This is a movie about disguise, denial, alienation and the terrible toll taken on the people who make a stand that their fearful or resentful contemporaries see as odd, eccentric or foolhardy – but will later sheepishly admit were entirely right.
The hyperactive but brilliant Al Pacino in one of the roles that put him under the spotlight: the real drama of an idealistic policeman and his brave and tireless fight alone against police corruption. A classic in the 70s automatic.
This film is based on real facts. Set in the USA in the early Seventies, it tells the story of Frank Serpico, an honest young man who became a policeman and dreamed of becoming a detective, but who clashed head-on with widespread corruption within the New York police force. By refusing to accept bribes, he became a "persona non grata" for colleagues and even his superiors. After many attempts to make himself heard in the highest levels of the force, he publicly denounces what is happening and ends up becoming a target.
Very well directed by Sidney Lumet, it is worth watching this film just to see Al Pacino in one of the most interesting and profound works of his career. He was truly able to show the naive way in which Serpico thought and acted when he joined the police, and the way he gradually became disenchanted with reality. The character is going through a real crisis of conscience, and Pacino was perfectly able of put that to the screen. His purity, his unquestionable honesty and integrity, his psychological and moral ordeal make him worthy of our empathy, and that empathy holds us to the end. It is no accident that Al Pacino was nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor, and won the Golden Globe.
Technically, the film is very good. It's very, very dated... everything smells like the Seventies, Summer of Love etc., and the main character looks like a hippie from San Francisco, with a Che Guevara beard and bizarre clothes. But it's alright! Serpico was just like that and it was at that time that everything happened, so the film really had to be that way. The film uses excellent New York locations and scenery, and shows the city in all its tainted dove beauty.
It seems to me a little forgotten nowadays. Being a film entirely about integrity and honesty, Serpico may seem difficult to digest with all that Seventies ambience, but it deserves to be revisited, if only for the quality of Al Pacino's work.
Wonderful potential, and wasted. Serpico has some brutal surface flash and an acetylene performance by Al Pacino in the title role, but its energy is used to dodge all the questions it should have raised and answered.
Giving us one of Al Pacino's best performances, Serpico brims with the frustration and anger of its protagonist, ripping open NYPD corruption like a bag of chips. Most of the characters in the movie don't matter; they are meshed together into one big, sleazy, corrupt, blob. This was Lumet's intention, as only Serpico, his friend Blair, and his colleague Green are given individual attention. No matter what he does, Serpico seems to find more corruption, and he increasingly becomes angrier until he finally snaps. The pivotal scene after getting back from the mayor's office is the best and most important part of the movie by far, where Pacino really shows his true colors as an actor, and Serpico shows his true anger. A classic like this will remain timeless, especially with all the symbolism and raw emotion it possesses.
Absolutely. Everybody should watch this just for Al Pacino's performance alone. Another Oscar nominated, passionate and all round fantastic leading man performance from one of my favourite actors of all time.
Serpico begins with the film's protagonist being escorted to hospital with a gunshot wound to the face and as the police chiefs begin to discuss the ramifications of it being Serpico that was shot and not any other police officer, the audience begins to understand that Serpico isn't just the average cop. It was a brave decision to start the film on this note but it works brilliantly as the audience is aware for the whole film of where Serpico's actions are leading him towards and it makes for gripping viewing as even being at work places his life at risk from those whose motto is to protect and serve.
The film does look dated, the blood in the first few scenes leaves you in no date as to the film's age, but as a character study and crime drama, Serpico really is a great film that I now consider to be a classic.
This is an interesting story (a true story at that), an insightful film about a sombre issue - police corruption. Pacino gives a great performance as the titular character. He's quite a quirky character, somewhat outspoken and dramatic at times but not always. There are some lower key scenes but that helps to build the overall picture I guess - it's not a constant action film, though certainly some scenes are somewhat reminiscent of the 'Dirty Harry' films, so I thought. A decent film, I'd recommend this, yes.
To look at how young Al Pacino is, this is the one I have in mind. Serpico is about an NYPD officer Frank Serpico played by the really young Al Pacino, who went undercover to expose corruption in the police force. It's based on an actual person, Frank Serpico and it's based on an biographical book by Peter Maas. Al Pacino did a really good job portraying Frank Serpico, even the story is faithful to the original material. I would say more about Serpico but I just can't because there's really nothing more to talk about it. It's a good old biographical crime film.
Half of the movie was really works for me, all the performance was great, and Al Pacino was terrific, but the rest of the movie is just uninteresting, the dialogue is pretty complicated and kinda hard to follow, and it just make me don't care anymore on what's going on, just follow wherever they go and whatever they do but without any care at all.