Friday, July 30, 2010

Scarecrow (1973) - Francis Lionel 'Lion' Delbuchi

Scarecrow 1973 movie poster

Scarecrow is a road movie with story revolves around odd pair Francis Lionel "Lion" Delbuchi (Al Pacino) and Max Millan (Gene Hackman) who meet on the road in California, and start their relationship during their long trip to Reno, Denver, Detroit, and decide to become business partners to open a car wash once they reach Pittsburgh.

Al Pacino and Gene Hackman in ScarecrowLionel and Max have slightly different background and character. Lionel was a child-like ex-sailor who's returning home to the midwest to see his child who was born while he was at sea, and Max is a brawling, short-tempered homeless ex-convict who has been saving money to open a car wash in Pittsburgh.

Scarecrow is Al Pacino's fourth screen appearance after The Godfather (1972), and his second work with director Jerry Schatzberg after The Panic in Needle Park (1971). Schatzberg was chosen to direct the movie after the original director was fired. Despite the film was a box office failure, Scarecrow won the Grand Prix at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Revolution (1985) - Tom Dobb

Al Pacino Revolution movie poster
Revolution (1985) is an American historical film which was produced by Irwin Winkler and Goldcrest film (a British studio), directed by Hugh Hudson, and written by Robert Dillon. The film distributed by Warner Bros Pictures.

Al Pacino perform New York fur trapper Tom Dobb who has lost his entire family except one young son, Ned Dobb. Tom becomes a participant in the American Revolutionary War in attempts to find and protect Ned, after he is drafted into the Army by Sergeant Major Peasy. His unwilling participation in war in order to protect his son eventually force him to take a stand and fight for the freedom of the Colonies.

Al Pacino as Tom Dobb in Revolution (1985)Revolution starring Al Pacino as Tom Dobb, Donald Sutherland as Sergeant Major Peasy, Nastassja Kinski as Daisy McConnahay, Dexter Fletcher as Tom Dobb's son Ned Dobb, and Steven Berkoff as Sgt. Jones.

Revolution was another Al Pacino's movie flop after Bobby Deerfield (1977). The film costing $28 million, to make only $346,761 domestic gross revenue. Even worst, the film brought down Pacino's career to four years hiatus, until he finally got his next job in Sea of Love (1989).

However, if you love American history as well as movies dedicated to the subject (specifically, the Revolutionary War segment), Revolution is worth watching. In 2009 the film released in DVD, called Revolution Revisited, with additional narration by Al Pacino, and a conversation with Al Pacino and director Hugh Hudson discussing any issues relating to making and releasing the film.

Revolution Revisited DVD:


Al Pacino ... Tom Dobb
Donald Sutherland ... Sgt. Maj. Peasy
Nastassja Kinski ... Daisy McConnahay
Steven Berkoff ... Sgt. Jones
Dave King ... Mr. McConnahay
Joan Plowright ... Mrs. McConnahay
Annie Lennox ... Liberty Woman
Dexter Fletcher ... Ned Dobb
Richard O'Brien ... Lord Hampton

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Heat (1995) - Lt. Vincent Hanna

Heat 1995 movie poster
When Heat was released in December 15, 1995, the film created much hype since it is the first film to ever feature both legendary actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro shared the screen together. Even the advertising material for Heat promoted the film as a De Niro/Pacino "showdown". They both previously starred in The Godfather Part II (1974), but never acting together.

The result was great: Heat was well-received by movie critics, as well as commercially success by gaining worldwide gross revenue $187,436,818 for $60,000,000 estimated budget. The film also listed as the 38th greatest film in history in Empire's 2008 list of the "500 Greatest Movies of All Time".

Heat is Michael Mann's remake and cinema version of his own 1989 television film L.A. Takedown. The main attraction of the film to moviegoers, of course, duo stars Robert De Niro who plays Neil McCauley, a professional thief, and Al Pacino who plays Lt. Vincent Hanna, veteran LAPD homicide detective.

Al Pacino as Leutenant Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)Neil McCauley leads a team of criminals who carry out armored car heist, stealing US$1.6 million in bearer bonds from Malibu Equity Investments. After the robbery, McCauley meets Nate who suggests selling the bonds back to Van Zant (the owner of the bonds) for 60% of their value instead of laundering them at 40% cost.

Lt. Vincent Hanna, who investigating the armored car heist, learns that McCauley and his crew are planning to steal precious metals from a warehouse. He and his LAPD team hiding inside a parked truck, but accidentally exposed. McCauley and his crew abandon the robbery plan, and Hanna allows them to escape since he cannot arrest them unless they have stolen something.

McCauley then vows revenge to Van Zant who try to ambush him, and kill Waingro, his new crew member who makes the robbery complicated with his impulsive actions, and later betray him. But the pursuit finally led him to his death. After executes Wainbro and begins his escape, Lt. Hanna shoots him, and he dies moments later.

Along with Pacino and De Niro, the film stars Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Danny Trejo, Ashley Judd, and Natalie Portman. Heat is based off a real-life confrontation between Chicago police officer Chuck Adamson and professional robber Neil McCauley. The real Neil McCauley was killed during a robbery of a grocery store by Adamson's team.

Many real former police officer serve as consultant or technical advisor to the film, including Dennis Farina, a former Chicago police officer, and Tom Elfmont, a former L.A.P.D. detective, and Chuck Adamson - also former Chicago police officer - whom had been working with Michael Mann since his film Thief (1981).


