Scene Stealer – What d’you say we get a cup of coffee?
Frustrated by the cat and mouse game they’ve been embroiled in, Pacino’s LAPD Detective Vincent Hanna pulls over De Niro’s career criminal Neil MCauley on the freeway. Instead of bending him over the car bonnet and telling him to spread ’em…he takes him out for coffee.
The word ‘classic’ gets thrown around a lot by those who have run out of superlatives but what follows truly justifies the adjective. Heat’s (1995) restaurant scene was a landmark moment in movies: the first time De Niro and Pacino shared the screen together. The Godfather Part II saw the often-regarded rivals as father and son but in separate time periods, so the pair finally acting opposite each other felt like Ali vs Foreman.
The scene itself sees their back and forth weave from reserved hostility, through veiled threats, to a burgeoning friendship and back again. Each actor’s nuanced performance is near-poker faced as the pair discover they’re opposite sides of the same coin; only the slightest smirk gives away the mutual respect that grows over the six minute scene.
Bravo to Pacino too, who gets through the whole scene without shouting “hooo-aaaah!”, although it is worth mentioning that he still looks blind. Incase there’s any uncertainty, it still stings that De Niro buys the farm at the end. Regardless, it’s time to feel the Heat.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Michael Mann/Michael Mann
STARS: Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro