Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Al: My 20 Favorite Pacino Performances


Al Pacino is celebrating his 72nd birthday today so I thought a best-of list dedicated to one of Moon in the Gutter's favorite actors was due.  What a remarkable career Alfredo James Pacino has had!  Few actors in film, stage and television history have scaled the heights Pacino has in his now more than forty-year career and, with more than half a dozen projects on the horizon, he is showing no signs of stopping.  I wish Pacino very warm birthday wishes and thank him for all of the wonderful work that has meant so much to me since I first discovered him as a teenager in the mid-eighties.  Here are my twenty favorite Al Pacino performances.  Feel free to share yours in the comment section.

1.  As Frank Serpico in Serpico (1973)

"What's this for? For bein' an honest cop? Hmm? Or for being stupid enough to get shot in the face? You tell them that they can shove it."

2.  As Sonny Wortzik in Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

"I'm a fuck-up and I'm an outcast. If you get near me you're gonna get it- you're gonna get fucked over and fucked out."

3.  As Michael Corleone in The Godfather Trilogy

"Why was I so feared, and you so loved? What was it? I was no less honorable. I wanted to do good. What betrayed me? My mind? My heart? Why do I condemn myself so? I swear, on the lives of my children: Give me a chance to redeem myself, and I will sin, no more."

4.  As Benny 'Lefty' Ruggiero in Donnie Brasco (1997)

"Who the fuck am I? Who am I? I'm a, a spoke on a wheel. And so was he, and so are you."

5.  As Steve Burns in Cruising (1980)

"There's a lot you don't know about me."

6.  As Bobby Deerfield in Bobby Deerfield (1977)

"I don't wanna scream."

7.  As Francis Lionel 'Lion' Delbuchi in Scarecrow (1973)

"A crow isn't afraid of a scarecrow. It laughs."

8.  As Carlito 'Charlie' Brigante in Carlito's Way (1993)

"The dream don't come no closer by itself. We gotta run after it now."

9.  As Johnny in Frankie and Johnny (1991)

"I want to kill myself sometimes when I think that I'm the only person in the world and that part of me that feels that way is trapped inside this body, that only bumps into other bodies, without ever connecting to the only other person in the world trapped inside of them. We have to connect. We just have to."

10.  As Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

"All I am is what I'm going after."

11.  As Arthur Kirkland in ...And Justice for All (1979)

"You raised me. You put me through law school. You're a wonderful man, Grandpa. But your son is a shit."

12.  As Lowell Bergman in The Insider (1999)

"You'd better take a *good* look, because I'm getting two things: pissed off and curious."

13.  As Tony Montana in Scarface (1983)

"You know what capitalism is? Getting fucked!
14.  As Will Dormer in Insomnia (2002)

"You're my job. You're what I'm paid to do. You're about as mysterious to me as a blocked toilet is to a fucking plumber. Reasons for doing what you did? Who gives a fuck?"

15.  As Frank Keller in Sea of Love (1989)

"Come the wet ass hour, I'm EVERYBODY'S DADDY!"

16.  As Bobby in The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

"I was gonna marry you! You think I'd marry a whore?"

17.  As Ricky Roma in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

"There's an absolute morality? Maybe. And then what? If you think there is, go ahead, be that thing. Bad people go to hell? I don't think so. If you think that, act that way. A hell exists on earth? Yes. I won't live in it. That's me."
18.  As Graham in The Local Stigmatic (1990)

"I never pay for sex, Ray, because Jesus Christ paid for our sins."

19.  As Tony D'Amato in Any Given Sunday (1999)

" And lately, I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror. You know, when you get old, in life, things get taken from you. I mean, that's... that's... that's a part of life."

20.  As Al Pacino in Looking for Richard (1996)

"A person has an opinion. It's only an opinion. It's never a question of right or wrong."


Thank you Al!

1 comment:

Will Errickson said...

I've recently come to the conclusion - after much rewatching, but could change though - that Pacino as Sonny in DOG DAY AFTERNOON is about the greatest male performance of the whole decade. There's something about him running up and down, in and out of that bank, trying to keep it all together while it all goes out of control, that I find toweringly great.