D: Jerry Schatzberg

Warner Bros (Robert M. Sherman)

US 1973

112 mins


W: Garry Michael White 

DP: Vilmos Zsigmond

Ed: Evan Lottman

Mus: Fred Myrow

Gene Hackman (Max Millan), Al Pacino (Francis 'Lion' Belbuchi), Eileen Brennan (Darlene), Penelope Allen (Annie), Dorothy Tristan (Coley)

Whilst British filmmakers produced several "angry young man" films throughout the late 1950's & early 1960's, the American equivalent focused on drifters, down-and-outers, degenerates and societal outcasts, mostly set on the road. Examples of this include Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces and this, which didn't quite receive the same attention as the aforementioned.

Gene Hackman & Al Pacino play the buddy partnership in this, Hackman as ill-tempered ex-convict Max and Pacino as homeless former sailor, 'Lion'. The two men travel together from the West Coast towards Pittsburgh, where they aim to open a business together, but their journey has its pitfalls, particularly when the duo find themselves in bother with the law.

It's all a rather morose story that builds to an incredibly downbeat ending, but the performances from the two leads are excellent and the film is blessed with believable dialogue & characters.

Unfortunately, it flopped upon release, but did go on to become a cult favourite, as well as winning the Palme D'Or at Cannes Film Festival.


Al Pacino & Gene Hackman in Scarecrow
Al Pacino & Gene Hackman in Scarecrow