Al Pacino ... Lt. Vincent Hanna
Robert De Niro ... Neil McCauley
Val Kilmer ... Chris Shiherlis
Tom Sizemore ... Michael Cheritto
Jon Voight ... Nate
Diane Venora ... Justine Hanna
Ashley Judd ... Charlene Shiherlis
Natalie Portman ... Lauren Gustafson
Amy Brenneman ... Eady
Mykelti Williamson ... Sergeant Drucker
William Fichtner ... Roger Van Zant
Wes Studi ... Detective Casals
Ted Levine ... Bosko
Tom Noonan ... Kelso

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Insider (1999) - Lowell Bergman

Al Pacino's The Insider poster
A Vanity Fair magazine article by Marie Brenner; "The Man Who Knew Too Much" led Michael Mann to produced and directed The Insider (1994), a film that tells the true story behind the broadcast of a controvertial CBS "60 Minutes" episode on malpractices in the tobacco industry. The episode originally aired in November 1995 in an altered form because CBS' parent company Westinghouse and the owner, Laurence Tisch, objected, and was later aired on February 4, 1996.

The Insider took a viewpoint through the eyes of Jeffrey Wigand, a former tobacco company executive who decided to appear on the 60 Minutes show to revealed the infamous secret that the tobacco industry was not only aware that cigarettes are addictive and harmful, but deliberately worked on increasing that addictiveness. For his appearance in 60 minutes, Wigand comes under personal and professional attack. Big tobacco company hire PR firm to initiates a smear campaign against him. He also receive death threats, e.g. one where he finds a bullet in his mailbox with a threatening note.

Al Pacino as Lowell Bergman in The InsiderAl Pacino, who had worked with Mann previously in Heat (1995), was Mann’s only choice to play "60 minutes" producer Lowell Bergman, as well as Christopher Plummer who selected to play Mike Wallace. Both did not have to audition to cast in the film. On the other side, Russell Crowe was the second choice for the role of Jeffrey Wigand after Val Kilmer. For the role, the 33-years old Crowe transform himself into mid-50s Wigand apperance by shaved back his hairline, put on 35 pounds for the role, and listened repeatedly to a six-hour tape of Wigand's voice to resemble the man’s voice and how he talked.

The Insider was nominated for seven Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Michael Mann), Best Cinematography (Dante Spinotti), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Russell Crowe), Best Editing, Best Sound, and Best Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth and Michael Mann), but the film won nothing. However, The Insider gave Roth and Mann the Humanitas Prize in the Feature Film category in 2000. Russell Crowe's performance as Jeffrey Wigand ranked #23 in 2006 Premiere list of the 100 Greatest Performances of All Time, and Christopher Plummer won awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics.

Despite gaining much critical praises, The Insider was in fact a box office flop. It only make a total of $60.3 million worldwide for the $90 million budget. The film fail to catch attention of younger audiences.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bobby Deerfield (1977) - Bobby

Al pacino as Bobby Deerfield
Despite released during Pacino's best years in 1970s, Bobby Deerfield (1977) probably the most underrated and forgotten Al Pacino's film throughout his career. For the first time the film was released on DVD on 2008, and the soundtrack has been unavailable for years. The story panned by critics as an over-the-top melodrama with a plodding storyline.

Bobby Deerfield based on the novel Heaven Has No Favorites ("Der Himmel kennt keine Günstlinge") by Erich Maria Remarque. The film is about American Formula One racer Bobby Deerfield (Al Pacino) on the European circuits, who falls in love with Lillian Morelli (Marthe Keller), a beautiful young woman who racing against her time and lives in death's shadow because of her acute illness. Lillian changes Bobby's life and giving him spirit by teach him about life's possibilities - as the film tagline say: He had to meet her - to find himself!

Bobby Deerfield produced and directed by Sydney Pollack, and the story written by Alvin Sargent. Non-action scenes filmed in Paris Studios Cinéma, Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France. For race scenes, the film features actual footage of the South African GP Formula One in 1976, and features actual Formula One racers, including Brazilian racer José Carlos Pace, Mario Andretti, and James Hunt. The car used by Al Pacino in the movie is a Brabham Alfa Romeo BT-45, which belonged to José Carlos Pace, who actually drove it during the race scenes.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Carlito's Way (1993) - Carlito Brigante

Carlito's Way poster
Carlito's Way is a fictional story of Puerto-Rican ex-gangster Carlito 'Charlie' Brigante who just released from prison with the help of his lawyer, and pledges to stay away from his past criminal life and lead on to a better life. The film directed by Brian De Palma, with screenplay by David Koepp, based on Judge Edwin Torres' novels After Hours, but took the title from his previous novel, Carlito's Way, to make it not to be confused with Martin Scorsese's film After Hours.

Carlito's Way story was similar to Brian De Palma's previous film, Scarface (1983), and it is considered to be a companion piece of sorts to Scarface, as both using the same Greek tragedy approach (It was criticized by many for re-treading old ground). However, Carlito Brigante character seems to be more human than Tony Montana in Scarface. Tony Montana devote his entire life in evil side, and his stubbornness bring him to his downfall.

Al Pacino as Carlito BriganteUnlike Tony Montana, Carlito Brigante tries to change his fate and stay away from criminal activities. But both meet the same fate: their criminal past won't let them change their life to be a nice guy, and they will never see heaven. They ends up being dragged back into the same evil way.

Carlito's Way stars Al Pacino as Carlito Brigante, Sean Penn as Carlito's lawyer David Kleinfeld, Penelope Ann Miller as Gail (Carlito's girlfriend), and Viggo Mortensen as Lalin, Carlito's gangster friend who secretly recording their conversation at the night club in order to gain evidence against him, as it is the only way he could stay out of prison.

The film was released on 3 November 1993. It premiered with $9 million opening weekend box office. For their roles as lawyer David Kleinfeld and Carlito's girlfriend Gail, Sean Penn and Penelope Ann Miller both received Golden Globe nominations.

