Based on a true story of rampant corruption and internal affairs in New York City (where else?), Serpico stands as the consummate cop movie, right up there with The French Connection. But while The French Connection is a standard cops-and-robbers movie, Serpico is pretty much cops-and-cops, as Al Pacino's title character hunts out corruption inside the department even though it means all but signing his death warrant.
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Little mention is made of the sad and often hopeless tale of Tony's bleak little world, full of fistfights, a tragic semi-suicide/accident, and even the gang rape of his girlfriend by his friends. After all of it, Tony gets his hair coiffed and gets back up on the dance floor, even if he's sporting bruises and bandages across his face.
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