Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mafia Matchup

Since today is Al Pacino's birthday, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at his career thus far. He is certainly one of Hollywood's most charismatic actors and looking at his early films compared to his more recent ones, it's easy to see his evolution as an actor. In fact, one need not look beyond a single character: Michael Corleone. Compare The Godfather: Part I with The Godfather: Part III. The first shows how Pacino lead with silence, while the latter shows how over the top he can be.

Another actor whose career has followed a similar path as Pacino's is Robert De Niro. Of course my wife thinks that the two (along with Dustin Hoffman) are the same person anyway. No one denies the acting ability of either actor, but once considered on top of the world, both regularly have their ability to choose a decent film project called into question. But if all else fails the two could always do another mafia movie together. I don't know what it is with Italians and mobster movies, but that stereotype is alive and well and Pacino and De Niro are the kings. In breaking it down further, De Niro edges out Pacino by three. He has appeared in 14 mafia, mobster, gangster or other form of organized crime movies compared to Pacino's 11. The two haven't always played the mobster, but their Italian blood must mean the mafia is involved somehow, right? Below is the breakdown. You'll notice that both actors have The Godfather: Part II and Heat on their lists.
Robert De NiroAl Pacino
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971)
Mean Streets (1973)
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
The Untouchables (1987)
Midnight Run (1988)
Goodfellas (1990)
Mad Dog and Glory (1993)
A Bronx Tale (1993)
Casino (1995)
Heat (1995)
Cop Land (1997)
Analyze This (1999)
Analyze That (2002)
The Godfather (1972)
Serpico (1973)
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Scarface (1983)
Dick Tracy (1990)
The Godfather: Part III (1990)
Carlito's Way (1993)
Heat (1995)
City Hall (1996)
Donnie Brasco (1997)
Gigli (2003)

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