The “Cops” Blog-A-Thon – Serpico (1973)


This is my third of 4 submissions for the The Cops Blogathon being run by J-Dub over at Dubism

Tnx for letting me take part!

“The reality is that we do not wash our own laundry – it just gets dirtier.” – Frank Serpico

Number of Times Seen – Twice (Cable in the 90’s and 15 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story of an honest detective who does all he can to try and stay clean within the corrupt police system of New York.

My Take on it – This is a film that has an amazing premise that is enhanced so much by the fact that it is based on a true story.

They do a wonderful job showing us how the corruption was so entrenched in the police system that is really takes someone with much integrity and guts to try and stand up against the system in pace.

Al Pacino is superb in the lead role and allows us to see how much integrity and honesty his character has in order to do all he can to stay clean despite many opportunities to be taken in by the rampant corruption around him.

This is probably one of Pacino’s best and most powerful performances of his entire career and it stands the test of time even after 46 years.

He deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for his work here and somehow lost it to the great Jack Lemmon in Save the Tiger (1973).  (I still a bit baffled by that choice)

The story of this film is filled lots of thrills and suspense that help keep the story enjoyable and interesting because of the way that this character chooses to handle the situation around him.

Bottom Line – Such an amazing premise that is enhanced by the fact that it’s based on a true story. We can clearly see the kind of corruption that is happening all over and this allows us to see how much integrity and honesty this man must have had in order to not be taken in by it all. Pacino is superb in this role and this is probably one his best and most intense performances of his career. He was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar that year, yet lost to Jack Lemmon in Save the Tiger (1973) (Still not sure how THAT happen). The story is filled with lots of suspense and thrills along the way that help keep this story interesting throughout.  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film was shot in reverse order. Al Pacino began with long hair and a beard, then for each scene, his hair and beard were trimmed bit by bit until he became clean-cut. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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4 thoughts on “The “Cops” Blog-A-Thon – Serpico (1973)

  1. Pingback: The “Cops” Blog-A-Thon Is Here! | Dubsism

  2. Thank you for the review Rob.
    Serpico is an outstanding film that still stands up.
    One of Pacino’s great roles; as always Lumet is superb behind the camera telling a New York story.

    Like

  3. A great review of one of my favourite Pacino films. For me, it’s a powerful counterpoint to that other early 70s cop film Dirty Harry, which I wrote about. Serpico is still a very powerful film and a metaphor for anyone who stands up as a whistleblower against the wrongs of society.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1973 | MovieRob

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