Scent of a Woman

Scent of a Woman

Infobox Film
name = Scent of a Woman

caption = A promotional film poster for "Scent of a Woman".
director = Martin Brest
producer = Ovidio G. Assonitis Martin Brest G. Mac Brown Ronald L. Schwary
writer = Giovanni Arpino (novel) Bo Goldman (screenplay)
starring = Al Pacino
Chris O'Donnell
James Rebhorn
Gabrielle Anwar
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Todd Louiso
music = Thomas Newman
cinematography =
editing =
distributor = Universal Pictures
released = December 23, 1992 (USA)
runtime = 157 min.
language = English
budget =
imdb_id = 0105323

"Scent of a Woman" is a 1992 film which tells the story of a preparatory school student who takes a job as an assistant to an irascible, blind, medically retired Army officer. It stars Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabrielle Anwar, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It is a remake of a movie made by Dino Risi in 1974, "Profumo di donna", in which Vittorio Gassman played one of his best known roles.

The movie was adapted by Bo Goldman from the novel "Il buio e il miele" ("Darkness and Honey") by Giovanni Arpino and from the 1974 screenplay for the movie "Profumo di donna" by Ruggero Maccari and Dino Risi. It was directed by Martin Brest.

It won the Academy Award for Best Actor (Al Pacino) and was nominated for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film was also the big winner at the Golden Globe Awards winning three for: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Picture of the Year.

Portions of the movie were filmed on location at the Emma Willard School, an all-girls school in Troy, New York.

Plot summary

Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell) is a student at a private preparatory school who comes from a poor family. To earn the money for his flight home to Gresham, Oregon for Christmas, Charlie takes a job over Thanksgiving looking after retired U.S. Army officer Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade (Al Pacino), a cantankerous middle-aged man who is now blind, alcoholic and impossible to get along with.

Slade decides to visit New York City and enlists the help of Charlie on the trip. Charlie is distracted by a very big problem at school. Fellow students have played a prank on the school's headmaster, and only Charlie and George Willis, Jr. (Philip Seymour Hoffman) know the identity of the culprits. After threatening both with expulsion, Headmaster Trask tries to bribe Charlie by assuring him admission to Harvard if he names those who committed the prank. Charlie tells him nothing, but is warned that he must or suffer the consequences.

Slade takes a room at the Waldorf-Astoria. During dinner at the Oak Room (at the Plaza Hotel), he reveals the real purpose for his trip to New York City: to eat at an expensive restaurant, stay at a luxury hotel, sleep with a beautiful woman, and then commit suicide.

They pay a surprise visit to the Colonel's family for Thanksgiving dinner. Charlie learns how Slade lost his sight - by foolishly juggling hand grenades while drunk. Slade's crude behavior at dinner further alienates his brother and other relatives.

Later, the blind Colonel tangoes with a girl whose perfume captivates him (hence the title of the movie). He drives a Ferrari with a very nervous Charlie in the passenger seat. Slade tricks Charlie into leaving the hotel room to buy him a cigar, but a suspicious Charlie comes back to find Slade ready to commit suicide with his gun. After a few tense minutes, Charlie is able to stop Slade from shooting himself.

By this point, Charlie has become very loyal to the Colonel. During their Thanksgiving, Charlie is the sole person to stand by the Colonel, and defend him against Slade's family. Charlie's loyalty is not lost on Slade, as Slade offers him advice numerous times and even throttles a member of his own family in defense of Charlie.

Charlie returns to school, where George Willis, Jr. is about to betray him. Headmaster Trask conducts a courtroom-like assembly of the student body. He questions Willis, who with the help of his influential father is able to weasel out of the jam by claiming to be only partially certain of the culprits' identity, suggesting that Charlie had a better view than he did. Charlie is about to be expelled when Colonel Slade, who has come to be by his side, delivers a compelling speech on his behalf. He reveals that Charlie has been offered a bribe to inform on his friends. When Slade says, "If I was half the man I was five years ago, I'd take a flame thrower to this place!" he wins over the students and the committee reviewing the case. The three young men who pulled the prank on Trask are placed on disciplinary probation, but Willis is given no recognition and Charlie is exonerated.

Slade returns home. No longer bitter, he seems to have a new "look" on life—and a new young friend in Charlie Simms.


* Al Pacino was helped by a school for the blind in preparation for his role. He says he made himself look blind by not focusing his view on anything, and that using prosthetic contact lenses would "fake" his performance.
* During the disciplinary meeting, the headmaster tells Slade "You are out of order!", a famous line told to another of Pacino's characters in ...And Justice for All (1979).
* Director Martin Brest disowned the version of the film shown on airlines and television.
* The scene on the street where Frank falls over a garbage can was actually unplanned.


Box office

In the US "Scent of a Woman" earned $63,095,253; internationally it earned approximately $71,000,000.

See also

*Scent of a Woman (soundtrack)

External links

* [ "Out of Order" Monologue by Lt. Col. Frank Slade]
* [ Pacino's forays into method acting at AMC's DVD_TV blog]
* [ The history of "hoo-ah" at AMC's DVD_TV blog]
* [ Writer Bo Goldman's inspirations at AMC's DVD_TV blog]
* [ More Scent of a Woman trivia at AMC's DVD_TV blog]
* [ "Scent Of A Woman Script - Dialogue Transcript"]

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
before = "Bugsy"
after = "Schindler's List"
title = Golden Globe for Best Picture - Drama
years = 1993|

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