I recently noted that Sidney Lumet‘s New York-based Serpico (’73) was filmed when Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn were much grimier and grittier places than they are today. No Starbucks, no corporate franchises to speak of. Anyway I watched most of the just-out Warner home Video Bluray last night and it’s wonderful, really wonderful, to re-immerse in this exotic, never-to-be-seen again realm through Arthur J. Ornitz‘s cinematography, which looks flavorful but not especially grainy. I know this will be a tremendous letdown to the grain monks, but Serpico looks refined and pleasingly natural. And better than I’ve ever seen it look, like a nice wet print, straight out of the lab, untouched by human hands. It’s perfect. And the actors look so young! Even Judd Hirsch and M. Emmet Walsh seem wet behind the ears.

Serpico Bluray screen capture stolen from DVD Beaver.