Serpico

Posted on 03. Apr, 2014 by in Catholic Family Life

Frank Serpico is seen in the movie Serpico as a Christ-like figure (standing up to a culture of corruption in the NYPD, and reportedly leaving the US after having testified to the Knapp Commission.) However, he comes in modern-day garb, albeit with a beard resembling that of Jesus.
“Despite his close family ties, he prefers his Greenwich Village apartment to their traditional life in Little Italy, where his father and brother Pasquale run a shoe repair shop. In his new neighborhood, he buys a sheepdog puppy and takes literature classes in Spanish, the language of many of the local criminals. In class he spots Leslie, who identifies herself as a dancer-singer-actress-Buddhist, and soon they are dating. Despite their growing attraction and his inclusion in her world of upscale artists, at work Frank is increasingly alienated, and when he reads the autobiography of ballet dancer Isabella Duncan, he is accused of being a homosexual by Lt. Steiger. Furious, Frank complains to the captain, and is consequently transferred to the Bronx, where his long hair and beard set him apart immediately, but his new captain, Tolkin, concurs that his appearance allows him more cover on the streets.”
Following an incident in the station house in which Frank Serpico is suspected of having engaged in homosexual acts, his superior officer asks him if he is Catholic, to which he replies, “I was baptized”, implying that he may not necessarily be a very good Catholic, but that he had been brought up Catholic nevertheless.(It is on record that the real Frank Serpico attended a Catholic school.) The superior informs him that he runs a retreat for Catholic police officers, and suggests that Serpico attend. Then the movie cuts away to the next scene, and the audience is never informed of whether or not Frank Serpico ever attended the retreat, but it is hinted that he didn’t.

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