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Bobby Deerfield

By Tom Keogh

Al Pacino's character in the first two Godfather films was a man increasingly drawn into himself, pulling an entire family history and legacy along with him into a personal oblivion. Pacino's performance as the titular race car driver in Sydney Pollack's Bobby Deerfield also suggests a fellow adrift in his own company, his very profession underscoring isolation behind the wheel at top speeds. Living with his French lover (Anny Duperey), Deerfield's solipsism (perfectly captured in a dream sequences in which he appears almost autistic) begins to crack when he meets and falls for a dying woman (Marthe Keller). Emerging from his shell just as she is fading away, both the irony of the situation and Deerfield's first experience with real love wake our hero from his spiritual slumber. Pollack's attempt at a mainstream art-house movie didn't entirely work, and critics have been brutal on both its serious aspirations and Pacino's locked-down performance. But there is something in the film that convincingly suggests a yearning for passion and experience even at the great cost of loss, and Pacino's portrayal of a man who steps out of his car and onto the collective bus of ordinary sorrow is rather moving.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)DVD unavailableSoundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Sydney Pollack

Stars: Al Pacino, Marthe Keller, Anny Duperey

Released: September 29, 1977

Availability: VHS


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