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Scarecrow (1973)

R | | Drama | 11 April 1973 (USA)
3:15 | Trailer
Max, an ex-con drifter with a penchant for brawling is amused by Lion, a homeless ex-sailor, and they partner up as they head east together.


Jerry Schatzberg
4 wins. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Gene Hackman ... Max
Al Pacino ... Lion
Dorothy Tristan ... Coley
Ann Wedgeworth ... Frenchy
Richard Lynch ... Riley
Eileen Brennan ... Darlene
Penelope Allen ... Annie (as Penny Allen)
Richard Hackman Richard Hackman ... Mickey
Al Cingolani Al Cingolani ... Skipper
Rutanya Alda ... Woman in camper
Learn more

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Max is an ex-con who's been saving money to open a car wash in Pittsburgh. Lionel is a sailor who's returning home to the midwest to see the child born while he was at sea. They form an unlikely pair as the brawling Max learns a little how Lionel copes with the world: Lionel believes that the scarecrow doesn't scare birds, but instead amuses them - birds find scare-crows funny. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


John D. Rockefeller. J.P. Morgan. Andrew Carnegie. Max and Lion. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Near the end of 'Blazing Saddles (1974)' when Cleavon Little is riding his horse as he is escaping out of the front gate of the Warner Brothers lot, you can see the poster for this film in the top right hand side of the screen, above the "Martino's" delivery truck, on the wall of the studio. See more »


Lion: It's going to be ladies night every Monday night of the week!
See more »


Referenced in Supporting Characters (2012) See more »


(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Written by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, and Jerry Wexler
Performed by Aretha Franklin
See more »

User Reviews

Exemplary performances by Hackman and Pacino
17 August 2001 | by Swift-12See all my reviews

Starring AL PACINO and GENE HACKMAN, these are very different kinds of roles for both of them. I rate these performances as good as any other by either star. Plus they work fantastically well with one another. Why haven't we seen more Hackman/Pacino pairings?

They play down-and-outters, nearly on the level of bums... but they have a goal: To start a business with some money saved up by Hackman's roughneck character. The Ultimate Loner, he only accepts the good-natured Pacino as a partner because... well, you should see it for yourself. I'll just say that they meet on opposite sides of a country road while trying to hitch-hike. The surly Hackman views the flaky Pacino as competition for a ride and silently rejects him. After all his hyper-active attempts at friendliness are rebuffed, Pacino makes one simple gracious gesture that wins over Hackman.

The title has to do with an attitude, an approach towards life. Pacino states that a Scarecrow is successful in its life's mission, not by using fear and intimidation against the crows, but because it is humorous, and the crow's respond graciously for the good laugh by leaving alone his crop of corn.

And our two main characters represent these two opposing approaches to life. It's amazing to see them transform and morph into one another, to adopt the other's philosophy. The pessimist begins to soften up, and the optimist loses his most precious dream. Pacino even LOOKS like a Scarecrow by the last Act of the film.

Pacino's final scene is heart-wrenching. The closing images of Hackman in a bus station are perfect. He has to scrounge up a couple more bucks for a ticket but comes up short. While the impatient teller tries to shuffle him aside to help other people in line, Hackman digs out the last few beans... I won't give away the details, but his victorious expression in the end is priceless.

I think this is one of the most overlooked/under-rated films of the 70's. But I include it as one of my favorite films of the 70's on its own merits (not just to somehow "correct" an oversight of the rest of the fans). It possesses a greater depth of psychology/allegory/symbolism than most people give it credit for. Beware any edited-for-tv version. The language is salty but essential. Also, the wide-screen cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond (aspect ratio of 2.35 : 1) might suffer in pan-and-scan.

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Release Date:

11 April 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scarecrow See more »


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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


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Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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