The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on February 6, 1974 · 27
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 27

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 6, 1974
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-V Wed, Feb. 6, 1974 irk jr.xamtar-Page 27 An exceptional and relevant police film By Stanley Eichelbaum We've been deluged with cop films. But none has seemed more important or more germane to our times than "Serpico," which opens today at the Cinema 21 and UA Stonestown. Sidney Lumet's immensely effective t film (his biggest commercial success to ' date) tells the essentially true story of Frank Serpico, a New York City policeman who became an outcast because he was incorruptible. He would not take bribes, though this was standard practice in the Department, and he was ostracized, reviled and threatened by his fellow officers, who may even have set him up when he was gravely wounded in a narcotics raid. ; Serpico's travails and difficult struggle to expose police corruption were recounted by Peter Maas in a spellbinding biography written after the crusading cop resigned from the force in 1971. The best-selling book served as the basis for Waldo Salt's and Norman Wexler's strong, pungent screenplay. The movie takes Serpico through his 11-year police career and shows how he defied a systen that was rotten all the way to the top. When he went to his superiors to inform them of precinct crookedness, he was ignored, or given the runarouiid. The Mayor's office, too, refused to listen on the pretext that the police could not be alienated at the start of a long, hot summer when riots were expected. Eventually, Serpico found a sympathetic ear. Through another honest cop, he contacted a New York Times reporter, who wrote an expose series, which led to the Knapp Commission's hearings on graft and corruption. Serpico testified (before quitting the force to live in Switzerland) and I '.:;:" . . h f f , -' C A -- .A - - V - ir ir AL PACINO plays Frank Serpico, a New York cop who, looked upon as a freak by his associates, retaliates by being one. was instrumental in bringing about the biggest shake-up in the department's history. The movie traces these events in a most engrossing, staccato style, with Al Pacino giving a brilliant, solidly thought out performance as Serpico, who is looked upon as a freak by his police associates and retaliates by being one. He lets his hair grow out, wears a bushy beard and affects the appearance of a hippie dropout (love beads, sandals and gold earring), presumably as a put-on to irk his enemies and show his disgust for the system. Scott Beach seminar in liumor Scott Beach and guests will Inquire into "What's funny and why" in a six - part seminar Tuesdays, Feb. 19 through March 26, from 8 to 10 p.m. at UC Extension, 55 Laguna St. The sessions will include discussions and performances exploring the nature and impact of humor in such diverse fields as drama, religion, writing, art and psychology. Beach, actor, radio and TV personality, writer, musician and a former member of the Committee, will open the seminar Feb. 19. His guests will be Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial, Feb. 26; author Peter Beagle, March 12; psychologist James Fa-diman, March 19, and Philip Schultz and Shirley Coates of the Illegitimate Theater, March 26. Registration is open at the Extension Center or at the Extension's Berkeley offices, 2223 Fulton St. Tickets for individual sessions will be on sale at the door. ;4 MM- V ,m dpi is? fJ SllilllBiil t&lillMf enter r; "DRAGON" fit SSi ill llsf - mi x y t V " ' K ' - v J S-Sii vUitWSf S-iiiiiii 'iiK-ivi tK-;;.