Happy 80th Birthday Al Pacino! He’s A Junkie! A Scarecrow! Classic Early Al Pacino Performances!

Al Pacino The Panic In Needle Park

Scoring With Al!

Ever just want to hang out with Al Pacino? You know, with him and some of his junkie friends? Well, there is a movie where you can do just that….a time when he was just an upcoming young Actor…

As we celebrate April 25th 2020 as Al’s 80th birthday, let’s look at some of his classic performances!

Al Pacino Scarecrow

We all know Al Pacino – thanks in part to such memorable roles as the ruthless drug dealer Tony Montana from “Scarface”!

Al Pacino Scarface

Say Hello To My Little Friend!

Of course, “Scarface” is one of the greatest drug-fueled action films ever made, full of great lines like “say hello to my little friend!”

classic Scarface dialogue


Time To Check Out Early Al!

Al Pacino’s career has had many ups and downs, but in the early 70’s, Pacino gave two memorable performances in two neglected classics. Pacino’s first few films were some of his most powerful, and these two movies I’m about to discuss bookended his incredible performance as Michael Corleone in the 1972 masterpiece “The Godfather”…

al pacino the godfather

Right before he became Michael Corleone, Pacino garnered critical acclaim for his performance as a junkie in New York City…

The Panic In Needle Park

Panic+in+Needle+Park

“The Panic in Needle Park” is a 1971 film directed by Jerry Schatzberg, starring Al Pacino in only his second film appearance. Check out the trailer for this gritty classic:

Al Pacino Panic In Needle Park


New York’s “Needle Park!”

The film portrays life among a group of heroin addicts who hang out in “Needle Park” – the nicknames of Verdi Square and Sherman Square on New York City’s Upper West Side near 72nd Street and Broadway.

The Panic In Needle Park

As you can see from the poster, they don’t beat around the bush as to how rough this movie is…this is gritty film making from the early 70’s, depicting a harsh environment in the big apple…

Al Pacino

The film is a love story between Pacino, a young addict and small-time hustler, and Kitty Winn, a restless woman who finds Al charismatic. She becomes an addict, and life goes downhill for them both as their addictions worsen, eventually leading to a series of betrayals.

Al Pacino Shooting Up

To set the atmosphere, no music was used in the film, much of which features cinéma vérité-style footage. It is believed to be the first mainstream film to feature actual drug injection.

Al Pacino junkie

Francis Ford Coppola showed a screening of this film to Paramount executives in order to convince them that Al Pacino was suitable for the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather.

The Panic In Needle Park poster

After “Needle Park”, Pacino did of course get the role of Michael Corleone, and then he followed it up with this masterpiece:


“A crow isn’t afraid of a scarecrow. It laughs.”

Scarecrow

scarecrow

Pacino re-teamed with “Needle Park” Director Jerry Schatzberg for the brilliant “Scarecrow”, also starring Gene Hackman.

scarecrow

Talk about an acting master class! Gene Hackman was just a year past his Oscar-Winning Best Actor role in “The French Connection” Here he plays Max, an ex-con who’s been saving money to open a car wash in Pittsburgh.

Max: For every car, there is dirt.

Max is hitch-hiking across country, and on the way he meets Al Pacino…

Scarecrow

Pacino is Lionel, a sailor who’s returning home to the midwest to see the child born while he was at sea. Of course, they meet while hitch-hiking and decide to travel together.

Gene Hackman Scarecrow

They form an unlikely pair as the brawling Max learns a little how Lionel copes with the world: Lionel believes that the scarecrow doesn’t scare birds, but instead amuses them – birds find scarecrows funny. So Lionel believes that everything will be OK if you can just make people laugh…Hackman knows better…

Scarecrow

Gene Hackman is brilliant as a tough, tough TOUGH ex-con who has a plan, and NOTHING is going to get in his way…he also has a few hilarious quirks, such as what he likes to eat:

Max: [at the lunch counter] “Gimme a chocolate doughnut and a bottle of beer.”

