Bobby Deerfield (1977): Sydney Pollack Disappointing Melodrama Starring Al Pacino

In Sydney Pollack’s most disappointing film, the sentimental melodrama, “Bobby Deerfield,” Al Pacino plays the title role, Bobby, a talented American race car driver on the European circuit.

Bobby is blessed with easy victories and an uninhibited embrace of danger. However, Deerfields life of empty thrills is shaken up when a colleague is killed in an awful accident and he meets Lillian Morelli (Marthe Keller), a beautiful young woman who lives her life at the speed Deerfield reserves for the tracks.

Gallivanting through the snowy Alps, the romantic haunts of Paris and the sultry canals of Rome, the pair finds themselves caught up in loves embrace. Unable to put the brakes on their speeding romance, the two end up on a roller coaster journey that ends in a fateful, surprising climax, when Lillian is diagnosed with a fatal illness.

Easily, one of the weakest and most embarrassing films the gifted Sydney Pollack (“They Shoot Horses, Dont They,” “Tootsie”) has made.

A box-office flop, “Bobby Deerfield” was then recut by Pollack to 99 minutes, but even that drastic measure didn’t help. In short, it’s a movie with no redeeming qualities.


Running Time: 124 Minutes

Directed by Sydney Pollack.
Produced by John Foreman and Sydney Pollack.
Screenplay: Alvin Sargent.