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Working Titles – Serpico

Working Titles takes a closer look at specific films with a denim and workwear aesthetic with the goal of examining the material’s shifting cultural image.

“The family crest is a sheepdog pissing into a gondola.”

What. A. Line. Honestly, I had no idea how to open this piece, so I thought to myself, why not kick it off with my favourite line from the movie? Honestly, I think it sets the tone just right.

Sheepdogs and gondolas aside, right off the bat, I need to clear the air. I’d like to make it known that Serpico was in fact my first Al Pacino movie. Queue the gasps and raised eyebrows. Yes, I have been living under a rock. And yes, if you put two and two together, that means I haven’t seen Scarface or The Godfather. Maybe we’ll cover those next; who knows? 

But, for now, let’s focus on the gritty, intense police thriller that is Serpico. Set in the heart of New York in the 60s, Frank (or Paco) Serpico – played by the prodigious Al Pacino – is a dewy-eyed, idealistic cop hoping to rid The Big Apple’s streets of crime, one criminal at a time. His intentions are cut short when he realizes that almost the entire force, aka his colleagues, are corrupt; willing to take bribes to look the other way. After blowing the whistle and having to deal with the real possibility of being whacked at any second, Serpico has to figure out how to bring justice to a very unjust situation. 


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