The prequel of Carlito's Way was filmed and released direct-to-video in 2005, under the title Carlito's Way: Rise to Power. The prequel film stars Jay Hernandez as Carlito, Mario Van Peebles as Earl, and Michael Joseph Kelly as Rocco.


Al Pacino ... Carlito Brigante
Sean Penn ... David Kleinfeld
Penelope Ann Miller ... Gail
Viggo Mortensen ... Lalin
John Leguizamo ... Benny Blanco
Luis Guzmán ... Pachanga
Joseph Siravo ... Vincent 'Vinnie' Taglialucci
Adrian Pasdar ... Frankie Taglialucci

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cruising (1980) - Steve Burns

Cruising 1980 film poster
Cruising is a thriller/horror film about New York City serial killer targeting gay men in the 1970s. The film directed by William Friedkin, based on New York Times reporter Gerald Walker's novel of the same name. The story based on the real series of murders of homosexual men that took place between 1962 and 1979 in New York City.

Cruising portray a series of gruesome killings, who the killer specifically targeting, slays, and dismembers several gay men through B&D (Bondage and Dominance) and S&M (Sadism and Masochism) scene, and dispose their body parts in Hudson River.

Steve Burns (Al Pacino), an NYPD officer, is recruited by Captain Edelson of the NYPD Homicide Unit to go undercover in search of the killer by mascarade as gay, because his body profile is fit the victims' profiles. He was sent to gay S&M leather bars in the Meatpacking District of the West Village.

Al Pacino is Cruising for a killerThe MPAA originally gave Cruising an X rating, and finally re-rated to R after 40 minutes deletion of footage from the original cut. The deleted footage consisted of graphic homosexuality that had no effect on the story or the characterizations.

Actual gay bars for men were used in the film that existed in New York City in an effort to make the scenes as real as possible. Movie extras were actual gay patrons of the bar recruited for the scenes a few days before filming began. They were instructed to act as they would normally act, but to tone down sexually-oriented activities. However, some obscured homosexual scenes remains visible in the film as released.

During filming, members of New York's gay community protested the production of Cruising, and one thousand protesters marched through the East Village demanding the city withdraw support for the film. But since the 1990s Cruising has generated some positive criticism and has been a cult movie among some gay audiences fans. Raymond Murray, editor of gay and lesbian films Images in The Dark writes that "the film is now part of queer history and a testament to how a frightened Hollywood treated a disenfranchised minority."

Along with Pacino, Cruising stars Paul Sorvino as Capt. Edelson, Karen Allen as Nancy, and Joe Spinell (Willi Cicci in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II) as patrolman DiSimone.


Al Pacino ... Steve Burns
Paul Sorvino ... Capt. Edelson
Karen Allen ... Nancy
Richard Cox ... Stuart Richards
Joe Spinell ... Patrolman DiSimone
Don Scardino ... Ted Bailey
Jay Acovone ... Skip Lee
Barton Heyman ... Dr. Rifkin

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Looking for Richard (1996 Documentary Film) - Richard III

Looking for Richard theaterical poster

Looking for Richard is the first film directed by Al Pacino. He also plays himself and the title character (Richard III). Pacino originally wanted to make a straight film, not a documentary, but he discovered that he wouldn't be able to top Laurence Olivier's 1955 version.

Al Pacino as King Richard IIIAs a documentary movie, Looking for Richard is both a performance of scenes of William Shakespeare's Richard III, and an examination of Shakespeare's relevance in popular culture by adding interviews with ordinary people, and in-depth analysis with Shakespeare scholars. In addition, Pacino also features many actors ever performing Shakespeare's, including Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, and Vanessa Redgrave.

Along with Pacino, several actors act out scenes from the play, including Alec Baldwin (as Duke of Clarence), Aidan Quinn (Richmond), Penelope Allen (Queen Elizabeth), Winona Ryder (Lady Anne), Kevin Spacey (Earl of Buckingham), and Harris Yulin as King Edward (previously, in 1983 Yulin was Pacino's opponent when he played the infamous corrupt Miami police detective Mel Bernstein in Scarface).

Looking for Richard was featured at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.

The film, along with Chinese Coffee and The Local Stigmatic, released on June 2007 as a part of a three-movie boxed set called Pacino: An Actor's Vision.


Al Pacino ... Himself/Richard III
Alec Baldwin ... Himself/Duke of Clarence
Kevin Spacey ... Himself/Earl of Buckingham
Winona Ryder ... Lady Anne
Harris Yulin ... Himself/King Edward
Penelope Allen ... Herself/Queen Elizabeth
Vincent Angell ... Himself/Grey

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Author! Author! (1982) - Ivan Travalian

Author! Author! poster
In Author! Author! Al Pacino plays Ivan Travalian, an Armenian-American Broadway playwright in his struggles to write an original play entitled, English with Tears. Throughout his struggle, Travalian facing any stressful troubles: his wife leaving him, deals with a hopeless second act, and must take care of four children of his wife from her 3 different marriages.

Al Pacino in Author! Author!Author! Author! directed by Arthur Hiller, and written by Israel Horovitz. This film was Horovitz's second work with Pacino after their first worked in the mid-1960s, The Indian Wants the Bronx. Alongside Pacino, the film stars Dyan Cannon, Tuesday Weld, and Alan King.

Author! Author!, however, was unsuccessful both commercially and artistically. The film's gross revenue was only $10,576,604 in USA, while received negative reviews from critics. Jack Kroll from Newsweek, for example, wrote that "there's nothing sadder than a movie that tries to be adorable and isn't. Author! Author! tries so hard that the screen seems to sweat".

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Merchant of Venice (2004) - Shylock

The Merchant of Venice is a 2004 film adaptation of William Shakespeare's comedy of the same name (believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598). It follows Shakespeare's text very closely, and is the first full-length sound film version in English of Shakespeare's play.

