No one rants like Al Pacino. And the topic matters little. Ranging from potential prison sentences, a female’s derriere, the absence of God, the losing of a real estate contract – there’s no subject that doesn’t get Pacino’s blood pumping. Some of the picks below are genuinely terrifying rants executed to perfectly by a master thespians. Others are (or border on) being parodies of themselves. Some are subtle, others are full tilt. Know what they all have in common? Pure Pacino badassery.
10. The Merchant of Venice (2004) – “If you prick us, do we not bleed?”
Pacino does Shakespeare, and completely kills it.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPCwtHcRXgY?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
9. Angels in America (2003) – “Better… his wife.”
After being told he has AIDS (and that he contracted it definitively from having sex with men) famed ruthless attorney Roy Cohn precedes to threaten, belittle and intimidate his own doctor. An endlessly fascinating rant of denial and worthless self-entitlement.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98fBiOVEcyI?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
8. Dick Tracy (1990) – “I. WANT. DICK. TRACY. DEAD!”
Interesting that just three years earlier, Robert De Niro delivered more or less the same speech in The Untouchables. Pacino’s hyperbolism wins outright for me.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV-Z2hEQV7Q?rel=0&w=480&h=360]
7. Heat (1995) – “Ferocious, aren’t I?”
According to Hank Azaria, Pacino’s “GREAT ASS!” line was completely improvised. Azaria has admitted that his reaction was his own, not his character’s.
(Note: of all the hundreds of YouTube clips of Pacino saying this line, I could not find one that was embeddable. You can watch it here.)
6. Dog Day Afternoon (1975) – “ATTICA! ATTICA!”
This one speaks for itself.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYl9nNIoz8o?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
5. The Devil’s Advocate (1997) – “He’s a tight ass! He’s a sadist! He’s an absentee landlord!”
Pacino at his most Pacinoesque: loud, ridiculous, irrational, brilliant.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jARp24AJWLk?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
4. Scent of a Woman (1992) – “If I were the man I was five years ago I’d take a FLAMETHROWER to this place!”
Did Pacino deserve the Oscar for this movie? Given his competition, nah. But this speech is certainly why he won.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHoHlOgEFqw?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
3. The Insider – “Are you a businessman or are you a newsman!?”
A smart, articulate manipulation of words in which a news producer covers all his bases. It’s a thrilling moment in a subtly thrilling film.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIjpP-XngKA?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
2. Glengarry Glen Ross – “You never open your mouth, ‘til you know what the shot is.”
Al Pacino’s complete, eloquent, profane thrashing of Kevin Spacey in Glengarry Glen Ross may in fact be the finest verbal take down one man has ever done to another in film. Well, except for Alec Baldwin’s epic rant that opens the picture, of course.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW7WlT6OJxE?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
1. Any Given Sunday – “THAT’S WHAT LIVIN’ IS!”
If I see a better Coach in the Locker Room Speech in my lifetime, then I will be completely stunned. From Pacino’s escalating energy, to Jamie Foxx literally stepping up as a leader, to the pumped up reactions of the players – this, my friends, is how it’s done.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rFx6OFooCs?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
There are plenty more to choose from, be sure to tell me your favorites!