Thursday, March 13, 2008

Classic scene #1: "But not a snitch"

A new series from Dark Habits. I thought about keeping it purely to classic monologues, and I think by and large I will try, but there's just so many wonderful moments, jokes, gestures and sequences in film history that I'd rather not limited the scope of discussion.

The first scene I've picked is purely because it is one of my favourites: Lt. Col. Frank Slade's (Al Pacino) character reference for the young Charlie (Chris O'Donnell) at the end of Scent Of A Woman (1992).

There's no doubt that Al Pacino chews up the scenery in this classic coming-of-age movie, but is there anyone on the planet that can chew it up quite as well Sonny? I don't think so.

From the moment he is rammed down our throats, Frank Slade sets a new bar for the definition of an asshole. Miserable, full of hate and anger, Slade rallies against everyone who comes his way. Charlie is the prep school boy charged with babysitting this big cry baby with a filthy mouth and bad attitude, for one weekend in New York City. Booze, hookers, fast cars and suicide are on Frank's mind, but Charlie has his own problems to deal with. On the verge of being kicked out of school, Charlie must decide whether to jeopardise his future or snitch on his classmates who have done something unbecoming of 'Bairdmen'.

The movie won Pacino his long-deserved Oscar even though it was almost certainly one of those awarded as career recognition – like Scorsese for The Departed. But I for one love seeing the old man flexing his chomps in outrage in this crowd pleasing finale.

Well, you don't need me to ramble on about it. Just watch for yourself: