Scarecrow (1973 film)
original film poster
|Directed by||Jerry Schatzberg|
|Produced by||Robert M. Sherman|
|Written by||Garry Michael White|
|Music by||Fred Myrow|
|Edited by||Evan Lottman|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|April 11, 1973 (New York City only)|
|Box office||$4,000,000 (US/ Canada rentals)|
The story revolves around the relationship between two vagabonds: Max Millan (Gene Hackman), a short-tempered ex-convict, and Francis Lionel "Lion" Delbuchi (Al Pacino), a childlike ex-sailor. They meet on the road in California and agree to become partners in a car wash business, once they reach Pittsburgh.
Lion is on his way to Detroit to see the child he has never met and make amends with his wife Annie, to whom he has been sending all the money he made while at sea. Max agrees to make a detour on his way to Pittsburgh, where the bank that Max has been sending all his seed money is located.
While visiting Max's sister in Denver, the pair's antics land them in a prison farm for a month. Max blames Lion for being sent back to jail and shuns him. Lion is befriended by an inmate named Riley (Richard Lynch), who later tries to sexually assault him. Max proceeds to teach Riley a lesson, rekindling his friendship with Lion. The two have a profound effect on each other, with Lion becoming more of an adult and Max loosening up his high-strung aggression (at one point doing a tongue-in-cheek striptease to defuse a fight at a bar).
When they finally make it to Detroit, Lion calls Annie, who is now remarried and raising their five-year-old son. She is still angry at him for leaving her, and spitefully lies to him that she miscarried their son. Lion is devastated, but feigns happiness at having a son. Shortly afterward, he has a breakdown while playing with neighborhood children and becomes catatonic. Max promises Lion that he will do anything to help him, and boards a train to Pittsburgh with a round-trip ticket.
- Gene Hackman as Max Millan
- Al Pacino as Francis Lionel "Lion" Delbuchi
- Eileen Brennan as Darlene
- Dorothy Tristan as Coley
- Ann Wedgeworth as Frenchy
- Richard Lynch as Riley
- Penelope Allen as Annie Gleason
- Richard Hackman as Mickey Grenwood
- Al Cingolani as Skipper
- Rutanya Alda as Woman in camp
- Penelope Allen plays the mother of Pacino's son in Scarecrow. She would next appear as the head teller of the bank that Pacino robs in Dog Day Afternoon.
- Gene Hackman's brother Richard appears as Mickey in the film.
Awards and criticism
In a review of the film from the time of its 2013 re-release, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian described the film as "a freewheeling masterpiece", describing Hackman and Pacino as giving "the performances of their lives".
- "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, January 9, 1974 p 19
- "Festival de Cannes: Scarecrow". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
- "U.S. Film Shares Cannes Prize". Los Angeles Times. May 26, 1973. p. B9.
The Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix Friday was awarded jointly to the American film "Scarecrow" by Jerry Schatzberg and the British entry "The Hireling" bv Alan Bridges.
- "Scarecrow". the Guardian. April 25, 2013. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
- Biskind, Peter. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. Simon & Schuster. p. 15. ISBN 9780684857084.