""Scarecrow" is another example as to why the seventies were a great decade for filmmaking. Studios were willing to take a chance on dicey material and stars would eschew their vanity for the sake of art. For a while I thought this film was adrift like it's two main characters Max(Gene Hackman) and Lion (Al Pacino). It's around the midway point of this film that these characters start shedding layers of their respective psyches like the copious clothes that Max wears. The film turns poignant and ultimately tragic and a little hopeful. For me to reveal the details of the plot would be a disservice to any potential viewers so trust me that you will be rewarded. Needless to say both Hackman and Pacino are superb here. The film is beautifully photographed by master cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. Credit director Jerry Schatzberg for taking us on an odyssey with two fascinating, albeit lost, souls."
Great underseen film
J. Moser | Austin, TX USA | 07/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is somewhat experimental, yes, but if you like Hackman or Pacino, you will go for this film because it rides on the strength of their collective talents. It's sort of like Of Mice and Men meets Waiting for Godot. Can you imagine two huge movie stars (Hackman and Pacino both in their absolute prime) playing two drifters in a low-budget film like this today? These are great, uncharacteristic performances by both men. In its visual style (lots of long takes and jump cuts) and story arc (or lack thereof) you can see why this film would appeal so much to French audiences (it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes). Therefore, if you detest French cinema, you probably won't like this film much. If you enjoy great acting, though, you will love Scarecrow."
An Overlooked Gem
David Baldwin | 11/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The gift of a "last match" sparks a friendship between two drifters. Max (Gene Hackman), an ex-con, is a tough, cynical, angry man ("I don't love anybody, I don't trust anybody, and I can tear the ass out of an elephant"). Lionel (Al Pacino), recently back from sea, moves at a different tempo. His theory is that laughter is the key (the farmer's scarecrow makes the crows laugh, so they leave him alone out of appreciation).Lionel's generosity with the match brings the two diverse characters together, and soon Max reveals his plan to open a car wash in Pittsburgh, and invites "Lion" to "go in bidness" with him. So, they're off to Pennsylvania, with two stops along the way -- a visit to Max's sister in Denver, and then up to Detroit for a confrontation between Lionel and the pregnant girl he abandoned.Their contradictory personalities act as a magnet that pulls each towards a middle ground, as Max begins to soften in the warmth of his newfound friendship, and events occur that cause Lionel to question his "scarecrow" theory.Hackman creates an unforgettable character in Max. I've seen most of his work, which obviously includes the award-winning performance in "The French Connection", and this is his best. I think that there is a lot of Gene Hackman infused into "Max", I see pieces of this character in all of his other roles. That's not to slight Al Pacino, who does a fine job as the diminutive Lionel, moving towards a critical and uncertain reunion. This film grows on you, like a friendship. It has been largely ignored, and deserves a better fate."
Finally this great film is out on DVD it's about time.
Carlos Rodriguez | 08/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is without a doubt a lost gem that never found an audience like the description reads. This little seen movie was one of the best acting vehicles for its stars. Gene Hackman and Al Pacino deliver great and heartfelt performances as two drifters who are seen as losers and they themselves especially Lion, Pacino's character thinks of himself as one of them. This film reminded me of John Steinbeck's classic novel "Of Mice and Men" who was brought to the screen in 1994 with Gary Sinise and John Malkovich in the title roles. Pacino is Lenny in my eyes as he has the same innocent and childlike behavior that Lenny has in the film and story. Hackman is George, the strong of the two who is less of a dreamer and more practical than Pacino's character. The two of them although at odds with each other during most of the course of the movie did not get along when they were filming this classic film. They argued and disagreed a lot on the set from what I have it read... however you never saw a bit of animosity between the two of them as their superb acting and professionalism shone through out the film. If you have never seen this movie... this would be a good opportunity to purchase this film and see not only a great, classic movie of the 1970's but also the highlight for me anyway... is two see two masters of the acting craft battle it out in front of your eyes with their amazing gift and talent. SCARECROW,is a winner and you won't be disappointed to add this classic movie to your collection. Special thanks go to the company that decided to finally release this great film on DVD it was about time."
A forgotten gem
Carlos Rodriguez | 08/12/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favorite Gene Hackman performance, and it's definitely the most offbeat work Pacino has ever done. Together, they're enormously funny and touching, and I dare you not to be moved by the last 15 minutes. A hard movie to shake, but why would anyone want to?"