The first film in Lumet’s unofficial trilogy about New York City police corruption (followed by Prince of the City and Q&A) recounts the true-life exploits of Frank Serpico (Al Pacino, in an Oscar-nominated performance), a plainclothes cop whose landmark testimony helped to expose the biggest corruption scandal in NYPD history. Filmed on location in four of the five boroughs and set to composer Mikis Theodorakis’ Grammy-nominated score, Serpico endures as one of the great New York crime stories, and a remarkable portrait of one man’s unwavering resolve in the face of widespread intimidation. —Film Society of Lincoln Center
Sidney Lumet (born June 25, 1924) is an American film director, with over 50 films to his name, including 12 Angry Men (1957), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982), all of which, except for Serpico (1973), earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Director.
According to The Encyclopedia of Hollywood, Lumet is one of the most prolific directors of the modern era making more than one movie per year on average since his directorial debut in 1957. He is especially noted for his ability to draw major actors to his projects. “Because of his visual economy, strong direction of actors, vigorous storytelling and use of the camera to accent themes,” states Turner Classic Movies. “Lumet produced a body of work that could only be defined as extraordinary.”
One of his steady themes during his career has been the “fragility of justice and the police and their corruption,” according to Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film. He can deliver… read more
Lumet demonstrates that there’s a right way of employing shakycam, in lending his film an authentic grittiness and urgency from the start as part of his overall slick, fluent framing; the dramatic front is never really in doubt after that, possessing a lean effectiveness through the economy of his montage: encompassing the putrid crime and corruption as well as the ideals Serpico stands on - the solidarity, the fortitude - which are just as emotively felt, while somehow still managing to avoid being black-and-white in its scorching morality.
I saw this a few months after Dog Day Afternoon. I can't help but feel it is lesser than DDA, but that doesn't change the fact that it's an amazing movie. This true account of how Frank Serpico made it his crusade to fight against police corruption in NY and would stop at nothing to see that justice is upheld is nothing short of inspiring. Serpico is a true hero and Pacino's portrayal ensures he won't be forgotten.
Not the epic 70's masterpiece i wanted but thats what expectations give you! it had many beatiful moments and pacino was excellent but i felt most scenes where far too short because the film has to get through so much which made me feel like i coudn't co0nnect with the films intentions. I certainly prefer dog day afternoon.
If it's going to be a film about cops-and-robbers then Serpico has set the standard. A flawlessly paced story conveyed in smart-as-hell dialogue; camerawork that shifts and cranes its neck over buildings and enemies; urban decay conveyed in the hot and cold, in all its dirty glory; and your perfect/ly tortured hero. When Serpico goes nuts on the loan shark, you make fists cause' you wanna give the guy a hand.
Avec Serpico, Sidney Lumet signe sa première collaboration avec Al Pacino dans un film qui suit la descente aux enfers d’un flic qui refuse toute forme de corruption. Sobrement intitulé au nom de son… read review
Sidney Lumet is a director who captures something crucial in city based dramas surrounding legal and political affairs; with films like 12 Angry Men, The Verdict read review