Scarecrow (1973) - Rotten Tomatoes

Scarecrow (1973)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Scarecrow Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

An ex-con learns the value of friendship in Jerry Schatzberg's picaresque road movie. Trying to hitch a ride on a desolate California road, fresh-out-of-prison Max (Gene Hackman) meets ex-sailor Lion (Al Pacino). They are both headed east, as Max dreams of opening a deluxe car wash in Pittsburgh and Lion believes that the wife and child he left behind will still welcome him home. The two decide to journey together, forging an increasingly deep yet uncertain friendship, as Lion teaches Max how not to be so pugnacious and Max senses Lion's fragility. When the pair hits Detroit, Lion finally gets in touch with his wife and discovers how she really feels. When Lion is shattered by the revelation, Max must decide if he should forge on alone or sacrifice his carefully guarded savings to help his friend. One of a cycle of late 1960s-early 1970s buddy movies that included Midnight Cowboy (1969) and California Split (1974), Scarecrow suggests how alienated men had become from such traditional institutions as marriage and family. Max's and Lion's salvation comes from being on the road with each other, rather than settling down with jobs and families. Pacino's first film after his triumph in The Godfather (1972), and Hackman's follow-up to The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and his Oscar for The French Connection (1971), Scarecrow won the 1973 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, but the two stars were not enough to make it a hit. Even so, their nuanced performances enhance this moody study of contemporary dislocation. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Garry Michael White
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 12, 2005
Warner Home Video


Gene Hackman
as Max Millan
Al Pacino
as Francis Lionel 'Lion...
Al Cingolani
as Skipper
Rutanya Alda
as Woman in Camper
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Scarecrow

Critic Reviews for Scarecrow

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (5)

Hollywood movies have rarely spoken such tough and tender truths.

Full Review… | May 14, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

Periodically interesting but ultimately unsatisfying.

Full Review… | August 16, 2010
Top Critic

Schatzberg throws away the more interesting implications in order to make emotional hay.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

I assume that Schatzberg and White wanted somehow to ennoble Max and Lionel, but they sentimentalize them.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

There are fine moments, as there would have to be with Hackman and Pacino.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Jerry Schatzberg's film embraces sprawl of both the narrative and geographical variety with freewheeling abandon.

Full Review… | May 16, 2013
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Scarecrow

Hackman and Pacino are terrific in this underrated road movie, an honest and refreshing character study about two different men who develop an unlikely bond - and the effect it causes on each of them. A great drama that can be funny and also surprisingly touching.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


Scarecrow, is a great road movie, it's very sentimental, but this don't changes the wonderful screenplay, written by Michael White, and the direction of Schatzberg. Hackman and Pacino, show a impressive dynamics due that surely go move who is watching. A surprising motion picture whose show that, the better way to satisfy you self this made the people happy and not fight with they. Scarecrow just like Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy, are road/buddy sentimental movies, sometimes very similar, but still a good film. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer


"A crow isn't afraid of a scarecrow. It laughs."

Liked this just as much as Midnight Cowboy

Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

Scarecrow Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Scarecrow on our Movie forum!