Thursday, May 26, 2011

SERPICO (1973) - Sidney Lumet

Perhaps the only thing more egregious than the number of bribes, payoffs and outright threats honest cop Frank Serpico is privy to in Serpico are the number of costume changes we are subjected to as audience. By the time Pacino rolled into the precinct an hour and a half in wearing full-on Hassidic garb, I had to spit out my Two-Buck Chuck, throw my hands in the air and wonder if I was re-watching the '70s Lumet classic or Fletch.

Still, this is an ironclad template in the police corruption genre, despite the parade of eyesore fashions or the syrupy Mikis Theodorakis score. One must wonder: Had honest Frank taken one of the smaller bribes, bought himself a nice conservative Brooks Brothers suit, could he have avoided his eventual fate?

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