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Serpico (1973)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  5 December 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 73,105 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 163 user | 95 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

The true story about an honest New York cop who blew 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 ...
Biff McGuire ...
Barbara Eda-Young ...
Laurie (as Barbara eda - Young)
Cornelia Sharpe ...
John Medici ...
Norman Ornellas ...
Edward Grover ...
Lombardo (as Ed Grover)
Albert Henderson ...
Peluce (as Al Henderson)
Hank Garrett ...
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:






| |

Release Date:

5 December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Serpiko  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Woodie King Jr. was originally cast as a hoodlum but broke his leg while filming a chase scene. He was replaced but returned to the set two months later to play Leslie's friend, Larry, in the party scene. See more »


During the shooting gallery scene, Frank and a few other cops are practicing their marksmanship. All the bays are full except for bay two, which has the shooters table up, to allow access to the gallery itself. In the reverse scene, the table is down. See more »


Leslie Lane: [feeling his gun as she's riding on the back of his motorcycle] What'ya need a gun for?
Frank Serpico: Didya ever hear of Barnum and Bailey?
Leslie Lane: Yeah.
Frank Serpico: Well, I'm their lion tamer.
See more »


Referenced in Mike & Molly: Samuel Gets Fired (2011) See more »


Aria di Rinuccio
Written by Gianni Schicchi
Performed by Al Pacino
See more »

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User Reviews

Serpico: A Name That Became Famous
3 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.

65 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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