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
Since filming was done in the summer heat, details of winter scenes, such as defoliated trees and visible breath, had to be simulated. See more »
The prison "chain gang" being led into the wagon at the beginning has male and female prisoners on the same "chain," and both sexes are transported in the same wagon. The NYPD absolutely forbade that then, and now. See more »
Now I ain't sayin' who. They just said ya'... ya' couldn't be trusted, you know?
'Cause I don't take money, right?
Frank, let's face it. Who can trust a cop who don't take money?
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There have so many crooked-cops-themed films in the past 30 years that this film has lost a lot of its shock-and-awe. The long hair, wild clothes, beads, etc. really date this film, too, it being so early '70s in looks. It's almost become a "period piece" as if it were the Roaring Twenties except its the Sleazy Seventies.
All you have to do is look at the party scene in here and you'll get a glimpse at the early '70s, and most of it is not good. What IS good is Al Pacino's acting, of course. There have been very few films in which he starred that didn't displaying his acting talents to the fullest. This one, along with Dog Day Afternoon and few others, put him "on the map," making him a big star. He's been a "star" ever since.
This is a fairly long film but, like Pacino, it's rarely boring. The name of Pacino's character, "Serpico," has become synonymous with "honest cop." It demonstrates what a strong impact this movie had on millions of people.
Gritty? Yes. Profane? Yes; Memorable? Most definitely. When you speak of modern-day "classics," this film is one of them.
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