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Better actor: Pacino or De Niro

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Better actor: Pacino or De Niro

Old 12-28-07, 11:30 PM
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Better actor: Pacino or De Niro

In their prime Pacino's most popular are Godfather 1, 2, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface. De Niro's is Godfather 2, Taxi Driver, Deer Hunter, Raging Bull, King of Comedy. I'm going to go with Pacino on this, by a smidge. I think a lot of De Niro's success greatly benefits from Scorsese whose signature direction (especially with Shrader)overshadows the stars. On the Goodfellas dvd someone who worked with him said the performance he sees the most in his movies is Scorsese himself. De Niro is totally dedicated gaining/losing weight like crazy, but Pacino just has more range, emotionally, it's more subtle but it's there though it's overshadowed with his latest cliche yelling. Heck my favorite from either of their works is Taxi Driver.

De Niro performs his roles to a tee but he's more like just there. Pacino is a force of nature even in lesser known movies like the comedies And Justice for All ("you're out of order..") and Author! Author! De Niro's humor meanwhile is the Meet The/Analyze This movies. Scarecrow is a pretty good drama because of Pacino's/Hackman's performances. In The Last Tycoon and 1900 De Niro performs mostly in one or two dynamics which is weird since he was magnificent in Taxi Driver. Pacino's pure presence in Dog Day Afternoon or Scarface jumps out of the screen.

Both were in lots of crap. Pacino is more picky with his roles, not really caring if it will be a good movie. Just reading the movies he passed on is mindboggling like Apocalypse Now, Star Wars, Goodfellas, and yet the one he most regretted passing on was a hockey movie Slap Shot?? Just not looking at being a movie star, heck he even does theater work, Shakespeare etc. De Niro has been in more mainstream movies and continues to take crappy parts.

Lately Pacino has gotten out of his rut and doing good things like Angels in America (for tv), The Merchant of Venice. De Niro looks to be in another mob movie in Frankie Machine while Pacino will be portraying Salvador Dali.
Old 12-28-07, 11:33 PM
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I like Pacino alittle more, but its so hard to choose.
Old 12-28-07, 11:40 PM
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In my opinion, Pacino solidified himself as the greatest actor of that era with more varied roles (my personal favorite of his being Dog Day Afternoon, but I'd also like to point at Heat, Serpico, and even Scent of a Woman). For example, I regard Heat as one of his finest performances because he plays a complicated character and gives that character a great sense of depth and humanity.

Although, I will confess that my favorite acting performance of all-time belongs to DeNiro (Travis Bickle).
Old 12-29-07, 12:07 AM
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In the 70s, NOBODY was better than Pacino. Now he's almost a parody of himself. I don't think he's had a great performance since Sea of Love.
Old 12-29-07, 12:41 AM
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For me, it all depends on the material that they are working with. If the script and direction are good, and they connect with the role, it turns out well. If not, well, the end result is painful.
Old 12-29-07, 12:49 AM
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Tough. My favorite performance from De Niro is in Taxi Driver. For Pacino it's Dog Day Afternoon. Tough call.

I refuse to vote.
Old 12-29-07, 01:04 AM
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I've always been a bigger DeNiro fan.

Casino, Goodfellas, Midnight Run, Analyze This/That, Godfather II, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Once Upon A Time In America, Deer Hunter, Meet The Parents...the list goes on and on.
Old 12-29-07, 02:07 AM
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I voted DeNiro...though worthy of a lengthly debate.
Old 12-29-07, 02:24 AM
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Wow, the irony--I just finished watching 'Heat'

I voted DeNiro. Guess I'm just more familiar with many of his roles.
Old 12-29-07, 07:31 AM
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Although I think these guys are the best of the past 30 years, I would go with DeNiro, cause he is great in dramas and comedies.

DeNiro comes off totally believable as a young Marlon Brando in Godfather II, and comes off as a total psycho in TaxiDriver, and then has the role of his life with Raging Bull. He can be one of the funniest actors alive with Midnight Run, which I feel is one of the most underrated comedies of the 80's, and also be funny in Meet the Parents and Analyze This.

Then his cool man roles in Goodfellas, Casino, Heat, Meanstreets, just makes most of movies a must see to any fan.
Old 12-29-07, 09:23 AM
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DeNiro is Just superb in GF2. Casino and Goodfellas just terrific. Who can't forget raging bull and taxi driver. Now the guy does comedies?? Unreal.

Pacino is and always will be known as a great actor but he's really been doing shit titles lately. His last good movie was Donnie Brasco. After that he's graced us with angels in America and who can forget Gigli which I've yet to see and could care less.

Last edited by mike2; 12-29-07 at 09:26 AM.
Old 12-29-07, 09:25 AM
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Pacino has become a self-parody of himself....... DeNiro.
Old 12-29-07, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Geofferson
I voted DeNiro...though worthy of a lengthly debate.

Old 12-29-07, 12:50 PM
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Am I the only one who doesn't have De Niro or Pacino in their top 20 list for best actors? If it wasn't for the internet, I would have no clue that people think of these guys so highly. I feel gangster actors tend to be overrated.
Old 12-29-07, 01:34 PM
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I'll go with Pacino but its a close call. To me they are both stars and are amazing when they're the lead. However, if you put Pacino in an ensemble cast and have him in more of a supporting role he tends to steal the show. Glengarry GlenRoss comes to mind as does Donnie Brasco to a smaller degree. He can also make a decent movie good. He killed in Any Given Sunday.
Old 12-29-07, 01:37 PM
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I think De Niro's been more consistent over the course of the 70's, 80's, and 90's(hell, Pacino all but vanished during the 80's), so I'll give him the edge. Both actors have become caricatures of themselves this decade however.
Old 12-29-07, 01:39 PM
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In their respective primes De Niro is easily tops for me. He doesn't just play a role, he literally becomes it. Whether it's for Jake LaMotta, Travis Bickle or Vito Corleone he became the person he was playing and that speaks volumes on-screen. That isn't to take anything away from Pacino, he's a phenomenal actor, but Bobby D in his prime was a powerhouse that commanded your attention at all times.
Old 12-29-07, 02:36 PM
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Bobby D. by a wide margin.
Old 12-29-07, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TallGuyMe
Pacino has become a self-parody of himself....... DeNiro.
Agree, and that's why I voted for DeNiro. Pacino has so many great performances, but like a few others have said he's become a self-parody and overacts.
Old 12-29-07, 03:37 PM
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I cant vote. Both are so good.
Old 12-29-07, 04:43 PM
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My answer is:

C. John Cazale
Old 12-29-07, 04:58 PM
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I like them both, but DeNiro gets my vote. I think he gives his best performances in his more subtle and less celebrated roles (Awakenings, Mad Dog and Glory). I kind of feel the same about Pacino--he's best when he's not playing the typical loud Pacino character. One of my favorite underappreciated movies is Frankie and Johnny.
Old 12-29-07, 05:53 PM
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Both Pacino and De Niro's body of work have their indelible effect and influence in cinema. I both admire them but I've had to choose De Niro. Loved him in Taxi Driver, Goodfellas and Raging Bull. Pacino at times seems annoying with his acting hysterics like Scent of a Woman and Any Given Sunday but was effective in Scarface and Heat. It's too close a call really.
Old 12-29-07, 06:22 PM
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They're both great but overall I prefer Pacino by a slight margin.
Old 12-29-07, 10:47 PM
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Like many have said already, they're equally impressive, but if I had to choose, I'd choose Pacino. I find him to be a tad more engaging than De Niro.

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