- ..:; . i ' 1L iJ&f f HE CLOBBERS THE MOB AS BEET It Ttr u CI AWEJNTRAUB-HELLER Production "BLACK BELTjJONES" slarring JIM KELLY' GLORIA HENDRY Screenplay by OSCAR WILLIAMS Produced by FRED WEINTRAUB and PAUL HELLER" Directed by ROBERT CL0USEi'"Oi- "Come Back Charleston Blue" Call Theatre for Showtimes "Come Back Charleston Blue" 'Black' at 8:45 PM. 'Coma' at 7:00 & 10:15 PM. Hid Plus "SACRED KNIVES OF VENGEANCE" Open Wkdays 6:45, Wkends 6:30 Alio At Thesa Theatres and Drlve-lni IN EAST BAY ROXIE THEATRE Oakland HAYWARD AM Hayward AIRPORT AM - Oakland RANCHO Dl San Pablo IN SAN JOSE OAKRIDGE 6 San Joss TROPICAIRE Dl San Jose MOFFETT Dl Mtn. View IN MARIN FAIRFAX THEATRE Fairfax The weirdo act makes for some highly comic moments as Serpico (a Brooklyn lad brought up In a close-knit Italian-Catholic family) moves into a Greenwich Village apartment, acquires an English sheep dog and dates an actress with whom he takes ballet classes. While humor flows naturally out of the story, Lumet's film is fundamentally a thriller, as cynical as "Bullitt," as tough as "The French Connection" and sometimes as raw as "Dirty Harry." More to its credit is the relevance1 it has for Watergate-shaken audiences, along with its acute sense of purpose in telling us of a man's obsession to right wrongs and virtual failure to interest anyone in his cause. There are some who might wonder about Serpico's sincerity in view of his eccentric guise as a latter-day Francis of As-sisi. His self-styled saintliness is hard to fathom and keeps him from being like any other cop-hero. He's much more complex. Pacino's superbly drawn portrayal brings out the complicated maverick aspects of Serpico, who is an intelligent, if somewhat naive, loner and fanatic. Lake so many driven men, he tends to be paranoid and acts a bit nutty. His neurotic side is especially revealed in his treatment of a young nurse (Barbara "SERPICO," Paramount Picture releasei produced by Dino de Laurentiis: directed by Sidney Lumet; screenplay by Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler, from Peter Maas' book; cinematography by Arthur J. Ornitz; music by Mikis Theodorakis. With Al Pacino, John Randolph, Tony Roberts, Jack Kehoe, Biff McGuire, Barbara Eda-Young, Cornelia Sharpe. Rated R (for restricted audiences). At Cinema 21 and UA Stonestown, Eda-Young) who loves him, but walks out on him when his obsession makes him intolerable. Lumet has directed "Serpico" with exceptional skill and vigor, but he's been careless as well. The film shows up serious flaws, like a disjointed flashback in which Serpico is handed a bankbook by his mother. Unless you read the book, you'd never know that the mother was returning his boyhood earnings from, odd jobs, which he had dutifully given to the family, unaware that the money was being banked for his college education. One could also fault the supporting performances, none of which is satisfactorily fleshed out. Pacino, though, gives the film quite enough fascination to make it imperative for you to see. He more than fulfills the promise of his remarkable screen debut in ''The Godfather" and he'll surely figure again in the Oscar race, very likely as a winner. Talent hunt' over HOLLYWOOD After a nation-wide "talent hunt," George Pal has signed actor Ron Ely for the title role in his "Doc Savage" movies. Al PACINO in "SERPICO"r "SERPICO"r "FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE"R "Black BeltJones'R "SACRED KNIVES OF VEIMGEANCE"R "MAGNUM FORCE"r "Steelyard Blues"R Roar once again with the original mo vie -cast... n El ? 