The Evolution of Al Pacino’s Yelling in Movies

Al Pacino Movies

I think we can all agree that Al Pacino has a reputation for being a yeller on film.  But when did this reputation become so in tact?  At what point were all the comedians imitating his on screen outbursts?  When can we conclusively say that if you’re a director and you want to hire a guy who screams a lot that you call Al Pacino?  In fact there’s even an article that teaches you how to yell like Pacino!

Granted Pacino yelled in his early days,  I don’t think he really developed his signature “almost to be made fun of” yelling style until Scent of a Woman (some may argue Dick Tracy which is valid).  However I think that Sea of Love and Glengarry Glen Ross really began this train of “automatic” outbursts on film.  But then something really weird started happening to his “s” pronunciation as he got much older.  And now he just sounds strange.  It’s like he’s impersonating himself.

The proof is in Two for the Money and Ocean’s Thirteen and it’s very disturbing.  There’s also hints of it in The Insider (where I think the “s” stuff originated).  In any event, here is a compilation of videos that display how Pacino’s voice has developed over the years.  It’s truly remarkable.

 Al Pacino’s Trials for Godfather

A young, soft sounding Pacino.  We sure as hell don’t notice that yelling nature this early in his career.  Just a calm natured guy.  No yelling.  Boo.

Serpico

It’s high pitched but it just isn’t quite “hoo hah” now is it?

Godfather 2 Slap Scene

Here’s the crazy yelling baby!  It might be just one line but man that’s a taste of the future right there.

Dog Day Afternoon

Attica!  Attica!

Scarface

Pick a scene, any scene.  Still though, the voice is kind of high.  And here’s where we take the turn…

Sea of Love

1989 baby.  This is when Pacino started to get a little older and that voice became even more dominant.  And wait until we get to Scent of a Woman but not before….

Dick Tracy

This is the real start.  Then comes one more before Scent of a woman.

Glengarry Glen Ross

Great outburst here.

Scent of a Woman

This is a weird version with sound effects but damnet if Pacino isn’t 100% Pacino right here.

Heat

This one’s just funny.  Great ass!

The Devil’s Advocate

Pacino is just full blown yelling machine at this point in his career.

The Insider

His “s” is starting to change.  The age is starting to show.

Any Give Sunday – Peace by Inches

One of the better sports movie speeches.  But still, listen to that “s.”  Even his “p’s” have something strange to them as compared to his early days.

Two for the Money

It’s almost as if he was Al Pacino impersonation Al Pacino at this point.   This is pretty much embarrassing.

Ocean’s Thirteen

Come on Al!  Just yell dude.

* I refuse to show anything from Righteous Kill


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  • Wow… this must’ve taken a lot of lonely, womanless nights to compile.

  • JD

    The movie Pacino’s yelling streak began was Dick Tracy, I have done extensive discussions on the topic with my non girlfriend having geek friends on this subject. Great article, but yeah, it began with ” I want Dick Tracy DEAD!!” Good read.

  • Nattyb

    Great call on Dick Tracy JD.

    Actually the article took 30 min.

  • Steve

    Doesn’t he yell in Dog Day Afternoon?

  • Gordon

    I… I liked Righteous Kill.

  • PacinoLUVR

    pointless? why, just why?

  • MacDude

    I can’t believe you left out one of his most throaty speeches from “And Justice for All”….”…I’m out of order, I’m out of order…You’re out of order, this whole court room is out of order…”

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  • Gregorious

    MacDude is 100% correct. Pacino’s over-the-top hollerin’ began way back during the 1979 drama …AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. I worked at a theater which was showing that movie, and I saw it over and over in stunned disbelief during its short run.

    Check out the several instances of Pacino’s yowling in the trailer for …AND JUSTICE FOR ALL, which is posted on trailerfan.com.

    Here’s a link: http://www.trailerfan.com/movie/and_justice_for_all/trailer

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  • Автору респект, жду еще чего нибудь по этой теме

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  • LOTTIEDUFF

    Does the screamed phrase, “Attica, AT TIC CAH!” mean anything to you youngsters?

  • ONUR

    No its wrong, off he is getting old and voice is changing but he is also changing his voice , he is acthing different voice every movie…

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  • terryterryd

    City Hall
    “I choose, to FIGHT!” etc…

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  • helen kishmaria

    i love al pacino………………….he’s the best….scarface is his best movie.

  • Занятно! Вообще, поразительно наблюдать то, как в считанные часы совершенно практически без повода из пальца высасывается подобный “новостной сюжет” и начинает широко гулять по блогам. 🙂

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  • wbm

    His cameo in Gigli (worst ending in history tagged onto a decent film) seems written specifically for his yell.

  • youreoutoforder

    You are absolutely right. Pacino used to be soft spoken with selective yelling crescendos but in Scent of a Woman he changed acting styles completely and became a full time yeller. It would be interesting to know what precipitated this sudden shift.

  • carlito

    no no no no no!!! his best and throatiest film is carlitos way (carlito braganti) easy his best film without a doubt.

  • Beau

    Good theory but I think he’s always had it.

    Look at 1979’s ” …And Justice For All” right here:

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  • Nat, have you never been around old people, doll? Chain smoking will kill your voice. And that ‘s’ is bound to be from dental work (and probably dentures/caps/whatever) that a lot of people get as they grow old.

    Got to love Pacino, though. Yelling or timid, he’s the greatest.

  • Also, thanks for not including clips from Jack and Jill 😂