in about 100 words or less
US 130m, Colour
Director: Sidney Lumet; Cast: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Tony Roberts, Bernard Barrow, M. Emmet Walsh
Serpico is based on the true story about an honest New York City cop who attempts to uncover the deeply rooted corruption within the ranks of the New York City police force. Filmed on location in New York City, the movie has a level of realism and rawness which is matched by Pacino’s superbly gritty performance as the eccentric Frank Serpico and the colorful cast of crooked cops and street criminals. Arguably, the strength of this film is in the screenplay which not only provides a first-rate crime drama, but also a gripping insight into the tumultuous personal life of Frank Serpico – whose character, in a lesser film, would not have been as rich, flawed and interesting (Klaus Ming December 2010).