Right before presenting the American Cinematheque Award to Al Pacino, Bruce Willis pointed out that everyone knows (and can imitate) a line of Pacino-delivered dialogue.
“When people walk around doing lines from your films,” Willis said, “you’re a big star.”
Film clips at Friday night’s BevHilton dinner gave the aud numerous chances to speak those lines again; “Attica! Attica! Attica!” alone came up a couple times.
But the biggest response came from a cleverly edited reel, done like a Mamet play reduced to expletive gravy, of Pacino passionately saying one four-letter word dozens of different times.
In accepting the award, Pacino began by saying: “You think you’ll be able to speak and then you’re so overwhelmed.” He managed a few thank yous and anecdotes and then said: “I wish I could say more, or what was in my heart, but I need a writer. It’s part of the deal with me. People say to me, ‘You write?’ And I say, ‘I wish.’ ”
The Cinematheque’s 20th anni dinner raised roughly $500,000 and airs on AMC Jan. 22.