What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this dark police drama deals with adult issues such as dishonesty, brutality, and corruption of law enforcement officers throughout a big city police department. There are numerous violent and suspenseful scenes which include an attempted rape, the beating of handcuffed prisoners by policemen, chases and take-downs on foot and in vehicles, fighting and gunfire. A man is shot in the face, then shown wounded and bloody during several sequences. The hero is in danger through much of the film. There is partial nudity (bare breasts) in romantic scenes, with no explicit sexual activity other than kisses and embracing. Characters drink and smoke; the main character gets very drunk in a club.
- Families can talk about making choices under tough circumstances. Would you report bad behavior if you knew it could end up hurting you? What factors would influence your decision?
- Often heroes (in real life and in fiction) have a negative character trait -- a "tragic flaw" -- which threatens their ability to overcome great obstacles and reach their objective. What was Serpico's tragic flaw?