In 1973, the movie “Serpico” was shown in cinemas. It is a police film produced by American production, directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the book of the same name by Peter Maas and with music by Mikis Theodorakis. The film stars Al Pacino.
The film, like the book, tells the true story of New York City Police Officer Frank Serpico, who in the early 1970s denounced the corruption that was rampant in the New York Police Department and clashed with his corrupt colleagues. In any case, it is worth seeing the film, which is distinguished for its realistic content, but also for the good performance of the real personality of Frank Serpico.
However, before the film was completed, several problems had to be solved, such as that of its music investment! On the one hand, the director considered that music should not be included in the film in order to keep its realistic character, on the other hand, the Italian producer (Dino de Laurentiis), who wanted to dress the film with music, “even for 14 minutes ”!
The great Mikis Theodorakis
The director himself confesses: “Serpiko” should not have music, but in the end I added 14 minutes to strategic points to protect the film and myself. Fortunately, at the last minute I read in the newspapers about the release of Mikis Theodorakis, this great Greek composer – he had just been released from prison. I knew that in those years the left in Greece was being persecuted by the far-right junta. I had no choice: I immediately ran to Paris to find him. ”
Theodorakis was then preparing for an American tour, and there he was given the opportunity to see for the first time a rough cut of “Serpiko”! When the screening ended, Mikis exclaimed to the director’s great disappointment: “The film is … wonderful, but it doesn’t need the music – there’s no room for it!” “My dear, please think of my position! Dino will go crazy if a composer of your range puts his signature on the soundtrack and then maybe we can “save” it with a minimum of ten minutes of music, “said Lumet, who wanted to save the film at all costs.
Mikis took a tape from his pocket and asked the director: “Some years ago I wrote this cute song (means the song “Old Roads” with the wonderful words of Manolis Anagnostakis). Do you think I could ask …$ 75,000 for that? ” Well, he asked for them, he got them and so today we have a wonderful movie with a wonderful melody that every time we hear it, this great hero comes to our mind: Frank Serpico!
Mikis Theodorakis, nominated for both the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.
The film also received Academy Awards nominations for Best Actor (Al Pacino) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Pacino won his first Golden Globe award for Best Actor in 1974 for his performance in the film.
Info: newspaper “Ta NEA”