Robert DeNiro, Heat

My Favorite Scene: Heat (1995) – “The Diner Scene”

Michael Mann’s 1995 crime epic, Heat, is probably my favorite film from that genre.  It’s billed as an epic showdown between two of the greatest acting titans of all time, really at the end of their prime: Al Pacino vs. Robert DeNiro.

In this sprawling epic about a gang of thieves led by DeNiro and a police task force lead by Pacino trying to take him down, the two leads actually only have two scenes together and only one where they interact for very long.  At one point, Pacino’s character, tailing DeNIro, gets sick of the cat and mouse, pulls DeNiro over and asks him to get a cup of coffee with him.  What follows is just a master class in acting.  The infused layers of tension between the two mixed with the odd camaraderie of being in the same business, albeit on two sides of the same coin, leads to one of the best scenes in either actor’s career, and my favorite scene from Heat (though the bank robbery was a close second).

Al Pacino, Michael Mann, Heat, Robert DeNiro

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