Scarecrow (1973)

“The road leads itself to somewhere.” An offbeat road movie bolstered by the outstanding performances of its two stars, Scarecrow highlights the unlikely friendship between a pair of drifters: “Max Millan” (Gene Hackman), a short-tempered ex-con who dreams of opening a car wash in Pittsburgh, and “Francis ‘Lion’ Delbuchi” (Al Pacino), a whimsical ex-sailor headed to Detroit to see the child he has never met. Through a series of crazy antics, the duo ends up on a prison work farm. Hackman once described Scarecrow as a “mixture of Midnight Cowboy and Of Mice and Men.” Pacino later called it “the greatest script I have ever read.” The excellent supporting cast includes Dorothy Tristan as “Coley,” Ann Wedgeworth as “Frenchy,” Eileen Brennan as “Darlene,” Richard Lynch as “Riley” and Penelope Allen as “Annie Gleason.” In addition, Hackman’s brother, Richard, appeared in a bit role as “Mickey Greenwood.” Directed by Jerry Schatzberg, the film shared the Palme d’Or with The Hireling at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. However, it was a box office failure. Schatzberg had previously directed Pacino in The Panic in Needle Park (1971). Wedgeworth appeared on the TV series Three’s Company as the amorous “Lana Shields” opposite John Ritter’s “Jack Tripper.”

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