Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 1973
Directed by
Jerry Schatzberg
112 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


Typical of 70s American independent film-making that brought films such as Midnight Cowboy  and The Last Detail Scarecrow is a buddy-road movie exemplifying the “outsider” sensibility that typified the period.

Al Pacino plays Francis Lionel Delbuchi, a young man who ran away to sea after getting his girlfriend pregnant. Five years on he’s hitchhiking back to Detroit to see her and the child. Along the way he meets Max (Gene Hackman) a good-natured but volatile ex-con who invites him to be his business partner in a Pittsburgh car wash he plans on opening. And so we follow their adventures

The film is well-meaning enough but Jerry Schatzberg who had directed Pacino in his first major film appearance Panic In Needle Park (in between Pacino did a little side-project called The Godfather )does a passable enough job without really bringing much of distinction to the project. Adhering ing a picareseque format he skates rather too loosely over the only strongly dramatic section, a prison sequence that comes late in the film before a hasty and rather melodramatic conclusion that needed to be better justified within the narrative to work as more than simply manipulative.

Overall, the film is probably more of interest for its Zeitgest qualities than for itself. Pacino, who at that time was very much an alternative Dustin Hoffman (evident here especially in the department store scene),is effective but it is Gene Hackman’s typically winning performance that makes it watchable.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst