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Serpico (1973)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  5 December 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 73,084 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:






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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?


Before shooting began, Sidney Lumet and the production company had to cast 107 speaking parts. They decided to use mostly unknown actors. Lumet said the best way to strengthen the sense of reality was not to use actors for whom audiences had a lot of previous associations. Even Al Pacino, despite his high exposure in The Godfather (1972), was still relatively new. See more »


As the camera angle changes in the breakup scene with Laurie, Frank's hands change position. See more »


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


Referenced in Lumet: Film Maker (1975) See more »


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

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User Reviews

24 March 1999 | by (Marietta, OH) – 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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