Scent of a Woman

December 23rd, 1992


Scent of a Woman

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Still of Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell in Scent of a WomanStill of Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell in Scent of a WomanStill of Chris O'Donnell in Scent of a WomanStill of Al Pacino in Scent of a WomanStill of Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell in Scent of a WomanStill of Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman

A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.

Release Year: 1992

Rating: 7.8/10 (84,372 voted)

Critic's Score: 59/100

Director: Martin Brest

Stars: Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn

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.

Writers: Giovanni Arpino, Bo Goldman

Al Pacino - Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade
Chris O'Donnell - Charlie Simms
James Rebhorn - Mr. Trask
Gabrielle Anwar - Donna
Philip Seymour Hoffman - George Willis, Jr. (as Philip S. Hoffman)
Richard Venture - W.R. Slade
Bradley Whitford - Randy
Rochelle Oliver - Gretchen
Margaret Eginton - Gail
Tom Riis Farrell - Garry
Nicholas Sadler - Harry Havemeyer
Todd Louiso - Trent Potter
Matt Smith - Jimmy Jameson
Gene Canfield - Manny
Frances Conroy - Christine Downes

Taglines: Col. Frank Slade has a very special plan for the weekend. It involves travel, women, good food, fine wine, the tango, chauffeured limousines and a loaded forty-five. And he's bringing Charlie along for the ride.

Release Date: 23 December 1992

Filming Locations: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Opening Weekend: $357,468 (USA) (23 December 1992) (20 Screens)

Gross: $63,895,607 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Director Martin Brest disowned the version of the film shown on airlines and television.

Continuity: In the scene where Slade directs Charlie to get his dress blues from his closet, there is no Silver Star ribbon on the jacket. In all the later scenes with the dress blues there is a Silver Star ribbon.

Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Uh-oh, we got a moron here.

User Review

Character over glamour


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 film pits two characters who are diametrical opposites. Al Pacino plays the world weary retired Army Lt. Colonel who through a stupid accident looses his sight and his way of life. Chris Donnelly is a young prep school kid on a scholarship whose way of life may be coming to an end owing to the acts of richer kids at the exclusive prep school who pull a stupid stunt.

The blind Lt. Colonel needs an escort so that he can go to NYC and have a rip roaring time before he makes a fateful decision. The poor preppy needs to earn a few bucks to travel and is in desperate need of some advice on how to get through his crisis at school.

The interplay between the two characters is mind boggling. It is more riveting than the best Grisham novel.

Both characters are asked to make life and death decisions that call for them to reach deep into their inner core. The right decision is unhappily the tougher decision to make.

Two terrific scenes that are not to be missed. The first is in the New York ballroom where the blind Lt. Colonel teaches the actress Miss Anwar to dance the tango. It is so smooth and dramatic that even a couch potato is tempted to reach for the Yellow Pages in search of dance lessons. The second and most profound is the speech that Al Pacino makes in defense of Chris Donnelly at the prep school disciplinary hearing. It has to go down as one of the great orations of all times.

The Scent of a Woman is very satisfying on many levels. 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. This film is almost a 10 out of 10.


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