The Merchant of VeniceThe Merchant of Venice story shows a 16th century Venice, where Bassanio wishes to travel to Belmont for a romantic ambition to a wealthy heiress Portia. He then approaches his rich friend Antonio to subsidize his traveling expenses; but Antonio agree only if Bassanio can find a lender.

Bassanio then turns to the Jewish moneylender Shylock and names Antonio as the loan’s guarantor. Shylock agree, but proposes a condition for the loan: if Antonio is unable to repay it at the specified date, he may take a pound of Antonio's flesh.

The Merchant of Venice principal casts are Al Pacino as rich Jewish moneylender Shylock, Joseph Fiennes as Bassanio the young Venice nobleman, Jeremy Irons as Antonio the merchant, and Lynn Collins as Portia the rich heiress of Belmont. The film directed by Michael Radford, and its awesome, realistic look of Venice streets was designed by production designer Bruno Rubeo, who was honored by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for his excellent work.

Me, Natalie (1969) - Tony

Me, Natalie 1969 movie poster
Me, Natalie was Al Pacino's film debut in a minor supporting role as Tony. The film directed by Fred Coe, and the screenplay written by A. Martin Zweiback, based on original story by Stanley Shapiro. The film stars Patty Duke as Natalie Miller, Elsa Lanchester as Miss Dennison, and James Farentino as David Harris.

Natalie Miller was a plain and ugly Brooklyn young girl with bucked teeth and disproportionate large nose. Her father even had plan to bribes a myopic man to marry her, think that his nearsightedness will prevent him from seeing her ugly duckling appearance.

Natalie leaves home, seeking for her independence by start a bohemian lifestyle in Greenwich Village after she discovers her father's plan. After passing some miserable life journey and a heartbreak moment, Natalie finally found her self-esteem, realize that she's invaluable, just like everyone else.

Me, Natalie receive generally positive reviews. Patty Duke won Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role as Natalie Miller. The film also receive Grammy Award nomination for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Show, as well as nomination for Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen from Writers Guild of America.

Two years after made brief screen appearance in this independent movie, Al Pacino made his next screen appearance in 1971 film The Panic in Needle Park.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Godfather Part III (1990) - Don Michael Corleone

The Godfather Part III theatrical release poster
The final part and epilogue of the saga after The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974), The Godfather Part III is completes the story of Don Michael Corleone, aging mafia boss who tries to legitimize his business to atone for his guilt.

Michael has abandoned many of mafia activities, selling the Las Vegas casinos, and leaving the Corleone family's criminal interests in the hands of Joey Zasa, the remaining criminal wing of Corleone family.

Michael returned to New York City from Lake Tahoe, restore his reputation via numerous acts of charity, creates the Vito Corleone Foundation which he has endowed with $100,000,000 to use for the betterment of Sicily.

Don Michael Corleone with Vincent Mancini in The Godfather Part IIIThe Godfather Part III also fictionalized the death of Pope John Paul I (1978) and the Papal banking scandal (1982), and links both with the affairs of Michael Corleone. Michael has recently bought up stock in International real-estate holding company Immobiliare to gain majority control of the company's board of directors, and now makes a tender offer to buy the Vatican's 25% interest in the company by offers to pay $600,000,000 to the Vatican Bank - which has run up a massive deficit - in exchange for the shares. But he later realizes that the deal was a conspiracy to swindle him out of his money.

The Godfather Part III features veteran actors from its prequels: Al Pacino (Michael Corleone), Diane Keaton (Kay Adams), and Talia Shire (Connie Corleone). It also stars Andy García (Vincent Mancini), Joe Mantegna (Joey Zasa), George Hamilton (as B.J. Harrison, the next Corleone family consiglieri after Tom Hagen), Bridget Fonda, and Sofia Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola's daughter who plays as Michael's daughter, Mary Corleone).

Although received a generally positive responses, The Godfather Part III is widely considered to be the weakest film of the trilogy. It was the only film in the trilogy not to have Al Pacino nominated for Best Actor, the only film in the trilogy not to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the only film in the trilogy not selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. Instead, Sofia Coppola won a Golden Raspberry for worst supporting actress for her role as Mary Corleone.

Dick Tracy (1990) - Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice

Dick Tracy movie poster
Dick Tracy based on the 1930s comic strip character of the same name created by Chester Gould. Al Pacino plays as Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice, the leading crime cyndicate boss whose aggressively taking over small businesses in the city (for his performance, Pacino received Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor). The film produced and directed by Warren Beatty, who also starred as the main character, Dick Tracy.

Dick Tracy film rights were initially owned in 1975 by Michael Laughlin, who gave up his option from Tribune Media Services. In 1977, Floyd Mutrux and Art Linson purchased the film rights from the Tribune Media Services. They took the property to Paramount Pictures, whose brought in Universal Pictures to co-finance its production.

Walter Hill then came on board to direct with Joel Silver as producer. Hill approached Warren Beatty for the title role. Beatty reportedly wanted $5 million plus fifteen percent of the box office gross, and Universal refused to accept.

Al pacino as big Boy Caprice in Dick Tracy, with MadonnaThe film rights then reverted back to Tribune Media Services. Beatty decided to option the Dick Tracy rights himself. Dick Tracy production resurfaced with Beatty as director, producer and leading role.

The financing for Dick Tracy came from Disney's Touchstone Pictures, Silver Screen Partners, and Mulholland Productions (Warren Beatty's production company). The film reach $47 million production cost and $54 million additional marketing campaign cost. Walt Disney comics also released "Dick Tracy: The Tommy Guns and Truehearts Trilogy" as part of marketing campaign, which explained the back story leading up to the movie.

Alongside Beatty and Pacino, Dick Tracy features supporting roles from Madonna as Breathless Mahoney, Glenne Headly Tess Trueheart, and Charlie Korsmo as The Kid.

For his role, Al Pacino designed Big Boy Caprice's make-up himself and completely re-imagined the character. John Caglione Jr., make-up designer who's his final design of Big Boy Caprice matches the intended design conceived by Al Pacino, then became Pacino's personal make-up man in all of his rest films. In Dick Tracy, Al Pacino also co-stars with James Caan, who previously played Sonny Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

...And Justice for All (1979) - Arthur Kirkland

...And Justice For All poster - Al Pacino
...And Justice For All, the last four words of the Pledge of Allegiance, were taken as the title for this courtroom drama movie. It directed by Norman Jewison and the screenplay written by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson. ...And Justice For All received two Academy Award nominations for the Best Actor in a Leading role (Pacino) and Best Original Screenplay.

Al Pacino plays as Arthur Kirkland, an idealistic defense attorney in Baltimore, forced to defend Henry T. Fleming, a judge who ever has had problems with him in the past. The judge has been accused of rape on a young woman. Kirkland past problem with Judge Fleming including one incident where he is on a charge of contempt of court for having thrown a punch at him when the judge wrongly sentenced his client Jeff McCullaugh because of a technicality. Now Kirkland faces a moral and legal dilemma ..

...And Justice For All stars Al Pacino as defense attorney Arthur Kirkland, John Forsythe as Judge Henry T. Fleming, Jack Warden Judge Francis Rayford, Lee Strasberg as his Grandfather Sam Kirkland, Craig T. Nelson, and Thomas G. Waites as Kirkland's client Jeff McCullaugh. In this film Al Pacino for the second time (after The Godfather Part II) was acted alongside his legendary acting teacher, Lee Strasberg.


Al Pacino ... Arthur Kirkland
John Forsythe ... Judge Henry T. Fleming
Lee Strasberg ... Sam Kirkland
Jack Warden ... Judge Francis Rayford
Christine Lahti ... Gail Packer
Jeffrey Tambor ... Jay Porter
Dominic Chianese ... Carl Travers
Craig T. Nelson ... Frank Bowers

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Recruit (2003) - Walter Burke

The Recruit Al Pacino poster
The Recruit is a spy movie follows the career of James Clayton, a briliant MIT graduate recruited into the CIA. While at MIT, Clayton develop Sp@rtacus, a computer program which turns computer terminals to which it is networked into its slave - probably similar to the now infamous botnet. Clayton meets Walter Burke. The man who reveals that he is a CIA recruiter, and his familiarity with Clayton's father, who had gone missing when he was young.

The Recruit directed by Roger Donaldson, and the screenplay written by Roger Towne, Kurt Wimmer, and Mitch Glazer. The film stars Al Pacino as CIA recruiter Walter Burke, Colin Farrell as James Clayton, and Bridget Moynahan as Layla Moore, Clayton's fellow recruit.

Donnie Brasco (1997) - Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero

Donnie Brasco theatrical release poster
Donnie Brasco based on the late 1970s real event of FBI undercover agent, Joseph D. Pistone (under the alias name Donnie Brasco) who successfully infilitrates the New York City's Bonanno crime family. Pistone (Johnny Depp) posing as a jewel thief from Florida. He eventually becomes accepted as an associate by the other family members.

Donnie Brasco and LeftyPistone befriends Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero (Al Pacino), a low level family member and hit man who having spent 30 years of his life in the Mafia and killing 26 people, but was hopeless about his own future. However, the longer Pistone infilitrates the family and plays role as Donnie Brasco, he finds himself identifying more with the mafia life. He also has come to regard Lefty as his close friend.

Donnie Brasco was directed by Mike Newell, starring Al Pacino (Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero), Johnny Depp (Joe "Donnie Brasco" Pistone), and Michael Madsen (Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano). The screenplay written by Paul Anastasio, adapted from FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone's book. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

In real life, Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero was arrested by the FBI and was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, and running an illegal gambling operation. He died of lung cancer in 1994, two years after received early parole in 1992.


Al Pacino ... Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero
Johnny Depp ... Donnie Brasco / Joseph D. "Joe" Pistone
Bruno Kirby ... Nicky
Michael Madsen ... Sonny Black
James Russo ... Paulie
Anne Heche ... Maggie Pistone
Gerry Becker ... Agent Dean Blandford FBI
Rocco Sisto ... Richard "Richie" Gazzo
Zach Grenier ... Dr. Berger

Angels in America (2003, HBO miniseries) - Roy Cohn

Angels in America DVD cover
Angels in America is 6 chapters miniseries (total runtime 352 minutes) adapted from Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize winning play, and directed by Mike Nichols. Kushner adapt his own original text for the screen, in which HBO broadcast the film in various formats.

The first three chapters of Angels in America ("Bad News", "In Vitro" and "The Messenger") were initially broadcast on December 7, 2003, followed by the next, final three chapters ("Stop Moving!", "Beyond Nelly" and "Heaven, I'm in Heaven").

Angels in America won 5 Golden Globes. Al Pacino won Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV movie, for his performance in the film. Another Golden Globe winning including Best Miniseries or Made for TV Movie, Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie (Meryl Streep), Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or Movie (Jeffrey Wright), and Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or Movie (Mary-Louise Parker). The film also broke the record previously held by Roots for the most Emmys awarded to a program in a single year, winning 11 awards from 21 nominations. The record was broken four years later by John Adams.

Angels in America was the most watched made-for-cable movie in 2003. The first episode drew 4.2 million viewers. It also garnering much critical acclaim. The New York Times wrote that "Mike Nichols's television version is a work of art in itself."

The film's core story of the spreading AIDS epidemic and a rapidly changing social and political climate make it listed among best of the filmed AIDS portrayals.

The shooting for Angels in America was done at Kaufman Astoria Studios, New York City, Bethesda Fountain (Central Park), Hadrian's Villa, and the Roman archaeological complex at Tivoli, Italy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Scent of a Woman (1992) - Frank Slade

Scent of a Woman theatrical poster
Scent of a Woman was an adaptation from the novel Il buio e il miele (Italian: Darkness and Honey) by Giovanni Arpino, and the 1974 screenplay by Ruggero Maccari and Dino Risi (of the Italian movie Profumo di donna, directed by Dino Risi). The film stars Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabrielle Anwar, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It was directed by Martin Brest, and the screenplay by Bo Goldman.

Scent of a Woman tells the story of Charlie Simms, a preparatory school student needing money and takes a job as an assistant to a blind and medically retired Army officer Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade.

Scent of a Woman dance scene - Al Pacino and Gabrielle AnwarSlade takes Charlie along to accompany him for the ride to New York City for the weekend, with a special plan involves stay at a luxury hotel (Waldorf-Astoria), eat at an expensive restaurant, fine wine, and make love to a beautiful woman.

At the Golden Globe Awards, Scent of a Woman won Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Motion Picture - Drama. At the Academy Awards Al Pacino won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.

As preparation for his role as Frank Slade, Al Pacino was helped by a school for the blind. He made himself appear blind by not allowing his eyes to focus on anything. For his dance scene with Gabrielle Anwar, two choreographers, Jerry Mitchell and Paul Pellicoro, guided them. Both rehearsed their tango for 2 weeks for the scene that took 3 days to shoot.

Portions of the movie depicting all male boarding school actually were filmed on location at the Emma Willard School, an all-girls school in Troy, New York, and at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City.

Scent of a Woman combine both positive critical reception and commercial success. It earned $134,095,253 worldwide, with 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


Al Pacino ... Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade
Chris O'Donnell ... Charlie Simms
Gabrielle Anwar ... Donna
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... George Willis, Jr. (as Philip S. Hoffman)
James Rebhorn ... Mr. Trask
Bradley Whitford ... Randy
Richard Venture ... W.R. Slade

The Panic in Needle Park (1971) - Bobby

The panic in Needle Park theatrical poster - God help Bobby and Helen
The Panic in Needle Park is Al Pacino's second film appearance. The film is a portrayal of heroin addicts life who hang out in "Needle Park" in New York City. The story was adapted from James Mills' series of articles in Life. A tale of love story between Bobby (Al Pacino), a young heroin addict and small-time hustler, and Helen (Kitty Winn), a restless woman who finds Bobby charismatic.

Al Pacino and Kitty Winn in The Panic in Needle ParkThe Panic in Needle Park seem more documentary than fictious story. No music was used in the film to set the atmosphere of "real life". Additionally, the entire film shot with unfocused techniques and photographed in moving cinéma vérité-style. The Panic in Needle Park is believed to have been the first mainstream film to show actual drug injection. As a result, the film refused a certificate in the UK for four years because of its graphic depiction of drug-taking.

The Panic in Needle Park was directed by Jerry Schatzberg, and the screenplay was written by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne. Francis Ford Coppola showed this movie to Paramount executives in order to convince them that Al Pacino was suitable for the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972). Kitty Winn won the Best Actress Award at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival for her portrayal of Helen.

Sea of Love (1989) - Detective Frank Keller

Sea of Love movie poster Al Pacino
Sea of Love is a thriller about New York detective Frank Keller investigating a case of a serial killer who finds the victims through the lonely hearts column in newspapers. The first case was a man in Manhattan who shot dead in his bed while listening to a recording of the song "Sea of Love".

Al Pacino Sea of LoveKeller's clues are a perfect set of fingerprints, a lipstick-smeared cigarette, and a single column ad the dead man placed in a newspaper. The second victim was a man dies in the same manner in Queens. He also had put rhyming ads in the paper. The third victims, Raymond Brown, also turns up dead in the same manner as the other two murder victims. So Keller has an idea to place a rhyming ad in the newspaper, take any women who respond to a restaurant, take the prints from their drinking glasses, in hope to catch the killer.

Sea of Love is directed by Harold Becker and stars Al Pacino as detective Frank Keller, Ellen Barkin as Helen Cruger, a suspected murderer who later Cruger begin a serious relationship with Keller, and John Goodman as Detective Sherman Touhey. The screenplay for the film was written by Richard Price. He originally wrote the screenplay for Dustin Hoffman, but Hoffman wanted too many rewrites so Al Pacino took over the role.

Sea of Love is Pacino's first movie in 4 years after the big flop Revolution (1985). It also credited as movie that redeem Pacino's career after failures that occupied much of his 1980s movies.


Al Pacino ... Det. Frank Keller
Ellen Barkin ... Helen Cruger
John Goodman ... Det. Sherman
Michael Rooker ... Terry
Richard Jenkins ... Gruber
William Hickey ... Frank Keller Sr.
Paul Calderon ... Serafino

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Godfather Part II (1974) - Don Michael Corleone

The Godfather Part II poster
The Godfather Part II is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather (1972) by presents two parallel storylines: the first storyline chronicling the story of the Corleone family under their new chief Don Michael Corleone in their new home in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and the second storyline a flashback depicting the rise to power of Vito Corleone, from his childhood in Sicily to his founding of the powerful Corleone family in New York City.

