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
Al Pacino's residence in the movie is located at 5-7 Minetta Street in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. The real-life Frank Serpico, however, lived at Perry & Greenwich, a few blocks away. See more »
When Serpico takes phone call from a "Captain" McLean, then places a tap to record the conversation, Serpico first says "Excuse me," then when he comes back on the phone, he addresses"Captain" McLean as "Sarge," NYPD slang for the rank of SERGEANT. See more »
There have so many crooked-cops-themed films in the past 30 years that this film has lost a lot of its shock-and-awe. The long hair, wild clothes, beads, etc. really date this film, too, it being so early '70s in looks. It's almost become a "period piece" as if it were the Roaring Twenties except its the Sleazy Seventies.
All you have to do is look at the party scene in here and you'll get a glimpse at the early '70s, and most of it is not good. What IS good is Al Pacino's acting, of course. There have been very few films in which he starred that didn't displaying his acting talents to the fullest. This one, along with Dog Day Afternoon and few others, put him "on the map," making him a big star. He's been a "star" ever since.
This is a fairly long film but, like Pacino, it's rarely boring. The name of Pacino's character, "Serpico," has become synonymous with "honest cop." It demonstrates what a strong impact this movie had on millions of people.
Gritty? Yes. Profane? Yes; Memorable? Most definitely. When you speak of modern-day "classics," this film is one of them.
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