Scarecrow movie

This is a real “road” movie. Before shooting, Gene Hackman and Al Pacino both dressed as hobos and hitchhiked through California to get into their characters.

Gene Hackman Scarecrow

Gene Hackman has stated that his performance in Scarecrow is his personal favorite. For Pacino, this film followed “Needle Park” and “The Godfather”, and led right into “The Godfather Part 2″…what a run of masterful acting performances!

Al Pacino

Both of these films are dark, bleak, and present a gritty look at life in America in the early 70’s – but they are brilliant – “Scarecrow” won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival…and both films are worth checking out!

If you want a more entertaining Pacini, try this:

Pacino made a great comeback in the 80’s with this erotic thriller – you can click here to see the trailer and more trivia about this terrific film:

https://johnrieber.com/2019/03/11/al-pacino-dives-into-the-sea-of-love-ellen-barkin-slays-cult-movie-monday/

And did you know that there is an Al Pacino connection to this film?

It’s a hilarious story thanks to Christina Applegate – click here to read!


https://johnrieber.com/2019/06/24/bad-moms-has-an-al-pacino-cruising-connection-cult-movie-monday-has-the-story-of-real-life-bad-moms/

If you like these stories, why not sign up to receive emails whenever I post? It’s easy to do, I do NOT collect any information about you at all, there are absolutely NO ads of any kind, just stories about movies, music, books, food, travel and pop culture…

You can sign up by clicking on my blog here and see the note on the right!

https://johnrieber.com

Happy birthday Al Pacino!



Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Awards, Cannes Film Festival, documentary films, Movies, New York, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    Celebrate Al Pacino’s 80th birthday with a few of his cult gems!

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Amazing “Heat” Reunion! DeNiro-Pacino Showdown! New Oscar Face-off! – johnrieber
  2. 54 Blocks Of Broadway! Pt.1 – Great Hot Dogs! From Needle Park To Naked Cowboys! – johnrieber
  3. Movies A-Z! Ten Amazing “P” Movies! ALL From 1968-1975! Seven Years! Ten Cult Classics! – johnrieber
  4. Movies A-Z Stops On “S”! Hilarious Drinking! Evil Darth Vader! Brad Pitt TWICE! – johnrieber

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Carpe Diem Eire

Travel Through Ireland and Europe

roughwighting

Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Geeking Out about It

BlerdWatching Waaay Too Much TV

Shock, Schlock & Leftover Film Stock

A bloody valentine to exploitation films, cult film classics, direct to video dreck and other dirty, disreputable corners of cinema history

Wheelescapades

Tea, Tours and Escapades

Times and Tides of a Beachwriter

Drift among the scribbles of writer Janet Gogerty

THE MASTER CYLINDER

This page is dedicated to all things of the past, movies, television, books, etc collected under one page if possible.

Robbie Cheadle

Books | Poems | Reviews

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

Urban Suburban Girl

(adj.) cul – de – sac couture

You can always start now

exploring possibilities

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

The Planking Traveler

planks or it didn't happen

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Binging on a Budget

"Help Me, I'm Poor."

Sunshine with Savannah

Writer aiming to cultivate kindness. | Exploring, learning, scribbling, finding sunshine wherever I go.

Notes from the U.K.

Exploring the spidery corners of a culture and the weird stuff that tourist brochures ignore.

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Colline's Blog

a potpourri of thoughts and experiences

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews & ABC Film Challenge

Cindy Bruchman

Films. Travel. Photography. Books. Let's talk.

Invisibly Me

Live A Visible Life Whatever Your Health

JR-Sploitation!

The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt

Cult Of The Cinema

Exploring Cinematic Diversity

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!

beetleypete

The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Adventures and Misadventures in Boulder, Colorado

a mindful traveler

explore, live, love...

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotronic Cinema

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists

%d bloggers like this: