Posting recently about Dog Day Afternoon by the late, great Sidney Lumet brought to mind various videos of informant New York cop Frank Serpico, who was immortalized by Lumet and Al Pacino in their 1973 film. From Corey Kilgannon’s 2010 New York Times article about the most famous cop on the force: “Anyone who has seen the celebrated 1973 film Serpico knows that he often dressed up — bum, butcher, rabbi — to catch criminals. His off-duty look was never vintage cop either, with the bushy beard and the beads.
This is the man whose long and loud complaining about widespread corruption in the New York Police Department made him a pariah on the force. The patrolman shot in the face during a 1971 drug bust while screaming for backup from his fellow officers, who then failed to immediately call for an ambulance. The undaunted whistle-blower whose testimony was the centerpiece of the Knapp Commission hearings, which sparked the biggest shakeup in the history of the department.”
Real Serpico watches Pacino’s Serpico:
Charlie goes Serpico on the gang on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: