Over his five-plus decades of moviemaking, Al Pacino has been in some truly memorable films. One of the highly regarded actor’s best films is climbing up the charts as the third most-watched free movie on IMDB’s streaming service.
Scent of a Woman stars Al Pacino in his Oscar-winning role as Frank Slade, a blind, gruff, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. The story begins with Charlie, played by Chris O’Donnell, studying at the prestigious Baird School. Charlie, along with another student George, witnesses a few other students setting up a prank on headmaster Mr. Trask, which ends up publicly humiliating the man. In a way to find the perpetrators, Mr. Trask offers Charlie a bribe. Give up the names and he will personally write a letter of recommendation for Charlie that would guarantee his admittance into Harvard.
Unlike most of the students at Baird, Charlie does not come from wealth. So, in order to afford a ticket to go home for Christmas, he accepts a job over the Thanksgiving holiday to watch over the cantankerous and heavily drinking Col. Slade, played by Al Pacino.
Soon after Charlie arrives, Frank unexpectedly takes Charlie on a trip to New York City. He books a room at the Waldorf-Astoria and at dinner that night, Frank explains why they are there – to enjoy all the luxuries surrounding them before he commits suicide. Shocked, Charlie doesn’t if Frank is truly serious or not. It is also during dinner where Frank details the drunk, hand grenade juggling incident that caused him to go blind.
Frank’s belligerence only gets worse. Even though Charlie shares his Baird School incident and the choice he must make with Al Pacino’s character, it doesn’t help change his attitude toward life. Frank has Charlie take him to visit Frank’s family, which does not end well.
Frank has a moment of clarity when he proceeds to dance an amazing tango with Donna, a young woman who is waiting for her date. But eventually, that doesn’t truly help Frank as his moral compass is shown when he hires an escort for the evening.
But Charlie begins to chip away at Frank’s rough exterior when they go for a drive in a 1989 Ferrari Mondial t Cabriolet. At first, Al Pacino’s character is very uninterested in the drive, that is, until Charlie lets the blind Frank behind the wheel.
Through all their incidents together, one thing has not changed. Frank’s end goal. This is apparent when they return to the hotel and he sends Charlie out on a bunch of errands. When Charlie returns to their hotel room, he finds Frank in full uniform, ready to commit suicide with his service pistol. Charlie intervenes, but not after a struggle.
Life for Charlie must go on as he returns to school to face the decision he must make. Does he give up the names of the prank culprits or not? Imagine Charlie’s surprise when Frank unexpectedly arrives at the school to lend support.
Scent of a Woman, professionally, was Al Pacino’s greatest achievement. This is not to say it was his greatest movie, just the fact that his performance as Lt. Col. Frank Slade won him an Academy Award. Al Pacino has been nominated for nine Academy Awards that include a string of four consecutive years with 1973’s The Godfather, 1974’s Serpico, 1975’s The Godfather II, and 1976’s Dog Day Afternoon. He was also nominated for …And Justice For All, Dick Tracy, Glengarry Glen Ross, and The Irishman. His lone win came with Scent of a Woman, which after all these years, can now be seen as a free movie online.
Those are just his list of Oscar-nominated films. The legend has many more notable films such as Cruising, Scarface, Carlito’s Way, Heat, Donnie Brasco, The Devil’s Advocate, Any Given Sunday, and the list goes on. Al Pacino is widely regarded as one of the finest actors of our generation.
Scent of a Woman was a critical hit as well as a box office boon. Martin Brest directed the picture from a script by Bo Goldman. In total, the movie brought in over $134 million on its $31 million budget. Today, we can watch it as a free movie.
What is amazing about Al Pacino’s performance is the fact that initially he didn’t want to star in the movie, and he turned it down. Jack Nicholson was considered for the part, as were Harrison Ford, Dustin Hoffman, and Joe Pesci. But once Pacino decided to do it, he went all in. His research to play the part of a blind man was thorough. He spoke with many who lost their sight due to trauma and had them go into detail about their entire progression of blindness, from incident to the end. It certainly paid off for Pacino.
To watch Scent of a Woman as a free movie, you will need to have a free IMDB account, or you can sign into the website with either your Facebook, Amazon, Google, or Apple accounts. Now, get out there and enjoy the film. Hoo-ah! You can see it here.