9a El "CATCH 22"r Drlva Intl Open 6:45 - fl WEST SSl "A SCIENCE-FICTION FANTASY WHOSE TECHNIQUE IS AS FASCINATING AS ITS PLOT. FASCINATING DEPTH AND IMAGINATION HUMOR AMD PATHOS UNDERLINE A FINE ADVENTURE STORY." Judith Crist, New York Magazln "THE MOST UNUSUAL MOVIE I'VE SEEN THIS YEAR." i -QeneShalit, WNBC-TV n ' 'Cinderella Liberty' is one of those rare pictures like "The Godfather" which cuts across so many lines of preference and expectation that you can go see it for practically any reason and come out glad yOU Went in." - AnitrdEarU, S.F. ChronlcU m m((n if' A ! VHf-V.y4 J JAMES CAAN ,7 - s" yid MARSHA MASON and ELI WALLACH I f'K Vrr5 in A MARK RYDELL FILM iJti udereib liberty 4V. Jt? - , I i 1 Produced and Directed by MARK RYDELL- Screenplay by DARRYL PONICSAN ! ' t x j V'' ,h1 Based on the novel by DARRYL PONICSAN Music by JOHN WILLIAMS J 1 H 1 . ) Jr-S ' I 1 1 VC' ' CS caor?8YDEiuxE panavision v v lAiv I VWaM S f Fa V- 11 f C I i : ; 'Ai' if 'yfeiSt!" I l(u)rJ.";-t.t i TONIGHT at 7:00 & 9:00P.M. ili r t iwil "i I'" , 1 Late Show Friday & Saturday at 11:00 M 1 ! ! l - ' 1 ,va J&Mwt41iMiiMs&&li& i A UUU I Hill III fciMlMlliJ Vimi"K J I 7mU,t'-vi vt mm PGi I jjE S?S:R. j OHE OF THE BEST ADVENTURE UfflnEHB l 1 wiuwitdur nit ftAm " v i Sj I ! Vl; 1 "IT IS THE SORT OF MOVIE HOLLYWOOD 1 (i!Slf ' TSi : ' 1 SUPPOSEDLY DOESN'T HAKE ANY KORE. I life ; lP " 'PAPILLON' IS THE ESCAPIST MOVIE WE 1 xe 1 & V? ; j USED TO GO SEE ON SATURDAY NIGHT." 1 1 ' J !;" y J Vincent Canby, New York Timea H mi l in in n jrr-'")' 'v-''-'"' " A... j ''-Ht;''"11 X I JOSEPH ELEV1NE presentt 4 1 GEORGE C SCOTTin ; i I a MIKE NICHOLS film .; ;vt I THE DAYthe DOLPHIN I chnt.k! nlvis!oli An Avco Embassy Picture lWWWI IN FULL STEREOPHONIC SOUND "T;:-;''.a i ..,: . No Bargain Matinees this Engageme .uu THE Bofi Theatres Robert Reriford The Candidate' "Way We Were" 6:30 & 10:25 The Canflinatn at B: Jbpm. "The Way We Were" at 8:40 "Candidate ' 6:45 8i 10:40 "The film packs excitement and tension. McQueen and Hoffman are both superb." Cue Magazine AUItDAMISISi'i . STEUE DUSTin mcqusEn HOFFrnn BSFRANKIIN I.SCHAIFNfRilm pnpiLLcn "izitiziZ HIGHEST RATING!':., , AL mCISMDn"SSRFICa TODAY at 12:10,1:50,2:50,4:25,5:25,7:00,8:00,9:40 & 10:40 SI. 00 BarnHin hour til 1:00p.m. Daily (Except Sun. & Hols.) I iff ll . t-. a VICTOR JORY DON GORDON ANTHONY ZERBE Mi-..,. TED RICHMOND r..v,ji, ROBERT DORFMANN . FRANKLIN J.SCHAFFNER 'n-DALT0N TRUM30 ...LORENZO SEMPLE, Jr. "','-7;;HENRICHARRIERE JERRY GOLDSMITH FRANKLIN J.SCHAFFNER PANAVISION' TECHNICOLOR .ALLIED ARTISTS QD IORIGINAL SOUND TRACK ON CAPITOL RECORDS! MATINEES DAILY TODAY at 1:15,4.00,6:45 & 9:35p.m. no Bargain iviatmees tins bngagement Big thrill HOLLYWOOD ErittEk- land will star in "The Ulti-. mate Thrill." ! V HI j " tuHiiiiVtf i: Tkm ten 1Q I - Kmn ! Last day today: I . I BEST OF N.Y. j ; WOMEN'S FESTIVAL Tomorrow & Frl.: f GOOD RIDDANCE Discount Tickets at Theatre Daily from 6 p.m. Sat. & Sun. from 2 p.m. m EZBJJil 1075 Geary nr. Van Ness 885 JR-35- ! : Frarr Warner Bros J Matinees Daily-Immediate Seating For All Pert ormances Shows Today at 12:30,2:45, 5i00 7:30& 10:OOSpeciai Late snow at 1 2: 1 5AM Adjacent 1 Free Parking after 6PM & All Day Sundav-No Passes Accepted WALT DISNEY . PRODUCTIONS ( PlusWaltDisneyV'PERRI" TONIGHT 'Robin'at 7:00& 10:0"i'Pprri'at8:35 1 JLilHS. . jf When will the ki'.Ier strike again? 4 I . far, iTjlifR COLOR BY JtvS DELUXE Plus"LEGEIID OF HELL HOUSE" OPEN DAILY AT 12 NOON .l:.': IT JULIE CHRISTIE f f.t n 1 TV imt i nnK moiv j Also "Mephlsto L rTt 1 WalU" Shows owl trom 6:30 f A i I A ! iJ -VMI Ml ALSO "GIRLS ABE FOR LOUiliG" SUPER mm m T TWO! 5 , mm iiiiiiiiaiHiiiil)? WORLDS GREATEST RETURN MATCH FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN On The Same Bill With "All Tha Young Wives" & "Girls Are For Loving" nPPW nAll Y AT 19 NOniM M -.-...- " I m

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