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George At 

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I really do miss the tough realism of the best police thrillers of the 1970's. Films like "The French Connection" opened the doors for 1973's classic SERPICO.

Al Pacino stars as Frank Serpico, idealistic rookie looking to move his way up through the ranks with hard work, honesty and integrity.

What he finds is a NYC police force riddled with corruption, bribery and an underground payroll in the millions at nearly every level of the system.

When Frank goes to his boss and their bosses, he gets lip service on their support while facing push back on the streets from his fellow officers.

Pacino is excellent in the role, bringing his own background as an Italian American born in the Bronx to the true life story.

Filmed between Godfather 1 and 2, this is a great crime thriller, with Director Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon, Network) filming in New York City on real locations and oozing the city from every pore.

Character actor John Randolph is very good as police captain Sidney Green and Tony Roberts is great as longtime Serpico confidant Bob Blair. The screenplay is great and the location photography is excellent, only the strangely dated music score by Mikis Theodorakis is a weak link.

Look for M. Emmit Walsh and F. Murray Abraham along with Judd Hirsch and Kenneth McMillan in small roles.

This is classic Pacino. He OWNS the role and the film. His performance is as terrific today as it was 42 years ago.

Serpico still thrills and gets an A.

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