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Serpico Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Adapted by Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler from Peter Maas's book, Sidney Lumet's drama portrays the real-life struggle of an honest New York City cop against a corrupt system. Neophyte officer Frank Serpico (Al Pacino) is determined not to let his job get in the way of his individuality. Despite his colleagues' leery reactions, he keeps one foot firmly planted in the counterculture, sporting a beard and love beads and living in bohemian Greenwich Village, while he performs his police duties with dispatch. Serpico's peers genuinely ostracize him, however, when he refuses to take bribes like everybody else. Appalled by the extent of police corruption, Serpico goes to his superiors, but when he discovers that they have ignored his charges, he takes the potentially fatal step of breaking the blue wall of silence and going public with his exposé. Serpico's revelations trigger an independent investigation by the Knapp Commission, but they also make him a marked man, permanently changing his life. Shot on location with a gritty emphasis on documentary-style realism, Serpico presents a city in decay both literally and morally, as everybody is in on the take, and the cops and criminals are almost interchangeable. Released in late 1973, after months of revelations of Presidential malfeasance in the breaking Watergate scandal, Serpico's true story of bureaucratic depravity touched a cultural nerve, and the film became a hit with both critics and audiences, particularly for Pacino's complex performance as the honest, long-haired whistleblower. One year after his star-making triumph in Pacino, Pacino was nominated for an Oscar again, and lost again; Lumet and Pacino would reunite two years later for another true New York story, Lumet. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:December 5, 1973

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Al Pacino Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1973 Winner
National Board of Review Al Pacino Best Actor 1973 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Al Pacino Best Actor 1973 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Norman Wexler Best Adapted Screenplay 1973 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Sidney Lumet Best Director 1973 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Waldo Salt Best Adapted Screenplay 1973 Nominee

Cast

Al Pacino
as Frank Serpico
Tony Roberts
as Bob Blair
Jack Kehoe
as Tom Keough
Cornelia Sharpe
as Leslie
Barbara Eda-Young
as Laurie
Lewis J. Stadlen
as Berman
James Tolkan
as Steiger
M. Emmet Walsh
as Gallagher
Kenneth McMillan
as Short Order Man
John Randolph
as Chief Sidney Green
Biff McGuire
as Capt. McClain
F. Murray Abraham
as Detective Partner (uncredited)
Don Billett
as Detective Threatening Serpico
Edward Grover
as Lombardo
Allan Rich
as D.A. Tauber
Franklin Scott
as Black Prisoner
Joe Bova
as Potts
Tim Pelt
John Medici
as Pasquale Serpico
Albert Henderson
as Peluce
Hank Garrett
as Malone
Damien Leake
as Joey
Ed Crowley
as Barto
Bernard Barrow
as Palmer
Sal Carollo
as Mr. Serpico
Mildred Clinton
as Mrs. Serpico
Nathan George
as Detective Smith
Richard Foronjy
as Corsaro
Alan North
as Brown
Ted Beniades
as Sarno
Rene Enriquez
Judd Hirsch
John Stewart
as Waterman
Norman Ornellas
as Rubello
Gene Gross
as Capt. Tolkin
John Lehne
as Gilbert
George Ede
as Daley
Charles White
as Commissioner Delaney
John Stewart
as Waterman
Alan North
as Brown
Albert Henderson
as Peluce
Ed Crowley
as Barto
Edward Grover
as Lombardo
Damien Leake
as Joey
Don Billett
as Detective Threatening Serpico
George Ede
as Daley
Hank Garrett
as Malone
Gene Gross
as Capt. Tolkin
Franklin Scott
as Black Prisoner
John Lehne
as Gilbert
John Medici
as Pasquale Serpico
Joe Bova
as Potts
Norman Ornellas
as Rubello
Richard Foronjy
as Corsaro
Nathan George
as Detective Smith
Mildred Clinton
as Mrs. Serpico
Allan Rich
as D.A. Tauber
F. Murray Abraham
as Detective Partner (uncredited)
Ted Beniades
as Sarno
Sal Carollo
as Mr. Serpico
Bernard Barrow
as Palmer

Crew

Sidney Lumet
Director
Martin Bregman
Producer
Norman Wexler
Screenwriter
Waldo Salt
Screenwriter
Peter Maas
Book Author
Peter Mass
Book Author
Mikis Theodorakis
Composer (Music Score)
Dede Allen
Editor
Richard Marks
Editor
Douglas Higgins
Art Director
James J. Sabat
Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Vorisek
Sound/Sound Designer
Burtt Harris
First Assistant Director
Reginald Tackley
Makeup
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