Scarecrow (1973)

scarecrow1It’s amazing to me that after all these years searching for good flicks to watch, Scarecrow just made it onto my radar. Even though both Gene Hackman and Al Pacino say it was one of their favorite films to have worked on, it’s still manages to remain hidden.

Max (Hackman) is an irascible ex-con. Lion (Pacino) is a goofy ex-sailor. The two run into each-other on the road, and when Lion easily wins over Max’s trust, Max offers him a share in his car wash business, which he’ll open once he makes it to Pittsburgh. The road scarecrow2to Pennsylvania’s a tough one, though, given Max’s penchant for fighting. Lion’s tactic for dealing with this is a simple one – make Max laugh. People can’t stay angry if you make ’em laugh, right?

There are other bumps on the road, though, and Lion is continually faced with harsh realities that eventually break him down. While it seems that laughter has gotten Lion out of some of his worst predicaments, it’s not enough to help him get through some of the very serious shit he’s confronted with when he makes it scarecrow3back to his hometown, Detroit.

This is a movie about friendship. It’s both funny and sad. It has one of the most uplifting and hopeful endings of any movie I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure why more people don’t make a big deal out of this movie. Is it because it highlights the hobo lifestyle, something which is so foreign to most of us? Is it because it asks difficult questions? Is it because guys like Hackman and Pacino aren’t playing their usual, cookie-cutter roles? I really don’t know, but I suggest you watch it and see for yourself.


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