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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.


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 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 »


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 »


Frank Serpico: How come all your friends are on their way to bein' someone else?
See more »


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

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User Reviews

24 March 1999 | by See all my reviews

A perfect, true to life film based on the true exploits of a young police officer named Frank Serpico. Serpico was an officer in a time when political corruption was rampant and many of his brethren were found "on the take." The true story is brought to the screen under the superb leadership and direction of Sidney Lumet and the brilliant performance of Al Pacino as Serpico. Serpico was said to be known for his eccentricity and Pacino plays it up every step of the way, from the hairy beard to the earrings; he immerses himself into the character. This is the first of two great pairings with Lumet and Pacino. They know character. You see it here and you see it in 'Dog Day Afternoon." They know the streets. Lumet is a avid filmmaker of "New York-style films." Pacino walks the beat in his hobo outfits and long hair as if he's a hippie, not a cop. Although an eccentric, Serpico cannot be bought and certainly cannot be had, by anyone... cop or crook Pacino was Oscar nominated, but lost to Jack Lemmon for his performance in "Save the Tiger." The film was also nominated for it's taut screenplay, based on the Peter Maas book of the same title.

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