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Bobby Deerfield (1977)

Bobby Deerfield, a famous American race car driver on the European circuit, falls in love with the enigmatic Lillian Morelli, who is terminally ill.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Alvin Sargent (screenplay), Erich Maria Remarque (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Bobby
Marthe Keller ... Lillian
Anny Duperey ... Lydia
Walter McGinn Walter McGinn ... The Brother
Van Doude ... The Flutist
Gérard Hernandez Gérard Hernandez ... Carlos Del Montanaro
Stephan Meldegg Stephan Meldegg ... Karl Holtzmann
Norm Nielsen Norm Nielsen ... The Magician (as Norm Nielson)
Romolo Valli ... Uncle Luigi
Jaime Sánchez ... Delvecchio (as Jaime Sanchez)
Mickey Knox ... Tourist
Dorothy James Dorothy James ... Tourist
Guido Alberti Guido Alberti ... Priest In The Garden
Monique Lejeune Monique Lejeune ... Catherine Modave
Steve Gadler Steve Gadler ... Bertrand Modave
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Storyline

Bobby Deerfield, a famous American race car driver on the European circuit, falls in love with the enigmatic Lillian Morelli, who is terminally ill. Written by Jeanne Armintrout <jeannee@uwyo.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He had to meet her - to find himself! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

3 November 1977 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Um Momento, Uma Vida See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$9,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital (DVD version)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Real-life racing car driver José Carlos Pace doubled for Al Pacino in the car racing scenes. Billed as Carlos Pace in the credits, Pace is credited as being a Formula 1 car driver on this 1977 movie. Tragically, Pace was killed in a plane crash in Sao Paulo, just after the beginning of the 1977 season. Pace was 32. This film was dedicated to him. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Bobby Deerfield: She sailed at the dawning...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in El rediezcubrimiento de México (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Boo-Hoo!
Music by Carmen Lombardo and John Jacob Loeb
Words by Edward Heyman
Sung by Al Pacino and Marthe Keller
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Heaven Has No Favorites
19 December 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When Bobby Deerfield was marketed in the USA it was sold to the public as a racing picture like Grand Prix or Le Mans. I well remember the advertisements for it. The European racing scene however is only a background for an Erich Maria Remarque novel on which the film is based. It is a very typical Remarque story about doomed people.

Remarque was one of the most pessimistic of 20th century writers. His best known work however usually has a war background. He spent his entire life trying to out do his first great success All Quiet On The Western Front. Such other work as Three Comrades and Arch of Triumph which were also filmed had a war background or post or pre-war if you will.

The novel Bobby Deerfield is based on Heaven Has No Favorites and came out in 1961 and its protagonist was not an American. My guess is that in order to film it and insure box office the protagonist was changed to an American and a rising American star was cast. Al Pacino plays the title role, an American driver on the European circuit who is self involved in his career. In fact he goes visiting another injured driver, not out of any tremendous concern for him, but to find out information about the crash because he's driving the exact same type of car.

While at the hospital he meets Marthe Keller who leaves the hospital with him. She's a terminal tuberculosis patient and she wants to experience a little of life before it's too late. His kind of risk taking profession appeals to her. It takes a while, but the two develop a relationship.

Which was paralleled in real life between Al Pacino and Marthe Keller and that certainly helped the film a lot. Keller joins Ingrid Bergman from Arch of Triumph and Margaret Sullavan in Three Comrades as yet another of Remarque's doomed heroines. And like in war Pacino's in a job where his number can come up any time.

The film was shot on location in France. Sydney Pollack showed some of the style he did while making that other Oscar winning romantic film Out of Africa. The French countryside is captured beautifully.

Still I think it was bad for American audiences to expect another Grand Prix in Bobby Deerfield. There was enough racing scenes in the film to satisfy racing fans, maybe. But make no mistake, this is a tender romantic story and a good one.


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