real-life crime drama based on Peter Maas' nonfiction bestseller about an honest cop fighting corruption in the NYPD was one of the few grim-and-gritty New York crime dramas that my older brother didn't take me to see when I was a kid! :-) (I should explain that my brother, 9 years my senior, used to take me to the kind of movies he wanted to see -- films like TAXI DRIVER, REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER, etc. Fortunately, I developed a taste for them as well, though our mother didn't think they were really appropriate for a girl as young as I was then. :-) No wonder this film helped young Al Pacino's then-rising star (he was fresh off THE GODFATHER when he began filming SERPICO) to soar to the stratosphere, complete with an Oscar nomination. Pacino's earnest intensity fuses Frank Serpico's disparate qualities into a spellbinding performance. The guy is a bundle of contradictions, the kind of man who could charm you, move you, and drive you crazy at the same time: a nice Catholic boy who can't commit to any of the devoted women in his life; an honest, downright rigid moralist who's also a free spirit known as "Paco" to his friends and lovers; and an undercover cop with detective aspirations whose hippie-like appearance rankled his superiors and fellow officers even as it helped him blend in on assignments. Pacino's riveting performance carries the film, with fine support by John Randolph, Tony Roberts, M. Emmet Walsh, Barbara eda-Young and Cornelia Sharpe, not to mention memorable uncredited turns by F. Murray Abraham, Judd Hirsch, Kenneth McMillan, and Tony LoBianco, among others. Sidney Lumet's taut direction of the script by Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler does Maas' source material proud, as well as taking advantage of evocative NYC locations (just try getting this kind of atmosphere in Canada, I dare you! :-). The sparing use of simple yet haunting music by Mikis Theodorakis sets the tone well. The end result: one of the best films of the 1970s and beyond. Rent the DVD to see some fascinating extras about the making of the film and the filmmakers' experiences with Frank Serpico himself, including interviews with Lumet and producer Martin Bregman (no Pacino, alas).


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