A young Al Pacino had to learn to drive a car to take on the title role in this Sydney Pollack-directed melodrama about Bobby Deerfield, a race-car driver who’s as reckless in his private life as he is on the track.
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Between two car crashes, Bobby Deerfield must focus on his personal life. Egocentric, he's attracted by his opposite, the dying Marthe Keller. The screenplay, very simple, leaves us with all the time necessary to appreciate the symbolic and metaphorical scenes scattered throughout the film. Recommended.
When you get into the rhythm of this one it starts to work on you. A legitimate existentialist story shot in Europe that seems to have annoyed everyone who expected any semblance of a racing film. I can see where it would irk folks but there are things in this movie that Pollack pulls off quite well; things spiritual and under the surface. Pacino's Mae West scene is a unique manifestation of inner turmoil.