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Pacino's lone Oscar came via his turn as the blind, crabby and suicidal Lt. Frank Slade (retired), in Martin Brest's Scent of a Woman. While some view Pacino's win as simply a reward for past snobbery, there is no doubt that his performance was worthy of the Oscar, regardless.

Volatile yet touching; over the top yet engaging; Pacino turns on the charm and channels his rage spectacularly, while also effectively portraying his character's deep emotional conflict.




No other film perfectly portrays Pacino's penchant for chewing up and spitting out a script, then in director James Foley's film adaptation of David Mamet's wordy play, Glengarry Glen Ross.

Working amongst a super talented cast, Pacino's natural charisma and magnificent delivery of Mamet's rhythmic, curse filled script earned him a supporting Oscar nomination (the films lone acting nom), as well as the chance to bring about his love for the stage onto the silver screen.



Working alongside an in top form Russell Crowe as whistler blower Jeffrey Wigand, Pacino is right at home playing a crusading 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman who battles against corporate intimidation, while trying to expose the corrupt nature of the big tobacco via a taped interview.

With his ferocious intensity used to devastating effect, (without resorting to his particular brand of over the top theatrics), Pacino delivers a performance reminiscent of his early work, yet backed by a wisdom he could not muster during his formative years.



Pacino's turn as Cuban exile turned ruthless cocaine kingpin, Tony Montana is definitely his most celebrated performance. Dialing his patented ferocity up to 11 while dropping a cascade of f-bombs through a think Cuban accent, Pacino delivers a fantastically entertaining performance, which has become an enterprise on its own.



Pacino has portrayed several gangsters in his career, yet none as pitiful as Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero. Playing mentor to Johnny Depp's FBI mole, Pacino lays down the ground rules on how to be a wise guy with goombah frankness and key comedic timing.



Pacino's second collaboration with director Brian De Palma is no mere Scarface clone. Rather, it is an astute noir, which focuses on the redemption of reformed drug dealer Carlito Brigante, played by Pacino with style, passion, and an infectious cool.



While Paramount top dog Robert Evans pushed for big name stars to play conflicted mafia son Michael Corleone, director Francis Ford Coppola pushed for Pacino to be cast in the titular role, despite having only one film behind him (The Panic in Needle Park).

Regardless, both Coppola and Pacino pressed on, the end result: an extraordinary turn from Pacino which launched his film career, and helped The Godfather become one of the most acclaimed films of all time.


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Sonny Wortzwick was a character so bizarre and fascinating, that it is hard to believe that he was based on a real life figure. Playing a bumbling bank robber, who attempts to rob a Brooklyn bank in order to pay for his gay lover's sex change operation, Pacino puts on a dazzling acting exhibition, swinging from dark comedy to tragic drama in an instant, and never misses a beat while doing so.



Pacino is an actor who excels in playing characters who have their backs against the wall. And his portrayal as real life figure Frank Serpico proves the point.

Here we see Pacino simply evolve on the screen -visually and emotionally - from fresh faced rookie cop, to grizzled police outcast. It is a spellbinding performance which catapulted Pacino into the stratosphere, and secured his stature as an actor to be seen and learn from.



Continuing with Michael's transition from conflicted mafia son to cold mafia don, The Godfather Part II displays Michael's descent into darkness with a cold clarity and morally ambiguous tone.

Struck with constant tragedy and betrayal, Michael retreats within himself until he becomes nothing more than a hardened shell containing a black soul. Considering that he is an actor who excels in playing extraverts, Pacino plays the role with an astonishing and eerie restraint.

The popular consensus is that Pacino's commanding voice is his key strength, yet it is his ability to express himself with his eyes that truly separates him from the peers. De Niro may have perfected the art of the blank stare, yet Pacino's eyes are able to convey emotions which dialogue and body language would fail to communicate. And for a character like Michael Corleone, his eyes are definitely the gateway to his dark soul.



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