Today is the 74th birthday of Hollywood acting royalty Al Pacino. To celebrate, here's an unofficial look at the stand-out performances from Pacino's extensive filmography, spanning from his fine 70s ass to the messier, but still legendary contemporary era.
10. Carlito's Way (1993)
Pacino teams up with renowned hack Brian De Palma for a less over the top endeavour than the more famous Scarface for a tale about a reformed drug convict in New York City doing his best to to stay clean, despite all the evil forces pulling him in the other direction.
9. The Panic in Needle Park (1971)
Al Pacino's tragic, but nuanced debut film performance as a heroin addict trapped in New York City's infamous needle park, a role that ultimately brought him to the attention of Francis Ford Coppola who would propel him into overnight stardom with the role of Michael Corleone.
8. Heat (1995)
Pacino plays Lt. Vincent Hanna alongside De Niro's burgling ass Neil McCauley in a film that is all worth it for the fact that it gives us one of the finest examples of acting from two legendary actors. Hanna, a police officer, and McCauley, a bank robber discover in the end the two of them, despite their divergent occupations, have far more in common than either of them could have expected.
7. Scent of a Woman (1992)
The film, where Pacino plays a blind lieutenant, gave the actor his 8th Oscar nomination, and finally gave him a win, almost twenty years after his first nod for The Godfather.
6. Scarface (1983)
Alongside Michael Corleone, the role of Tony Montana remains Pacino's most iconic to date and probably the role that makes so many see him as a hyped up, yelling machine. The performance is quite a transition from the quiet evil that defined his earlier performances.
5. Serpico (1973)
Based on the true story of Frank Serpico, this film helped cement Pacino's place as one of the most important actors in the new Hollywood era playing an honest cop who tries to infiltrate widespread corruption in the NYPD.
4. ... And Justice For All (1979)
A subpar film that was made abundantly better by an extraordinary performance, Pacino plays an idealistic lawyer who fights against the imbedded corruption in the US legal system.
3. Scarecrow (1973)
Sadly, this movie is a rather overlooked gem not only from Pacino's filmography, but from 70s cinema. The film stars Pacino and Gene Hackman as two polar opposite road travellers who head east together towards new adventures. Pacino plays a comical, loveable but failing father, quite a departure from the homicidal maniacs Pacino is known for.
2. The Godfather (Parts I and II)
I choose to forget about the mess that was part III, so lets focus on the parts that matter. It's almost impossible to believe that the role that made Al one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood was one he almost didn't get. Director Francis Ford Coppola fought what felt like an endless battle with studio execs. to secure Pacino the role. Pacino wasn't a 'Hollywood star' at the time, nor with his small stature and frame did he look like one, and this wasn't pleasing to the studio.
1. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Most definitely my favourite Pacino role to date. Pacino plays Sonny Wortzik who robs a bank to get money for his lover's sex-change operation. The role was a bold choice for Pacino where playing anything but straight in Hollywood still wasn't a totally commonplace practice. The film is seeped in realism to almost resemble a documentary with the lifelike performances of its actors and lack of score. Pacino's performance and the film itself is a great achievement in cinema.
Mods, no source as I put this list together myself. Happy birthday, Al!