In the midst of trying to legitimize his business dealings in New York City and Italy in 1979, aging Mafia Don Michael Corleone seeks to avow for his sins, while taking his nephew Vincent Mancini under his wing.
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
The film ends with an epilogue that says, "Frank Serpico resigned from the Police Department on June 15,1972. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous bravery in action. Serpico is now living somewhere in Switzerland." Serpico discovered he didn't like Switzerland, and returned to the US. As of 2015 he was living on a small farm in upstate New York and working as a guest lecturer at police academies across the US. See more »
In the opening sequence, when Serpico has been shot, a police cruiser rushes him to the hospital in heavy rain. Towards the end of the movie, when the sequence of events picks up again, it is not raining. See more »
Sure, The Godfather made Al Pacino a star, but Serpico kept him one
Al Pacino is one of the best actors around, and he has many definitive roles. His role as Frank Serpico is certainly one of them. He acts with such charm and smoothness in some scenes, while explosive and intense in others.
The movie gets into a big plot line about police corruption and Serpico blowing the whistle on the department. It's interesting and the whole point of the movie, but the reason this is such a good movie is because of the character, not the plot. The better scenes include Serpico's personal life and struggles. There's one great part where he explains to his girlfriend why he's always wanted to be a cop. It's scenes like those that make you sympathetic for him.
Sidney Lumet and Pacino made a great team for this movie, and proved to be a great team for Dog Day Afternoon a few years later. But as good as a director Lumet is, as good as everyone involved with this movie is, this is Pacino's movie. It's an essential viewing for his fans.
My rating: 9/10
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