Next month, the iconic Hollywood actor Al Pacino visits the United Kingdom to take part in ‘An Evening With…’ events in both London and Glasgow. I will be hoping to grasp the opportunity to ask him a question about his hugely impressive career. Until then, let’s celebrate how much of a talent he is, and reflect on the film performances that helped make him the legend he is today.
‘Say hello to my little friend’ is arguably one of the most quotable lines in cinema culture, epitomising the egotistical drug-lord Tony Montana whom Al Pacino played in Brian De Palma’s crime thriller ‘Scarface’. It is set to be remade in the coming years but I doubt any actor of today could match the sheer screen presence of Pacino in his heyday.
In a rare good-guy appearance, Al Pacino brilliantly took the eponymous part of patrolman Frank Serpico in Sidney Lumet’s police corruption drama. Sick and tired of the constant pay-offs taken by his cheating colleagues in the force, he goes out to expose his co-workers, but at what cost does justice come at?
3. Godfather Part I
In the performance that launched him into the limelight, he is the soft-spoken youngest son of Don Vito Corleone in the first instalment of Francis Ford Coppola’s mafia trilogy ‘The Godfather’. His cool, calm and collected exterior is put to the test when the safety and well-being of his family is threatened, and he takes drastic action.
2. Dog Day Afternoon
In a ‘how not to rob a bank’ masterclass, Al Pacino co-stars as hapless dreamer Sonny Wortzik alongside John Cazale, who plays his on-screen brother in the entries that sandwich this one in the list. Sidney Lumet directs again and we see another side to Pacino where his character quickly loses control of a high-intensity situation and he is forced to face the consequences of his foolish decision-making.
1. The Godfather II
In the second part of Coppola’s gangster epic, the reserved youngster from the original becomes a fully fledged boss of the crime family, and will stop at nothing to keep his empire and his reputation intact. The transformation of Michael Corleone goes a long way to showcase the colossal talent of Al Pacino, and is recognised as one of the greatest character arcs in film history.