Jerry SchatzbergUSA112 minutes1973ColourEnglish
Although it starred Gene Hackman (two years off his Oscar win for The French Connection) and Al Pacino (fresh off his starmaking turn in The Godfather), this touching tale of male friendship sank at the box office. (Pacino rebounded later that year with the smash success of Serpico, which also screens this season.) Meeting cute on the road, itinerant ex-con Max (Hackman) and landlocked sailor "Lion" (Pacino) become fast friends as they head east, where Lion hopes to mend fences with his wife and young son and Max is set on opening a car wash. A stint in a prison farm has a traumatic effect on the fragile Lion, and boastful loudmouth Max gradually discovers his gentler nature as he tends to his psychologically wounded friend. Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, Scarecrow is "a freewheeling masterpiece … a jewel of American cinema" (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian).