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Serpico (1973)

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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.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Peter Maas (book), Waldo Salt (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,276 ( 61)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Serpico
John Randolph ... Sidney Green
Jack Kehoe ... Tom Keough
Biff McGuire ... Captain McClain
Barbara Eda-Young ... Laurie (as Barbara eda-Young)
Cornelia Sharpe ... Leslie
Tony Roberts ... Bob Blair
John Medici John Medici ... Pasquale
Allan Rich ... D.A. Tauber
Norman Ornellas Norman Ornellas ... Rubello
Edward Grover ... Lombardo (as Ed Grover)
Albert Henderson Albert Henderson ... Peluce (as Al Henderson)
Hank Garrett ... Malone
Damien Leake ... Joey
Joseph Bova Joseph Bova ... Potts (as Joe Bova)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Many of his fellow officers considered him the most dangerous man alive - An honest cop.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

26 February 1974 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Serpiko See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$29,800,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,829,963
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

After throwing Corsaro against the wall in the squad room, Serpico begins searching him in front of his fellow coworkers. Just before he starts to search Corsaro's back pockets, the suspect's pants are still up and unblemished. The camera cuts away, then cuts back to the suspect's pants already torn with his buttcrack exposed before Serpico even starts his search. We then see Serpico start to rip and tear down Corsaro's slacks and drawers, thus exposing his crack. See more »

Quotes

Frank Serpico: Captain, I think it's only fair to tell you, I've been to outside agencies, and I'm gonna go to more if I have to.
Capt. Insp. McClain: What outside agencies? Holy mother of God! Frank, we wash our own laundry around here! You're going to be brought up on charges for this.
Frank Serpico: [they start to shout on top of each other] Oh yeah? Yeah, I always thought so, but the reality is, sir, that *we do not wash our own laundry*! It just gets dirtier.
Capt. Insp. McClain: Oh, you are in trouble, Serpico. You are in trouble!
Frank Serpico: I don't care if I'm in ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is one Australian VHS version released through RCA Columbia Pictures Hoyts Home Video in the 1980's which had all profanity overdubbed with tamer language, as well as some scenes of sexuality/nudity. Subsequent releases on DVD are uncensored. See more »

Connections

Featured in 'Serpico': From Real to Reel (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Tough, gritty, and full of honesty.
13 September 2008 | by bobsgrockSee all my reviews

Al Pacino dominates every scene he is in as Frank Serpico, a New York City policeman who feels that it is best to be honest and not stick out in public. He is a real believer in trying to turn the city around in the early 1970s, a time when crime was rampant all throughout. Unfortunately, it seems that practically everybody he works with, whether it is fellow cops or the captains and commissioners are all taking place in taking money from the gambling crooks they bring in. No one seems to have a problem with this, except Serpico. And when he decides to do something, he may get more of a fight from his fellow law-protectors than the criminals he is trying to bring down.

A year after breaking open in The Godfather, Al Pacino gives a gritty, tough performance as a man who knew what to do that was right and was determined not to let anything stop him. Pacino fits so naturally into this persona of anger, passion, love, and sincerity it is impossible to imagine anyone else in this role. With a strong leading performance, solid writing, and slick directing by master of setting director Sidney Lumet, Serpico ranks as one of the best cop movies and a shining testament to the goodness of one man despite all the corruption around him.


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