Scent of a Woman (1992)



Critic Consensus: It might soar on Al Pacino's performance more than the drama itself, but what a performance it is -- big, bold, occasionally over-the-top, and finally giving the Academy pause to award the star his first Oscar.

Scent of a Woman Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Driven by an extravagant, tour-de-force performance by Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman is the story of Frank Slade (Pacino), a blind, retired army colonel who hires Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell), a poor college student on the verge of expulsion, to take care of him over Thanksgiving weekend. At the beginning of the weekend, Frank takes Charlie to New York, where he reveals to the student that he intends to visit his family, have a few terrific meals, sleep with a beautiful woman and, finally, … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Bo Goldman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 28, 1998
Universal Pictures


as Lt. Col. Frank Slade

as Charlie Simms

as Mr. Trask

as George Willis Jr.

as W.R. Slade

as Harry Havemeyer

as Trent Potter

as Jimmy Jameson

as Christine Downes

as Mrs. Hunsaker

as Officer Gore

as Karen Rossi

as Donny Rossi

as Francine Rossi

as Francine Rossi

as Willie Rossi

as Willie Rossi

as Sofia

as Freddie Bisco

as Michael

as George Willis Sr.

as Flight Attendant

as Oak Room Waiter

as Oak Room Maitre d'

as Ballroom Waiter

as Bootblack

as Doorman

as Cab Driver

as Night Maid

as Jimmy Jameson
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Scent of a Woman

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Critic Reviews for Scent of a Woman

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (9)

An irascible bully who proves to have a heart of gold, Pacino's character seems manufactured by a computer programmed with box-office grosses.

Full Review… | May 27, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Scent of a Woman indulgently stretches a modest conceit well past the breaking point.

Full Review… | May 21, 2008
Top Critic

Corny and heart-warming, with O'Donnell proving almost a match for the master.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The good thing is that the principals and film makers make the absolute most of a conventional opportunity.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

By the end of Scent of a Woman, we have arrived at the usual conclusion of the coming-of-age movie, and the usual conclusion of the prep school movie. But rarely have we been taken there with so much intelligence and skill.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

When all Pacino's demons are bared, they don't add up to the poignant punchline you were set up for.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Scent of a Woman


Pacino is on fine form with a dazzling performance but it's not enough to make this film shine in my eyes!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Al Pacino is magic in this film. You can't take his eyes of him. Added to this, the film is moving and carries an important message. It is a satisfying, uplifting, triumphant film that must be watched!

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer


When things get tangled, tango on!

Great Film! The Scent of a Woman is the kind of film that many would think belongs to a bygone era. While it is frank and contemporary without sugar coating it illustrates the value of character over glitz and how small acts can have long lasting consequences. The Scent of a Woman is very satisfying on many levels. Of course the primary reason it succeeds is Al Pacino, whose Oscar was well-deserved, needless to say. Chris O'Donnell doesn't overplay his part, and in doing so is realistic and natural. The character development is superb, dialogue terrific, glamorous locations and a story line that requires the characters to show themselves to be the people they really are. The film has a lot of funny lines and great drama.

Frank is a retired Lt Col in the US army. He's blind and impossible to get along with. Charlie is at school and is looking forward to going to university; to help pay for a trip home for Christmas, he agrees to look after Frank over thanksgiving. Frank's niece says this will be easy money, but she didn't reckon on Frank spending his thanksgiving in New York.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Scent of a Woman Quotes

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– Submitted by Adam O (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Jase H (2 years ago)

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