Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Scent of a Woman (1992)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Scent of a Woman (1992)

In director Martin Brest's coming-of-age drama:

  • the first meeting between crude, blind, retired Army Lt. Col. Frank Slade's (Oscar-winning Al Pacino) and his young caretaker Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell): "Can't believe they're my blood. I.Q. of sloths and the manners of banshees. He's a mechanic, she's a homemaker. He knows as much about cars as a beauty queen, and she bakes cookies, tastes like wing nuts. As for the tots, they're twits. How's your skin, son? I like my aides to be presentable.
  • Slade's "pearls" of wise musings (to Charlie) and tribute to female breasts and the feminine form while seated next to him on an airplane: ("Ooh, but I still smell her... Women! What could you say? Who made 'em? God must have been a f--kin' genius. The hair - they say the hair is everything, you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls, just wanted to go to sleep forever? Or lips - and when they touched yours were like that first swallow of wine after you just crossed the desert. Tits. Hoo-hah! Big ones, little ones, nipples starin' right out at ya, like secret searchlights. Mmm. Legs. I don't care if they're Greek columns or secondhand Steinways. What's between 'em - passport to heaven. I need a drink. Yes, Mr. Simms, there's only two syllables in this whole wide world worth hearin': Pussy. Hah! Are you listenin' to me, son? I'm givin' ya pearls here")
  • Slade's graceful, sensuous tango dance scene with the beautiful Donna (Gabrielle Anwar)
  • the scene of Slade's test drive of a fancy $110,000 Ferrari while Charlie shouted directions, after convincing the reluctant showroom salesman Freddie Bisco (Leonard Gaines) that he would be accompanying him - and referring to both of them as "gray ghosts": ("He will not be unaccompanied. I'll be with him. I'm his father... If this car performs the way I expect it to, you'll get a certified check of $101,000 and change when in you come tomorrow...Freddie, you're no spring chicken, are ya?")
  • the dramatic scene of Charlie's pleading with Frank not to commit suicide by shooting himself (he shouted: "I'm in the dark!"), with two reasons: "I'll give you two. You can dance the tango and drive a Ferrari better than anyone I've ever seen...Give me the gun, Colonel...If you're tangled up, just tango on"
  • Slade's concluding "out of order" speech to the student body of Baird College and to Mr. Trask (James Rebhorn) during Charlie's disciplinary hearing for being a "snitch": ("Out of order, I'll show you out of order! You don't know what out of order is, Mr.Trask! I'd show you, but I'm too old, I'm too tired, I'm too f--kin' blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a flame-thrower to this place. Out of order, who the hell do you think you're talkin' to? I've been around, you know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn't nothin' like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that. You think you're merely sending this splendid foot soldier back home to Oregon with his tail between his legs, but I say you are executin' his soul! And why? Because he's not a Baird man. Baird men. You hurt this boy, you're gonna be Baird bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are out there, F--k You Too!...I'm not finished! As I came in here, I heard those words - 'Cradle of Leadership.' Well, when the bow breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here. It has fallen. Makers of men. Creators of leaders. Be careful what kind of leaders you're producin' here. I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong. I'm not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this. He won't sell anybody out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity! That's called courage! Now that's the stuff leaders should be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey. You hold this boy's future in your hands, Committee. It's a valuable future. Believe me. Don't destroy it! Protect it. Embrace it. It's gonna make ya proud one day, I promise you.")


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