Happy birthday to Mr. Al Pacino,75 years completed today.
Al Pacino, a name which has long been associated with cold-blooded murder and villainous roles in some of the most historic movies of Hollywood, is an epoch-making star who took acting to a whole new level. He is often been counted among one of the most legendary villains of Hollywood, known for his extremely riveting portrayals of antagonists. But then, playing negative roles are not his only forte as his acting abilities know no boundaries.
He is a resourceful actor who fits into the shoes of any character he is assigned to play. Be it a romantic or a comic role, he does it all with finesse. A brilliant actor with a unique style, Mr. Pacino, has set landmarks with almost every film he has worked in. Charming and appealing, young Pacino was not one of those actors, who believed good-looks were only associated with protagonists. He chose to play characters, who were handsome, attractive and charismatic, but evil. He belongs to the generation of actors who challenged the conventions and changed the face of modern day cinema through their sheer brilliance and hard work.
Alfredo James Pacino was born in New York City on April 25, 1940. Growing up in East Harlem and the Bronx, Mr. Pacino moved to Greenwich Village at the age of 19 to pursue acting. There, on Bank Street, he began studying the art form at the Herbert Berghof Studio, and soon began landing parts in theatre productions, including Out There in 1963. Several years later, in 1969, Al Pacino performed in the Broadway play 'Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie ?', for which he received a Tony Award—as well as 'Me, Natalie', a coming-of-age film about a young woman living in New York City.
Mr. Pacino was cast as Bobby in the film 'The Panic in Needle Park', which was released in 1971, and met with little fame until several years later. The film noir details the lives of several heroin addicts who congregate in New York City's "Needle Park." Following this performance, Pacino significantly advanced his career in the early 1970s, when he met and began working with director Francis Ford Coppola.
Al Pacino starred as Michael in 'The Godfather', an American gangster film that was released in 1972. The film received wide critical acclaim, winning three Academy Awards. The performance propelled Pacino into Hollywood stardom. The following year, in 1973, he starred as the character Francis Lionel "Lion" Delbuchi in 'Scarecrow', a film about the endearing partnership of an ex-con and a homeless man; and as Frank Serpico in Serpico, a film about real-life New York police officer who was betrayed by his fellow officers when he uncovered illegaly activity within the department.
In 1974, he reunited with Coppola for the second part of the Godfather series, the Academy Award-winning 'The Godfather: Part II', again playing Michael. A year later, he hit the big screen again, with 'Dog Day Afternoon', the story of a bank robbery that escalates into a hostage situation. Pacino plays Sonny Wortzik in the film.
In 1990, Pacino came back for the third and final Godfather series film, 'The Godfather, Part III.' That same year, he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, for his role in Dick Tracy. The '90s proved to be a strong decade for Pacino, as he worked continously on big films, including 'Frankie and Johnny' (1991); 'Glengarry Glen Ross' (1992); 'Scent of a Woman' (1992); 'Carlito's Way' (1993); 'Heat' (1995); Donnie Brasco (1997); 'The Devil's Advocate' (1997); and 'Any Given Sunday' (1999).
At the turn of the century, Mr. Pacino turned 60. Despite having dozens of film appearances under his belt by that time, his career didn't slow down. In 2002, he starred as a homicide detective alongside Robin Williams in 'Insomnia', a film about a young woman's mysterious murder; as well as in 'People I Know', in which he plays press agent Eli Wurman. Five years later, in 2007, he played a part in the blockbuster hit 'Ocean's Thirteen.' Mr. Pacino received public and critical acclaim, including an Emmy Award and Golden Globe—for his role as Dr. Jack Kevorkian, an assisted-suicide advocate, in the 2010 TV movie 'You Don’t Know Jack.' He most recently starred in a 2013 HBO biographical picture about record producer Phil Spector's murder trial, titled 'Phil Spector.'
Released in 1983, "Scarface" takes its title from the 1932 Howard Hawks movie, which was inspired by the career of Al Capone. That Hawks film was the most violent gangster film of its time, and this film by Brian DePalma also has been surrounded by a controversy over its violence, but in both movies the violence grows out of the lives of the characters; it isn't used for thrills but for a sort of harrowing lesson about self-destruction. Both movies are about the rise and fall of a gangster, and they both make much of the hero's neurotic obsession with his sister, but the 1983 "Scarface" isn't a remake, and it owes more to "The Godfather" than to Hawks.
The interesting thing is the way Tony Montana stays in the memory, taking on the dimensions of a real, tortured person. Most thrillers use interchangeable characters, and most gangster movies are more interested in action than personality, but "Scarface" is one of those special movies, like "The Godfather," that is willing to take a flawed, evil man and allow him to be human. Maybe it's no coincidence that Montana is played by Al Pacino, the same actor who played Michael Corleone.
"Scarface" understands this criminal personality, with its links between laziness and ruthlessness, grandiosity and low self-esteem, pipe dreams and a chronic inability to be happy. It's also an exciting crime picture, in the tradition of the 1932 movie. And, like the "Godfather" movies, it's a gallery of wonderful supporting performances: Steven Bauer as a sidekick, Michelle Pfeiffer as a woman whose need for drugs leads her from one wrong lover to another, Robert Loggia as a mob boss who isn't quite vicious enough, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, as Pacino's kid sister who wants the right to self-destruct in the manner of her own choosing. The rise and fall of Tony Montana should be watched and appreciated by all. #AlPacino #Happybirthday#Actor #TonyMontana#Scarface #Movies#80sMovies #CrimeDrama