Serpico | 1973
The gruelling exposé of police corruption, based on real events and made on real locations around New York.
Upright undercover cop Frank Serpico (Al Pacino) crosses the Williamsburg Bridge from Brooklyn to start a new life in Greenwich Village. The apartment into which he moves is 5-7 Minetta Street.
He studies Spanish at New York University in Greenwich Village, on the east side of Washington Square Park. Though his classmate says she works in Caffe Reggio, 19 MacDougal Street at West 3rd Street, we don’t – as is claimed in many New York guidebooks – actually get to see the famed Village hangout. You can, though, see the cafe, New York’s oldest, in the dull Sean Connery thriller The Next Man and in the original Shaft.
Serpico takes in a ballet at the New York State Theater, now the David H Koch Theater, on the south side of Lincoln Center Plaza, 150 West 65th Street at Broadway, on the West Side.
The subway station, where Serpico gives chase after seeing a burglary in progress, only to get shot at by the cops for his troubles, is Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria, in north Queens, at the end of the Broadway Local line. And, on the same line, he encounters a cop, stoned out of his mind after a drug lesson, at 57th Street Station.
Serpico masquerades as a porter in the meatpacking district on the West Side, collaring loan shark Casaro at the Red Triangle Building, 14th Street at Ninth Avenue, which was home to both Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Ed Harris in The Hours.