29 January 2002 | rm91945
Two strangers meet on a lonely road and form a tentative, but lasting friendship.
Max and Lionel, two ordinary guys, meet by chance on a lonely country road while hitchhiking and strike up a friendship. Max (Gene Hackman) is a hot-tempered ex-con who dreams of owning his own business, a car wash. Lionel (Al Pacino) is a seaman who abandoned his pregnant girlfriend some years prior but who, despite this character flaw, is so mild-mannered and sweet you really just want to give him a big hug.
Hackman is great as the hard-edged Max, yet despite his gruff exterior you know there is a man of deep feeling and caring underneath. Pacino never fails to disappoint in whatever he does and he doesn't in this tour-de-force performance. Famous for playing loud, larger than life character's with extreme zeal -- Colonel Frank Slade from SCENT OF A WOMAN and Tony Montana from SCARFACE for instance -- here his performance is like a whisper -- quietly calm yet powerfully effective.
A nice surprise in the cast is Richard Lynch (in his screen debut) as Riley, the man who befriends Lionel while he and Max are briefly incarcerated for a bar fight. Lynch is only in the movie for approximately 20 minutes, but what a 20 minutes! His ability to convey the sleazy yet somehow likable Riley let's the audience know that this is a talent to watch for in the coming years. With such great method acting from all three actors, it's no wonder this movie won the prestigious Golden Palm Award at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival!