Al Pacino: From Scarface To The Godfather

A talented method performer with a memorable gruff voice, he originally found success in Broadway, before taking on several unconventional movie roles. These brought him to the the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola, who cast him in the iconic part of Michael Corleone in the 1972 blockbuster “The Godfather.” His incredible performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and launched the novice Hollywood talent into a life-long career and super-stardom. In this video, WatchMojo.com takes a look back at the career of actor Al Pacino.
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Al Pacino: From Scarface To The Godfather

He is one of the greatest actors of all time, and well known for his random outbursts of yelling. Welcome to Watchmojo.com and today we’ll be taking a look at the acting career of Al Pacino.

Born on April 25th, 1940 in Eastern Harlem, New York City; Alfredo James Pacino attended the School of Performing Arts, and hoped to one day become a baseball player. Unmotivated and failing his classes, he dropped out when he was only 17. Due to this, a fight erupted with his mother, forcing him to leave home. Having previously enjoyed performing in school plays, and imitating Hollywood stars, he decided to use the money he made from low-income jobs for acting classes.

Making his start as a performer, he took part in basement plays in New York’s theatrical underground, before joining the Herbert Berghof Studio. Frequently unemployed and homeless, Pacino finally became a member of The Actors Studio, an organization for professional actors, in 1966.

A talented method performer with a memorable gruff voice, due to picking up smoking at only 9 years old, Pacino quickly found success in Broadway and landed a brief on-screen appearance in 1969’s “Me, Natalie.”

Following this, he took on the role of a heroin addict in 1971’s “The Panic in Needle Park.” This unconventional role brought him to the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola, who cast him in the iconic part of Michael Corleone in the 1972 blockbuster “The Godfather.” His incredible performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and launched the novice Hollywood talent into super-stardom.

Amazingly, despite having lamented the hellish project, which constantly held him in a state of fear that he would be fired, he suddenly found himself able to pick and choose whatever roles he wanted. Yet, he opted to throw his support behind tougher, less commercial films that he considered to be more important.

As a result, he co-starred as an ex-sailor turned businessman, opposite Gene Hackman in 1973’s “Scarecrow”, and won an Academy Award for the true-life crime story “Serpico”. This film detailed an undercover cop’s efforts to expose police corruption.

Achieving similar acclaim, he played a bank robber in “Dog Day Afternoon”, reprised his role as Michael Corleone in “The Godfather Part II”, and starred in 1979’s courtroom drama “…And Justice For All.”

Unfortunately, these hits were followed by a major slump in his career. This was due to several critical and commercial flops, including 1980’s “Cruising” and 1982’s “Author! Author!”

Returning to form, he played a vicious gangster in the cult-hit “Scarface.”

Despite this exceptionally memorable role, 1985’s problem-laden and horrifically received film project “Revolution” convinced him to return to the stage for several years.

Fortunately, he eventually lifted his self-imposed exile, and began a second phase in his career by starring as a hard-drinking cop in 1989’s “Sea of Love” and in a third installment in The Godfather series.

Venturing into less serious roles, he then appeared as crime boss Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice in “Dick Tracey”, co-starred with Michelle Pfeiffer in the romantic comedy “Frankie and Johnny”, and finally won his first Oscar for his charismatic performance as a blind man in “Scent of a Woman.”

Remaining drawn to crime dramas, he took on major roles in “Carlito’s Way”, “Heat”, “City Hall” and “Donnie Brasco.”

At the same time, he played the part of Lucifer, opposite Keanu Reeves in “The Devil’s Advocate”, and gave commanding performances in “The Insider”, “Any Given Sunday”, and 2002’s “Insomnia.”

Continuing to star in a volley of projects, including “Ocean’s Thirteen”, he announced that he would co-star opposite Hollywood heavyweights Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese’s 2011 project “The Irishman”

One of Hollywood’s most infamous bachelors and dramatic on-screen forces, Al Pacino has continually shocked critics with his continued ability to dominate the box-office, and re-solidify his place as a true Hollywood legend.
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