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The Many Faces of… Al Pacino

An overview in pictures of the roles of actor Al Pacino in most of his movies

Pacino was born in 1940 and grew up in the Bronx. He dropped out of school at 17 and did a lot of small jobs to finance something he wanted to do, acting. He joined the Herbert Berghof Studio where he learned a lot from Charlie Laughton. With his experience there he applied to the Actors Studio and was admitted. He did some plays before making the jump to movies.

The first film he appeared in was Me, Natalie in 1969, with only a small role. He got noticed and his big breakthrough came when he played Michael Corleone in The Godfather (which was only his third movie role), which got him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He later received other Oscar nominations for his roles in Dick Tracy, …And Justice for All, Glengarry Glen Ross, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon and Scent of a Woman. It was for his role in the last movie he received the statue.

An overview of the roles of actor Al Pacino

Click to enlarge

So how do you pick out your favorite role when there are so many amazing ones to choose from, he was great in the Godfather and Scarface, but I always liked his performance in Carlito’s Way of the gangster wanting to get out of the game, but being pulled back in.

What’s your favorite Al Pacino role?

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Category: Movies
  • rtm says:

    I think one of my fave roles is from The Insider w/ Russell Crowe, both of them are just superb. Another one is Heat, it remains one of my all time fave action thrillers ever! He’s also fabulous in Scent of a Woman and super creepy in Devil’s Advocate.

    February 10, 2012 at 4:46 am
    • Nostra says:

      Although I’ve seen it I remember nothing about The Insider even though it’s such a highly praised film. Heat is also great. I don’t think I’ve seen the other two (I’m ashamed to admit ;) )

      February 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm
  • Castor says:

    Call me unoriginal but to me, he is at his best and most memorable in The Godfather movies. Also loved him in Glengarry Glen Ross!

    February 10, 2012 at 7:59 am
    • Nostra says:

      Amazing roles and so early in his career. GGR is a great movie with some amazing performances, especially Baldwin!

      February 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm
  • Jack Deth says:

    Hi, Nostra and company:

    Pacino was high in the stratosphere in his early roles in ‘The Panic in Needle Park’, ‘Serpico’ and ‘The Godfather’ series. I really enjoyed his Big Boy Capri in ‘Dick Tracy’ and his roles in ‘Scent of a Woman’, ‘Heat’ and ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’.

    His ‘Looking for Richard’ is a surprisingly tidy documentary on Pacino’s production of ‘Richard III’ in Central Park. Very well detailed and worth the time to seek out.

    February 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks for your comment Jack!

      February 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm
  • Pete says:

    Got to be Dog Day Afternoon, love that film! But also Godfather, particularly part 1. Always wanted to see Panic in Needle Park and The Insider. He’s gotten pretty boring these days.

    February 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Very enjoyable movie (which I think I have in my collection somewhere). Well, I did like him in his role as Dr. Kevorkian.

      February 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm
  • Eric says:

    I know a lot of people don’t like it, but I still get a kick out of his role as Tony Montana. And The Godfather and Dog Day Afternoon, of course.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Don’t know why people wouldn’t like it, but I do as well. Such a great accent he puts on there. One of his most memorable roles to me!

      February 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm
  • Russell_Oz says:

    Great article!

    Dude! You aren’t allowed to ask a question like that…far far too hard to answer LOL!! I thought your De Niro question was bad… ok here goes :)

    Hands down, The Godfather films. Yes, all 3 of them! Regardless of the quality or where they sit in the pantheon of films, the characterisation of Michael Corleone is just perfect!

    Followed by Dog Day Afternoon, Heat, Donnie Brasco, Scent of a Woman, Any Given Sunday, and Carlito’s Way!

    February 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Russel. I won’t be asking the question in the future anymore ;)

      So you basically summed up half of his movies :) But I guess because it is Pacino that you are allowed to do so.

      February 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm
      • Russell_Oz says:

        hahahaha! Yeah you’re right…..looking back on it I DID name half of his films LOL!

        Well I just think that they’re all awesome and he’s brilliant in most of the films he’s in.

        I’m a fan :)

        February 12, 2012 at 1:49 am
  • The Focused Filmographer says:

    A great choice here on Friday Faces! Al Pacino has been in some great roles. (he’s had some dubious choices mind you, but I still like him). I don’t really have a favorite choice though, so I guess I’ll have to go with The Godfather.

    February 11, 2012 at 11:47 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks T!

      February 14, 2012 at 9:44 am
  • thethrussellproject says:

    The Insider and Heat, loved him in these films!

    February 14, 2012 at 11:56 am
    • Nostra says:

      The Insider has been mentioned before and I really have to revisit it as I can’t remember a thing about it even though I know I’ve watched it.

      February 15, 2012 at 9:24 am

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