SCARECROW (1973)

(VOD) I am a sucker for films that put fragile masculinity on display, and not only does this film have it in spades, but you have Gene Hackman and Al Pacino doing all of the leg work! Long story short: Hackman is a repeat violent offender who randomly meets Pacino, a jokey people-pleaser, on the road. They become ill-suited partners trying to work towards their specific endpoints: Hackman wants to set up a car wash in Minneapolis. Pacino wants to indulge him, but first wants to deliver a lamp to his estranged son. Matters escalate.

SCARECROW was directed by Jerry Schatzberg, who previously helmed an adaptation of THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK (the screenplay happened to co-written by Joan Didion), and it was a breakout role for Pacino. With SCARECROW, Pacino brings a vulnerability and heart to his role that he rarely exudes. Hackman is a surprisingly nasty piece of work, steamrolling through scenes, but you can sense far more behind his actions than simply being a vicious bastard.