You think of Al Pacino, 79, as one of the greatest movie stars. For decades, agents warned him to avoid TV roles. But he started out on TV, as a church bomber with an innocent baby face on ABC's 1968 show N.Y.P.D. And in this century, TV is where he's succeeded most — especially lately, fetching a big trove of Emmy, Golden Globe and even Oscar honors, thanks to the small screen. The more spontaneous milieu of making TV shows is “kind of dangerous, which I like,” Pacino told the L.A. Times. Here are his must-see performances for home viewers.
You can tell Pacino had a blast starring in Amazon's comic-book-like mystery about Holocaust survivors who stalk and kill German Nazis posing as ordinary Americans in the 1970s. As the Nazi hunters’ charming leader Meyer Offerman, he conceals a terrific secret, and there are yet more bizarre twists in store involving the wicked character called the Colonel (Enemies: A Love Story's Oscar nominee Lena Olin, 64). Fans of Taxi will be glad to see Latka's Simka — Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Carol Kane, 67 — as one of Meyer's fellow hunters.
(See it on: Amazon)
The Irishman (2019)
As the charismatic union boss Jimmy Hoffa, murdered by Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro, 76) in Martin Scorsese's most grownup mob drama, Pacino got his first Oscar nomination in 27 years, and many thought his reunion with De Niro is as good as their classic confrontation in 1995's mob movie Heat. Though it played theatrically, most people have watched The Irishman on TV or computer screens.
(See it on: Netflix)
This biopic about Penn State's Joe Paterno — the world's winningest football coach who was implicated in shielding his assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, a pedophile rapist — is a bit muddled. It can't decide whether to depict Paterno as a clueless dupe or a monster complicit in Sandusky's 16-year crime spree. But Pacino is often accused of overacting, and this paradoxical role forces him into an interestingly muted, still quietly powerful performance.
(See it on: HBO Go, HBO Now, Amazon, YouTube, Vudu, Hulu)