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
Sidney Lumet was pleased with the cooperation of the NYPD, especially in light of the subject matter and the proximity in time to the actual events depicted in the movie. Two officers were directly assigned to the movie, and Lumet wondered what their reaction would be. "As soon as they saw the truth we were going for, how it was not a Hollywood version, they not only weren't a problem, they more actively helped," he noted. See more »
The prisoners "chain gang" being led into the Paddy Wagon at the beginning, had both male and female prisoners on the same "chain," and transporting both sexes in the same wagon. This was absolutely forbidden by the NYPD, then, and now. See more »
Now I ain't sayin' who. They just said ya'... ya' couldn't be trusted, you know?
'Cause I don't take money, right?
Frank, let's face it. Who can trust a cop who don't take money?
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Serpico managed to last a lot longer than I did as a cop...I made it 7 years but being a female officer in SC in the '80's was not a cakewalk either! I now teach criminal justice at the community college level and I have taught Ethics classes for 13 years; Frank Serpico is always a part of that course and the movie is always shown. While the movie is "old" it still holds up. My students always rave about it and some of them even read Peter Maas' book...without being made to! We finished the movie today. We begin discussion Friday and it will be lively, as always. This is well worth the watch/read and make no mistake that it "can't be like that now"; watch the news.
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