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Scarecrow (1973 film): Wikis


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original film poster
Directed by Jerry Schatzberg
Produced by Robert M. Sherman
Written by Garry Michael White
Starring Gene Hackman
Al Pacino
Eileen Brennan
Music by Fred Myrow
Cinematography Vilmos Zsigmond
Editing by Evan Lottman
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) United States 11 April 1973 (New York City only)
Running time 112 min.
Language English

Scarecrow is a 1973 road movie starring Gene Hackman and Al Pacino.



The story revolves around the odd relationship between two vagabonds: Max Milian (Gene Hackman), a short-tempered ex-convict, and Francis Lionel "Lion" Delbuchi (Al Pacino), a childlike ex-sailor. They meet on the road in California and agree to become partners in a business, once they reach Pittsburgh.

Lion is on his way to Detroit to see the child he has never met and make amends with his wife, to whom he has been sending all the money he made while at sea. Max agrees to make a detour on his way to Pittsburgh, where the bank that Max has been sending all his seed money is located. His plans are to open a car wash, with Lionel as a partner.

While visiting Max's sister in Denver, the two's antics land them in a prison work-house for a month. Max blames Lion for being sent back to jail and shuns him. Lion is befriended, then assaulted by an inmate, Riley (Richard Lynch). Max proceeds to teach Riley a lesson, rekindling his friendship with Lion.

The two have a profound effect on each other, with Lion becoming more of an adult and Max loosening up his high-strung aggression (at one point doing a tongue-in-cheek striptease to diffuse a fight at a bar). When they do finally make it to Detroit, Max has to take care of Lion, who becomes catatonic after hearing the passing of his unborn child (a lie made up by his ex-girlfriend to make Lion guilty for leaving them).



Appearance of Popular Top 40 Radio Program

Casey Kasem and his American Top 40 radio show appear briefly (audio only) in one scene.

During a telephone conversation between Pacino and a former girlfriend, viewers heard the song "The House That Jack Built" by Aretha Franklin as it played on the radio in the background, as a part of the radio show.


The film was written by first-timer Garry Michael White. The story wasn't an original. He got the idea from a friend, with a promise that the producers would cast his friend as the character "Lion." When Pacino signed on to do the movie, obviously this promise never materialized.

Although Hackman and Pacino worked well together, they clearly had different styles of acting. Pacino was more of the method actor, whereas Hackman was completely the opposite.

Director Jerry Schatzberg was not the first choice. The original director was fired, and Schatzberg was brought on board in part thanks to Pacino, who had worked with him in an earlier film, The Panic in Needle Park.


The film won the Grand Prix at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.[1][2]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Scarecrow". Retrieved 2009-04-19.  
  2. ^ "U.S. Film Shares Cannes Prize". Los Angeles Times: p. B9. 1973-05-26. "The Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix Friday was awarded jointly to the American film "Scarecrow" by Jerry Schatzberg and the British entry "The Hireling" bv Alan Bridges."  

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