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  • 4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

In 1973, after shooting ‘The Godfather’ with Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino went back to work with Jerry Schatzberg, the director with whom he made ‘The Panic in Needle Park’ two years before. ‘Scarecrow’ gives us two dotty outsiders, Francis (Pacino), nicknamed ‘Lion’ , an impressionable sailor with a childish grin back from sea, and Max (Gene Hackman), a superficially more worldly character who’s just served six years in San Quentin jail and insists on wearing too many clothes. Both are drifters and dreamers: Max wants to start a carwash; Lion carries a lamp in a box as a gift for a child he’s never met. Their strange pairing, thrown together on a dusty road at the beginning of the film, nods at other outsider male hook-ups, like ‘Waiting for Godot’, ‘Withnail and I’ and ‘Midnight Cowboy’, and ‘Scarecrow’ feels like an existential fairytale squarely rooted in the reality of America’s fraying backroads and small towns. It’s all a little rambling and anarchic, but later scenes in a jail have real bite. And when the sadness behind Lion’s smile is revealed, it’s also genuinely moving.

Written by Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Rated:18
  • Release date:Friday 26 April 2013
  • Duration:112 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Jerry Schatzberg
  • Screenwriter:Garry Michael White
  • Cast:
    • Gene Hackman
    • Al Pacino
    • Dorothy Tristan
    • Ann Wedgeworth
    • Richard Lynch
    • Eileen Brennan
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