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Bobby Deerfield 1977
Description: Bobby Deerfield, a popular American race vehicle driver on the European circuit, falls in love with the enigmatic Lillian Morelli, who is terminally ill.
Released: 03 Nov 1977 Director: Sydney Pollack Writers: Alvin Sargent (screenplay), Erich Maria Remarque (novel) Actors: Al Pacino, Marthe Keller, Anny Duperey, Walter McGinn Genres: Drama, Romance
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Bobby Deerfield Reviews:

Al Pacino is BOBBY DEERFIELD in this touching and moving movie about a race vehicle driver in a indifferent marriage who falls in love with Lillian (Marthe Keller). Deerfield buries his feelings and forgets his past until a reckless and passionate girl (Keller) who also lives in death's shadow shows him life's chances to the fullest. Pretty scenes shot in France and Italy create this movie even more romantic as well. As Pacino told during the filming of Bobby Deerfield, "I might have been closer to that character, what he was going through, than any hero I've played". Why this movie is not out on dvd is beyond me, it is fantastic. Funny and touchingly romantic. This was during Pacino's greatest years.


Charming, if slightly patronizing 70's drama. Magnificent direction. Subtle and understated script. Pacino at his most gorgeous. Howlingly funny, despite it's tragic topics matter. A memorable ending, brilliantly realised. I'd forgotten about the "look, it's Bobby Deerfield" stage as well as all that items about salami. Pacino's reactions, especially after first dropping off Marthe Keller at her uncles, are perfectly pitched, dead pan gems. Inexplicably maligned by many, this hidden jewel may be due a timely re-assessment, not least because Keller's performance actually seems perfectly in tune with the Ritalin generation.


When Bobby Deerfield was marketed in the USA it was sold to the public as a racing picture like Grand Prix or Le Mans. I well remember the adverts for it. The European racing stage however is only a background for an Erich Maria Remarque novel on which the movie is based. It is a very typical Remarque storyline about doomed people.Remarque was one of the most pessimistic of 20th century writers. His greatest known work however usually has a fight background. He spent his whole life trying to out do his first nice success All Quiet On The Western Front. Such another work as Three Comrades and Arch of Triumph which were also filmed had a fight background or post or pre-war if you will.The novel Bobby Deerfield is based on Heaven Has No Favorites and came out in 1961 and its protagonist was not an American. My guess is that in order to movie it and insure box office the protagonist was changed to an American and a rising American star was cast. Al Pacino plays the game role, an American driver on the European circuit who is self involved in his career. In fact he goes visiting other injured driver, not out of any tremendous concern for him, but to search out notification about the ruin because he's driving the exact same kind of car.While at the hospital he meets Marthe Keller who leaves the hospital with him. She's a terminal tuberculosis patient and she wants to experience a tiny of life before it's too late. His type of risk taking profession appeals to her. It takes a while, but the two develop a relationship.Which was paralleled in true life between Al Pacino and Marthe Keller and that certainly helped the movie a lot. Keller joins Ingrid Bergman from Arch of Triumph and Margaret Sullavan in Three Comrades as yet other of Remarque's doomed heroines. And like in fight Pacino's in a job where his number can come up any time.The movie was shot on zone in France. Sydney Pollack showed some of the style he did while making that another Oscar winning romantic movie Out of Africa. The French countryside is captured beautifully.Still I think it was terrible for American audiences to expect other Grand Prix in Bobby Deerfield. There was enough racing scenes in the movie to satisfy racing fans, maybe. But create no mistake, this is a tender romantic storyline and a nice one.



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