Happy Birthday Al Pacino: Relive the Actor’s Most Iconic Moments

by Katie Maloney

Happy 81st Birthday, Al Pacino!

Hollywood legend Al Pacino turns 81 today but that doesn’t mean his acting career is concluding soon. Yes, he’s spent decades starring in iconic movies like Scarface, The Godfather trilogy, and Scent of a Woman (Hooah!) But he’s not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, just a few months ago, Al Pacino was spotted in Italy along with Lady Gaga. The two are starring in Ridley Scott’s upcoming movie, House of Gucci. Because we’re so lucky to still have Pacino on the scene, we’re celebrating his birthday by compiling a list of some of his best movie moments.

When Al Pacino Landed His Breakout Role In The Godfather Part II

Spoiler alert: We’re revealing a big moment from the movie here. But, honestly, it’s been 47 years since The Godfather Part II came out. If you haven’t seen this iconic movie by now, you’re missing out and we don’t even feel bad about spoiling this incredible scene for you. Al Pacino wowed audiences as Michael Corleone in this movie. During this scene, Michael reveals to his brother, Fredo, that he knows Fredo betrayed the family. Although the interaction is brief, you may just get chills from the intensity of the scene. In just a few seconds, the brothers’ relationship changes forever and Fredo understands that his life is over. Now, we want to rewatch this movie!

Pacino had previously starred in one other movie, The Panic in Needle Park (1971). Francis Ford Coppola, who directed The Godfather movies was so impressed by Pacino’s acting in the movie that he decided to cast him as Michael Corleone. After his role in The Godfather trilogy, Pacino’s career really took off.

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II.

When He Starred In Scarface

In 1983, Al Pacino starred in Scarface as Tony Montana, a man who takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed. During the movie, Tony basically ruins his own life and the lives of everyone he loves. So, not exactly a feel-good movie but the writing, romance (if you can call it that), and action in the movie are riveting. Al Pacino won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for the movie.

Scarface trailer

When He Made History With Dog Day Afternoon

In 1975, Al Pacino stars as Sonny, a man who plans a “simple” bank heist, in Dog Day Afternoon. However, everything that can go wrong does and Sonny finds himself holding an entire bank full of people hostage. The movie is based on the real-life 1972 robbery and hostage situation led by John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Naturile at a Chase Manhattan bank in Brooklyn. Dog Day Afternoon received six Academy Award nominations and seven Golden Globe Award nominations. Additionally, in 2009, Dog Day Afternoon was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress, and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

When He Warmed The Hearts Of Everyone In Scent of A Woman

One of the coolest things about Al Pacino is that he never plays just a bad or good guy. He’s always somehow a mixture of both. Even when he’s a drug-dealing, cocaine-addicted killer like in Scarface, there’s still something about him that we empathize with. In Scent of A Woman, Pacino plays a blind, medically retired Army lieutenant colonel. He’s not exactly a likable character at first. You could definitely call him a curmudgeon. During the movie, a prep school student who needs money agrees to “caretake” Pacino’s character. But the kid soon realizes he’s in for way more than he anticipated after meeting the irritable man. However, the two eventually bond during the heartwarming movie.

Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.