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
Speaking of the production in a later interview, Sidney Lumet said, "'Serpico' just physically and in terms of logistics gives you the problem of keeping your emotional theme work in perspective. You have to ask yourself not only 'Where am I physically?' but 'Where am I emotionally?' I think I was more tired after finishing 'Serpico' than almost any movie I've ever done. There was also the obligation to the real Frank Serpico--to be honest with his life and not exploit it". See more »
Serpico was shot in his face and operated on. He subsequently wakes up after the operation with his beard intact. The Emergency Room personnel would have shaved it off to treat the injuries caused by his being shot in the cheek. See more »
You know what they say, don't you? If you love a man's garden, you gotta love the man!
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The first real power-house performance by Pacino, thirty years down the line still one of his finest
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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