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Many of his fellow officers considered him the most dangerous man alive-an honest cop.
- Directed by Sidney Lumet. Written by Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler, based on the eponymous book by Peter Maas.
- [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.
- [Given a detective's gold badge] What's this for? For bein' an honest cop? Hmm? Or for being stupid enough to get shot in the face? You tell them that they can shove it.
- The reality is that we do not wash our own laundry - it just gets dirtier.
- You stupid fuck! You didn't know me? You fired without a warning, without a fucking brain in your head? Oh, shit. If I buy one, motherfucker, I ain't buying it from you.
- Leslie Lane: [feeling his gun as she's riding on the back of his motorcycle] What'ya need a gun for?
- Frank Serpico: Didya ever hear of Barnum and Bailey?
- Leslie Lane: Yeah.
- Frank Serpico: Well, I'm their lion tamer.
- Frank Serpico: You know that I'm totally isolated in the department. I don't have a friend.
- Chief Sidney Green: Oh, don't give me that bullshit about friends. I've been putting cops away for thirty years. My name's an obscenity to every shithouse wall in every precinct in the city.
- Frank Serpico: I've observed that, sir.
- Chief Sidney Green: Friends! And I fought my way up as a Jew in the department in the days you were supposed to have an uncircumcised shamrock between your legs. I have this nightmare. I'm on 5th Avenue watching the St. Patrick's Day parade and I have a coronary and nine thousand cops march happily over my body.
- Tom Keough: Now I ain't sayin' who. They just said ya'... ya' couldn't be trusted, you know?
- Frank Serpico: 'Cause I don't take money, right?
- Tom Keough: Frank, let's face it. Who can trust a cop who don't take money?
- Capt. Insp. McClain: Frank, has anyone ever told you that you have a tendency toward self-pity?
- Frank Serpico: No, you're the first.
- Al Pacino - Frank Serpico
- John Randolph - Chief Sidney Green
- Jack Kehoe - Tom Keough
- Biff McGuire - Captain Inspector McClain
- Barbara Eda-Young - Laurie
- Cornelia Sharpe - Leslie Lane
- Tony Roberts - Bob Blair
- John Medici - Pasquale Serpico
- Allan Rich - District Attorney Herman Tauber
- Norman Ornellas - Don Rubello
- Edward Grover - Inspector Lombardo
- Joseph Bova - Potts
- John Stewart - Waterman
- Woodie King Jr. - Larry
- James Tolkan - Lieutenant Steiger
- Ed Crowley - Barto
- Bernard Barrow - Inspector Roy Palmer
- Nathan George - Lieutenant Nate Smith
- Alan North - Brown
- Lewis J. Stadlen - Jerry Berman
- M. Emmet Walsh - Gallagher
- George Ede - Daley
- Ted Beniades - Sarno
- F. Murray Abraham - detective partner
- John Brandon - police lieutenant
- Sam Coppola - cop
- René Enríquez - Cervantes Teacher
- Conard Fowkes - cop
- Judd Hirsch - cop
- Tony Lo Bianco - cop