Lucky 13 Film Club: September Topic

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Wow! September 13 will wrap up a YEAR of Lucky 13 Film Club discussions. You are all invited to participate in the grand finale. Join Glaswegian movie buff, Mark from MARKEDMOVIES, and I as we consider Al Pacino. What’s the angle? We’re concentrating on an older Pacino who was a mentor to the younger, rising star.  As Mark told me in an email:

“He was well into his 50’s but seemed to consistently pair-up with actors in their 30’s. Not just any younger actor, though. These were actors that were just hitting their stride; Sean Penn in Carlito’s Way (1993), John Cusack in City Hall (1996), Keanu Reeves  in The Devil’s Advocate (1997), Johnny Depp in Donnie Brasco (1997) and Russell Crowe in The Insider (1999). It’s a trait he would continue later on in 2003 with Colin Farrell in The Recruit, Matthew McConaughey in Two For Money (2005) and Channing Tatum in The Son of No One (2011)–although, the last two films are better off forgotten about.”

I would add Chris O’Donnell in The Scent of a Woman (1992).  We suggest you revisit one with fresh eyes or try one to rectify the blindspot. Come back on the 13th and share your thoughts about Al’s mentor relationships in film.  

34 thoughts on “Lucky 13 Film Club: September Topic

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  1. I just revisited your Oscar Isaac/ Pacino post to remind myself what I wrote then. Looking forward to L13FC, where my comments will be along the same lines.
    Best wishes, Pete.


      1. For short we are known as Weegies (pronounced Wee-jees).

        The name Glasgow itself means “Dear Green Place”. It’s also known as The Windy City and in our own slang, Glaswegians often refer to it as “Glesga”.

        Just thought I’d add that! Lol 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Terrific topic. All of your examples are fascinating – and here is one the other direction: Gene Hackman giving a young Al Pacino an acting lesson in “Scarecrow” – little known gem from the early 70’s…


    1. Oh yes!!! I wanted to watch Scarecrow just the other day. It’s on my god-forsaken-mighty-5-foot-long-list of films I need to see. What a sweet alternate angle. I’ll watch it and we can talk about that! Thanks, John.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Is the pairing of Pacino with young actors hitting their stride a function of Pacino’s intention or is it the function of a director or producer pairing the two. We all learn from one another, but the significance of Pacino’s mentoring can only be assessed by such as Penn, Cusack, Reeves, Depp and others. We might, though, notice changes in acting style, etc. Did the craft of these young actors significantly change after being paired with Pacino or did their careers simply continue a trajectory already in progress?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great question, sir! It’s something I briefly touch upon in my contribution to the post on the 13th.

      I believe it’s a mixture of the two. I do think that director’s and Producers have seen the potential in the pairings but Pacino has been open about his reasons for working with younger actors. And it is simply down to it still being a learning process for him.

      The trajectory of the younger actors would probably have progressed regardless (Young Chris O’Donnell being an exception, unfortunately). That said, I think the likes of Depp, Penn and especially Crowe have never been better when they worked with Al. It could even be argued that Keanu Reeves really raised his game as well.


  4. Very few clunkers in Al’s garage. Amazing career. Still commands the screen when he’s in the frame. Great Actor with Star Power.
    But has never made a Western. ?
    Did you know that he played Mark Antony (Julius Caesar) on stage in 1988?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Early on, I couldn’t have envisioned Pacino in a Western, but now…..A hard bitten rancher on a dried out prairie with nothing to which to look forward? Maybe a seen it all gambler? I don’t know, today could he play John Wayne’s part in The Shootist?


      1. Ha! I could, too. I just watched The Shootist last night! No, I can’t see Al playing the Duke’s role. But I could see him as a Civil War officer or as a Gene Hackman-ish bad guy.


        1. Well, maybe The Shootist was over reaching a bit. The words “tired” and “beat up” come to mind so how about Lee Marvin’s part in the original Monte Walsh. Maye not. Perhaps he is just too strongly associated with an urban world that nothing else will work.


          1. Oh, yes, I can see Al Pacino playing in any of the roles played by Humphrey Bogart. How about Al Pacino and Meryl Streep in The African Queen. It is not a Western, but what a casting.


          2. How about Key Largo with DiCaprio playing Edward G. Robinson’s part and Paltrow playing that of Lauren Bacall. What would Casablanca be like with Pacino playing the part of Rick? Then, there is The Petrified Forest. I think that Pacino could play a far more menacing Duke Mantee than Bogart did, but could today’s audience identify with an isolated desert diner?


          3. Great questions, Allen! I thought all evening about Al playing Bogart roles. Bogart, though, was quiet and rhythmic in his delivery. Al is more of a scene chewer and bombastic. Still, an interesting idea….

            Liked by 1 person

      2. He’s aged well. Not all Actors do.
        I don’t know that he’s Typecast? – which maybe has limited him from getting offers to do a Western? His accent??
        Maybe he just doesn’t like Westerns. LoL!
        No matter. I can much of his work over and over again.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Most actors with lengthy careers have attempted at least one. I think Al Pacino starring in a Martin Scorsese film is more likely than seeing Pacino with badge in a shootout on a dusty road. Both situations seem logical but they haven’t happened yet!


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