THE ROAD LEADS ITSELF TO SOMEWHERE.
Max and Francis (Gene Hackman and Al Pacino), two hobos, hook up and start making plans about opening a car wash, but there’s always obstacles in their way. Director Jerry Schatzberg followed up his The Panic in Needle Park (1971) with another story about people on the outskirts of society. Hackman and Pacino are excellent as the talkative, hot-tempered dreamer and the naive, kind and immature youngster who joins him on the road; they overcome the general predictability of the concept. Great countryside locations are a plus. The study of true friendship grows on you near the end as that relationship is threatened.
1973-U.S. 115 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Robert M. Sherman. Directed by Jerry Schatzberg. Screenplay: Garry Michael White. Cinematography: Vilmos Zsigmond. Cast: Gene Hackman (Max Millan), Al Pacino (Francis Lionel Delbucchi), Dorothy Tristan (Coley), Eileen Brennan, Ann Wedgeworth, Richard Lynch.
Trivia: Both stars allegedly hitchhiked through California, dressed as hobos, as a way of preparing for the film.
Cannes: Palme d’Or.
Last word: “We went out in a helicopter and I saw this landscape that reminded me of the farm I had upstate. I saw a historical marker that said it was the place of the first baptism of Native Americans. The film dealt with baptism, so I thought it was serendipitous. After that, I drove back and forth across the country three times finding locations.” (Schatzberg, Revel in New York)