The shooting of the film about the adventures of young student Charlie Simms, who gets a job as an assistant to irritable Colonel Frank Slade, who has lost his sight and decides to commit suicide, was difficult.
The producers of the picture for a long time could not get a big star for the main role. It now seems that, except for Al Pacino, Colonel Slade could not play anyone else. And in 1991 the role was first offered to actor Jack Nicholson. But he, after reading the script, was not inspired.
Then the role was abandoned by Dustin Hoffman, and then Joe Pesci. And Al Pacino himself initially also did not want to star in the film. And only a personal agent movie star was able to change his mind. The film “Scent of a Woman” was so far the only picture that brought Al Pacino an “Oscar”.
Before receiving the most prestigious film awards, the actor had to thoroughly get used to the role.
Even outside the set Al Pacino acted as a blind man. He joined the New York Association of the Blind to understand the feelings and emotions of people without sight. He studied the techniques they use to find chairs, light cigars and pour liquids. Therefore, special “blind” lenses, made to order, Al Pacino during the filming did not need.
In an effort to convincingly play a blind man, Al Pacino almost went blind in reality. During the filming of one of the scenes, the actor stumbled and fell into the bushes, severely injured.
“The worst kind of eye injury is when plants hit the cornea. That’s exactly what happened to me,” Al Pacino told The Larry King Show in 2010.
Viewers of the film “Scent of a Woman” is also remembered for the scene in which Lieutenant Colonel Slade dances the tango with the young and beautiful Donna. This episode is considered by critics to be one of the most exciting in world cinema.
Actress Gabrielle Anwar, who played Donna, went to stage rehearsals for three weeks. But Pacino did not appear at them even once. And during the filming of the scene, Anwar had an unpleasant surprise.
“His dancing was a little unpredictable. I still have half-broken toes… But it’s Al Pacino, for God’s sake, I can’t complain,” the Mubi website quoted the actress as saying.
Even Donald Trump starred in the iconic film. One of the filming locations was the Manhattan Plaza Hotel, which was owned by Donald Trump at the time. He managed to negotiate a small role in “Scent of a Woman.” In the script, when Slade and Charlie pulled up to the hotel in a limousine and got out, another limousine pulled up to them. Donald Trump and his then-fiancée Marla Maples got out of it. However, this scene involving Trump was eventually cut.
Despite the fact that the director of the film, Martin Brest insisted that Al Pacino outside the set did not communicate with his partner – the performer of the role of Charles – Chris O’Donnell, the actors became very friends. Pacino, more experienced in family matters, even gave advice to his young pal.
“He always told me, ‘Never marry an actress. You’ll always be second in her life,” the actor said.
O’Donnell took his advice and married the teacher.
“Scent of a Woman” grossed over $130 million at the box office. In 1992, it was an unprecedented success. The only thing that confused viewers and critics – the length of the film at two hours and 37 minutes. Had they known that the director had originally insisted on a three-hour film.