The Godfather Part II stars Al Pacino as Don Michael Corleone, Robert Duvall as the family consiglieri Tom Hagen, Diane Keaton as Kay Adams, Robert De Niro as Young Vito Corleone, John Cazale as Fredo Corleone, Talia Shire as Connie Corleone, Michael V. Gazzo as Frank "the five angels" Pentangeli, and Lee Strasberg as jewish gangster Hyman Roth.

The Godfather Part II was filmed in 104 days, shot between October 1, 1973 and June 19, 1974. This was the first major motion picture sequel to use "Part II" in the title, and the first American film to use the roman numeral "II" to indicate a sequel. The film widely credited as the film that began the Hollywood tradition of numbered sequels for film franchises. It was also the last major American motion picture to be filmed in Technicolor.

Michael with Fredo in CubaLike the first film, The Godfather Part II is widely considered as one of the greatest films of all time. It ranks among the most critically and artistically successful film sequels in movie history, praised as equal, or even superior, to its predecessor. The Godfather Part II was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Robert De Niro for his performance as young Vito.

This was the first film sequel to receive five Academy Award Nominations for acting: Al Pacino (Best Actor), Talia Shire (Best Actress In A Suporting Role), Lee Strasberg (Best Actor In A Supporting Role), Michael V. Gazzo (Best Actor In A Supporting Role), and Robert De Niro (Best Actor In A Supporting Role).

Al Pacino's performance as Michael have praised and considered as one of the best performances of all time by any actor. His performance has become legendary. The Academy Awards criticized by many movie critics for not awarding Pacino the Academy Award for Best Actor (instead, the Oscar finally goes to Art Carney for his performance in Harry and Tonto).

The Godfather Part II has been selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry.

Scarface (1983) - Antonio "Tony" Montana

Al Pacino Scarface theatrical release poster
A film that give Pacino one of his iconic characters as Tony Montana, Cuban immigrant who became notorious drug lord, Scarface directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone. Alongside with Al Pacino, the film starring Steven Bauer as Manolo "Manny" Ribera, Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira Hancock, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Tony's sister, Gina Montana.

Brian De Palma's 1983 Scarface is based on Howard Hawks' 1932 film of the same name (but took place in Chicago). The film chronicles Tony Montana's rise from a poor Cuban refugee who comes to Florida to the top of Miami's narcotics underworld and his subsequent downfall, killed by a shotgun blast from behind by "The Skull", Alejandro Sosa's gunmen.

Pacino's appearance as Tony Montana in Scarface has become a cultural icon, inspiring many posters, merchandise, and clothing. Even Al Pacino himself reportedly stated that Tony Montana was one of his favorites of all the characters he's played. Scarface theatrical release poster is a popular decoration and is still in production. Scarface also has been an influence on hip-hop culture and rap music since the late 1980s. Many rappers claim Scarface is their favorite film. Rapper Brad Jordan even took the name of this film as his stage name.

Al Pacino Scarface Say Hello to my little friendThe movie was originally given an X rating three times by MPAA for its extreme violence, excessive strong language and hard drug usage depiction. The 20 members of the ratings board finally give the third cut an "R" (Restricted) rating after Brian De Palma pulled in a panel of experts, who stated that Scarface was an accurate portrayal of the real-life drug underworld and should be widely seen.

The film gaining mixed reaction among critics and general audience. Entertainment Weekly ranked the film #8 on their list of "The Top 50 Cult Films". Roger Ebert rated Scarface four stars out of four for what he decribe in his review "one of the fascinations of the movie is that we aren't watching crime-movie clichés, we're watching people who are criminals". In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its polling over 1,500 people from the creative community, rated Scarface as the tenth best in the gangster film genre.

Tony Montana's famous line "Say hello to my lil' friend!" took 61st place on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes list.


Al Pacino ... Tony Montana
Steven Bauer ... Manny Ribera
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Elvira Hancock
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Gina Montana
Harris Yulin ... Mel Bernstein
F. Murray Abraham ... Omar Suarez
Robert Loggia ... Frank Lopez
Paul Shenar ... Alejandro Sosa
Miriam Colon ... Mama Montana
Al Israel ... Hector The Toad
Ángel Salazar ... Chi Chi
Arnaldo Santana ... Ernie
Dennis Holahan ... Jerry The Banker

Any Given Sunday (1999) - Tony D'Amato

Al Pacino Any Given Sunday poster
Any Given Sunday is a drama film depicting a fictional professional American football team Miami Sharks, and fictional professional football league AFFA (a creative stand-in for the NFL). The film directed by Oliver Stone, who also write the screenplay for the film with Daniel Pyne and John Logan. Any Given Sunday features many Hollywood big stars in the cast, including Al Pacino as Tony D'Amato (the head coach of the Miami Sharks), Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and legendary NFL players Lawrence Taylor and Jim Brown.

The theme of the movie "on any given Sunday, anything can happen" refers to an incident when both the starting quarterback Jack "Cap" Rooney and the second-string quarterback Tyler Cherubini are injured and forced to leave the game. The incident then force Miami Shark to call upon third-string quarterback and former seventh round draft pick Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx), who slightly nervous and makes a number of errors, but eventually displays his athletic talent and pass extremely successfully.

Al Pacino as Tony D'Amato in Any Given SundayTony D'Amato (Al Pacino), the head coach of the Miami Sharks, at the final press conference announces that he has been hired as head coach and general manager of the expansion Albuquerque Aztecs, and signed Willie Beamen as his starting quarterback and franchise player.

Along with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino was Oliver Stone's first two choices to play Tony D'Amato. De Niro declined the role, and Pacino had already accepted. Clint Eastwood was also sought after for Pacino's role, but he also wanted to direct the picture, and Warner Bros declined.

