Format: Internet video on laptop.
Al Pacino, someone who almost certainly earned any number of Oscars in his career, finally won for Scent of a Woman. That movie is a sort of remake of Profumo di Donna from the mid-1970s. Pacino’s win tends to be considered one of the clearest examples of someone winning a lifetime achievement Oscar in the guise of a competitive one. Pacino’s performance is all bluster and shouting, and I ultimately kind of liked the movie in spite of itself. I was concerned about this original version, though, and now that I’ve seen it, I think I have clear reason why I was hesitant.
One of the big changes here is that Profumo di Donna has substantially less plot than its later remake. The culmination of Scent of a Woman is the “trial” scene. This doesn’t happen in Profumo di Donna. In fact, all of the elements of the remake that don’t deal overtly with the blind former military guy and his desire to end his life don’t appear in the original film at all. The two most famous scenes from Pacino’s film—the speech at the end and the tango—aren’t here. What this means is that Profumo di Donna is about a young Army cadet (not a student) follows around a blind ex-military man and, to use the advertising copy parlance, learns valuable life lessons.