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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
3,525 ( 244)
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:

USA | Italy

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
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

The film was first planned as a star vehicle for Paul Newman and Robert Redford, following their success in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Redford was to play Frank Serpico and Newman was to play his lawyer friend David Durk (a character renamed "Bob Blair" in the final film, where he is played by Tony Roberts). See more »

Goofs

When Leslie tells Serpico that she loves him at the party, her lips aren't moving. See more »

Quotes

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 »

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

Referenced in Blodigt jävla helvete (2008) 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

 
The first real power-house performance by Pacino, thirty years down the line still one of his finest
9 June 2003 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Sidney Lumet proved himself to be a highly competent and effective director/storyteller for the true story of New York Officer Frank Serpico, who became famous after appearing to testify before the NAPA Commission about payoffs and corruption in the Police Department. At the time, it was unheard of, and it gained Peter Maars attention to write the book, which thus got transferred to the screen as so. But what makes Serpico such a riveting and eye catching picture today are the little things about it, little details in specific scenes and locations that help ring Serpico's emotions far more than true- it's just there. Even more amazing on the part of the actual filming of the movie is that it was at the time filmed backwards (started with the beard, then the mustache, then clean-shaven).

Al Pacino, right off of the first part of the Godfather trilogy, took this role with all the fire and compassion that he had in him. He sees in Serpico not just an honest cop wanting some balance and honor in his work, yet also a man, who can get as joyful and humorous as he can act subtle, furious, and thoughtful. This will always remain one of his stand-out roles after all the Scarfaces and Scent of a Woman pictures he can do because he, as well as Lumet, know how to approach such a saga. Plenty of great, compelling set pieces, and even sweet ones (like when he first buys the sheepdog as a puppy). A+


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