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359 user 58 critic

Scent of a Woman (1992)

R | | Drama | 8 January 1993 (USA)
A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.

Director:

Martin Brest

Writers:

Giovanni Arpino (novel), Bo Goldman (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,263 ( 229)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Lt. Col. Frank Slade
Chris O'Donnell ... Charlie Simms
James Rebhorn ... Mr. Trask
Gabrielle Anwar ... Donna
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... George Willis, Jr. (as Philip S. Hoffman)
Richard Venture Richard Venture ... W.R. Slade
Bradley Whitford ... Randy
Rochelle Oliver ... Gretchen
Margaret Eginton Margaret Eginton ... Gail
Tom Riis Farrell ... Garry
Nicholas Sadler ... Harry Havemeyer
Todd Louiso ... Trent Potter
Matt Smith Matt Smith ... Jimmy Jameson
Gene Canfield ... Manny
Frances Conroy ... Christine Downes
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Storyline

Frank is a retired Lt. Col. in the US Army. He's blind and impossible to get along with. Charlie is at school and is looking forward to going to university; to help pay for a trip home for Christmas, he agrees to look after Frank over Thanksgiving. Frank's niece says this will be easy money, but she didn't reckon on Frank spending his Thanksgiving in New York. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Col. Frank Slade has a very special plan for the weekend. It involves travel, women, good food, fine wine, the tango, chauffeured limousines and a loaded forty-five. And he's bringing Charlie along for the ride.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 January 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scent of a Woman See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$357,468, 27 December 1992

Gross USA:

$63,095,253

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$134,095,253
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Philip Seymour Hoffman and James Rebhorn would later appear in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and Cold Mountain (2003). See more »

Goofs

Throughout the movie Oregon is mispronounced. Oreigun not OR-i-gone. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Are you blind? Are you blind?
Charlie Simms: Of course not.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Then why do you keep grabbing my goddamn arm? I take your arm.
Charlie Simms: I'm sorry.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Don't be sorry. How would you know? You've been watching MTV all your life.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The heavily edited network TV version was disowned by director Martin Brest, and credits "Allen Smithee" as director. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Seinfeld: The Soup Nazi (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Evangeline
Written by Robbie Robertson
Performed by Emmylou Harris
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Film For The Lonely
24 June 2002 | by DocterrySee all my reviews

There's something about this film that keeps you company. It's like you're also spending the weekend with Colonel Slade. The film entertains your darkest notions and tops your depth of grief and then somehow elevates you to find hope amidst our consciously blind existence.

At first I had a problem with Pacino's performance. I thought Al was definitely over-acting. He's playing a man who is consciously suicidal, a man suffering the loss of his dependence. He seems preoccupied in fulfilling a sexual desire but what he really yearns for is the acceptance of a woman now that he's been injured. However, even beyond his glorified apparition of woman what he presently needs is someone, anyone who will listen. He needs someone he can bark orders at like in the past. Some babe in the woods he can bemuse and corrupt amidst the decadence of `Freak Show Central', his personal nickname for New York City. In this contrived situation he finds life again and with these considerations Pacino's bravura performance is forgivable.

Pacino ironically switches energies with O'Donnell's character being the Colonel's high energy defuses Charlie's depressed low energy. The Colonel is psyched for his weekend's desperate romp, `A little tour of pleasures', he says. Given this distinction in performances, Charlie should have been the suicidal one, the defeated one because O'Donnell walks around this film like a deer caught in the headlights and there really isn't anything inspiring or motivating about him. It would have been an awesome acting exercise to have a young actor go against Pacino and realistically attempt to change his character's suicidal mission, granted his whole outlook on life yet what we have is a quick resolution that is very intense but not very intellectual.

In the end, this movie somehow manages to conduct all it's emotional payoffs thus rendering the viewer at the mercy of what may seem bathos. Many have criticized the film as negotiating Hollywood Plot A with Plot B or C. However, the Colonel realizes his biggest failure in life was in his interpersonal relationships. He learns that sometimes having friends can be a stronger and more important bond than family- a point well taken. Sometimes when a film comes together, after all the pre and post production, the result can be undeniably charming and this film manages to soar above its foundations, those manifested in the most basic of premises of melodrama. `Scent Of A Woman' does inevitably work and it's a very heart-warming film.


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