Serpico is a 1973 American crime film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino. Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler wrote the screenplay, adapting Peter Maas' biography of NYPD officer Frank Serpico, who went undercover to expose corruption in the force.
- [to a criminal in custody] I want to talk to you. I want to take you across the street, get you a cup of coffee . . . without cuffs. Now look, I didn't touch you upstairs, right? You take off on me, I'll put one in your back. Understand? Come on.
- [testifying before the Knapp Commission Through my appearance here today . . . I hope that police officers in the future will not experience . . . the same frustration and anxiety that I was subjected to . . . for the past five years at the hands of my superiors . . . because of my attempt to report corruption. I was made to feel that I had burdened them with an unwanted task. The problem is that the atmosphere does not yet exist . . . in which an honest police officer can act . . . without fear of ridicule or reprisal from fellow officers. Police corruption cannot exist unless it is at least tolerated . . at higher levels In the department. Therefore, the most important result that can come from these hearings . . . is a conviction by police officers that the department will change. In order to ensure this . . . an independent, permanent investigative body . . . dealing with police corruption, like this commission, is essential.