Sidney Lumet - Serpico (2)
A gripping real life story of an honest cop in the late 60s in New York, and the breakthrough for Al Pacino as a big movie star (though I was a bit surprised to hear both the producer and director Lumet talk about how the Godfather was truly Brando's movie. While old tissuecheek certainly is a very strong presence in that flick, I've always felt Pacino and Brando as equally strong. But je digresse). The story, and Pacino's character based playing, are very intense, and the fascinating fact from today's point of view is that the movie moves at a quiet pace, yet doesn't seem slow - a bit too long, maybe, but that's probably due to an original script that was double the length and needed to be heavily cut. Other cool piece of trivia: the real Serpico came to rehearsals, and was studied by Al Pacino, then shown the door by Lumet once shooting started, and was - or so Lumet reminisces - crushed, because he felt he become friends with them, while to them he was a object of professional interest. He also once told the producer Martin Bregman, in a movie theater empty except for the two of them, that he couldn't smoke, because it was against the law. Go, Serpico!