However, no special accolades from film critics given to the film. Any Given Sunday only received an aggregated score of 50% from 115 movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Serpico (1973) - Frank Serpico

Serpico movie poster
Serpico is a crime film based on the true story of New York City policeman Frank Serpico. The film directed by Sidney Lumet. The screenplay was written by Waldo Salt, Norman Wexler, and Sidney Kingsley, as an adaptation from a biographical book by author Peter Maas. The film stars Al Pacino as Officer Frank Serpico, John Randolph as Chief Sidney Green, Cornelia Sharpe as Leslie Lane, and Tony Roberts as Bob Blair.

Al Pacino as Frank SerpicoFrank Serpico was an eccentric but idealistic New York City police officer in a time when police corruption was rampant. Despite eccentric, Serpico cannot be bought and certainly cannot be had by anyone. He often frustrated by internal politics, and eventually went undercover to expose the corruption of his fellow officers. He starts giving his testimony to the Knapp Commission in 1970. For his bravery to expose the corruption in the New York Police Department, Serpico receives a detective's gold shield and disability pension and leaving the NYPD and the USA in 1972 for Switzerland.

As the storyline showing the progression of Serpico's beard and hair length, the film was shot in reverse order. Al Pacino began with long hair and a beard, then for each scene, his hair and beard were trimmed bit by bit until he became clean-cut. The film shot on 104 different locations in every borough of New York City except Staten Island.

For his role as Serpico, Pacino was Oscar nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, but lost to Jack Lemmon for his performance in Save the Tiger. However, he won his first Golden Globe award for Best Actor in 1974 for his performance in the film.


Al Pacino ... Officer Frank Serpico
John Randolph ... Chief Sidney Green
Biff McGuire ... Capt. Insp. McClain
Cornelia Sharpe ... Leslie Lane
Jack Kehoe ... Tom Keough
Tony Roberts ... Bob Blair
Allan Rich ... Dist. Atty. Herman Tauber

Dog Day Afternoon (1975) - Sonny Wortzik

Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon (1975) as Sonny Wortzik
Dog Day Afternoon was inspired by true story of the robbery of a Chase Manhattan Bank branch in 450 Avenue P, at the cross street of East 3rd Street, in Gravesend Brooklyn, New York by John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Naturile on August 22, 1972, was published as an article entitled "The Boys in the Bank" by P.F. Kluge in Life Magazine in 1972. The film directed by Sidney Lumet based on screenplay written by Frank Pierson.

Dog Day Afternoon tells a story about Sonny Wortzik and his friend Sal Naturile's attempt to rob a Brooklyn bank to pay for the operation for Sonny's transsexual wife Leon Shermer. But all the robbery plan goes wrong, and Sonny discovers that only $1,100.00 in cash remains in the bank after the daily cash pickup. His attempt to compensate the small cash by takes a number of traveler's checks and burning the bank's register to prevent the checks from being traced only led them to bigger mess.

alt=Dog Day Afternoon stars Al Pacino as Sonny Wortzik, John Cazale as Sonny's partner in robbery Salvatore "Sal" Naturile, Charles Durning as Detective Sgt. Eugene Moretti, and Chris Sarandon as Leon Shermer, Sonny's preoperative transsexual wife.

The film was nominated for several Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Sidney Lumet), and Best Actor in a Leading Role (Al Pacino) as well as several Golden Globe awards nomination, and finally won one Academy Award for Writing - Original Screenplay (Frank Pierson).

Al Pacino fails to won Oscar for his leading role in the film. However, his performance as Sonny Wortzik received highly acclaimed critics. It is ranked #4 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006). He also won the British Academy Award for Best Actor, and Pacino's quote, "Attica! Attica!" (in reference to the Attica Prison riots) placed at #86 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes. Roger Ebert called Sonny Wortzik "one of the most interesting modern movie characters" and gave Dog Day Afternoon three-and-a-half stars out of four. In 2009, Dog Day Afternoon was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant and will be preserved for all time.


Al Pacino ... Sonny Wortzik
John Cazale ... Sal Naturile
Chris Sarandon ... Leon Shermer
Charles Durning ... Det. Sgt. Eugene Moretti
James Broderick ... Sheldon
Penelope Allen ... Sylvia
Carol Kane ... Jenny

The Godfather (1972) - Michael Corleone

The Godfather is based on the novel of the same name by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. In the film Al Pacino play Michael Corleone, the youngest son of head of the Corleone family, Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), and later became the next Don.

Alongside with Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), Michael is the only college-educated member of the family. Michael initially wants nothing to do with the underworld, so the other mafia families consider him a "civilian" uninvolved in mob business. But a second murder attempt to his father at the hospital arranged by Bruno Tattaglia and Tattaglia family's associate Virgil Sollozzo (Al Lettieri), and helped by corrupt Irish American police Captain McCluskey (Sterling Hayden) lead his evolution from doe-eyed outsider to ruthless new mafia boss following his father death.

Al Pacino play Michael CorleoneAl Pacino was not a well known actor at the time, and Paramount originally wanted Ryan O'Neal or Robert Redford to play Michael Corleone. Warren Beaty, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, James Caan, and Martin Sheen also auditioned for the role. Coppola insist to use Pacino, and threatened to quit the production if Pacino wasn't given the role. Paramount were opposed to casting Pacino, who did poorly in screen tests (and in part because of his height), until they saw his excellent performance in The Panic in Needle Park (1971).

However, Paramount executive still don't like him. When they only saw the early scenes of Michael at the wedding, they were exclaiming, "When is he going to do something?" and Pacino nearly got fired midway through filming. But when they finally saw the scene where Michael shoots Sollozzo and McCluskey, they changed their minds and Pacino got to keep his job.

Al Pacino received $35,000 for his work on The Godfather. For his role as Michael Corleone, Pacino had been nominated for Best Supporting Actor. The Godfather then received Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
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