Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday

My Favorite Scene: Any Given Sunday (1999) “A Game of Inches”

Either you’re a huge fan of Oliver Stone, or you likely can’t stand anything about Oliver Stone: the man’s polarizing.  Personally, I’m not a fan.  Any Given Sunday is, to me, one of Stone’s best films.  It’s overlong and hackneyed at points, but it also was a prophetic and revealing portrait of the real culture of professional football and its consequences to those who play it long before the issues it raises became mainstream sports conversation.  The centerpiece of the film is, without a doubt, another great monologue from Al Pacino.

Is there another actor who has more memorable career monologues than Pacino?  The most iconic is, obviously, Scent of a Woman, but there’s Dog Day Afternoon, And Justice for All, a couple from the Godfather films, Heat, and on and on.  “A Game of Inches” has to be counted right up there.  As pre-game speeches go, they don’t come better.  As the best sports-related motivational speeches do, it also translates to life as a whole, and whatever else you may take away from Any Given Sunday.…this scene makes the career portfolio of one of the greatest actors of all-time.

Al Pacino and Jim Brown in Any Given Sunday

9 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: Any Given Sunday (1999) “A Game of Inches””

  1. When Scorcesse de-ages Pacino in The Irishman, is he going to make Pacino’s acting style more restrained? I love Pacino, but he went from giving one of the most subtle central performances I’ve ever seen in the Godfather to chewing the scenery in every single film he’s in. I’ve never seen Any Given Sunday, and I’m not sure if I should. I think I’ve seen enough Oliver Stone to last a lifetime. He screwed up the story of Alexander the Great. Natural Born Killers and U-Turn are both on my list of the ten worst movies I’ve ever seen, and while U-Turn is just ridiculous (if bloody), NBK is ideologically reprehensible. Even his revered films, like Platoon and Wall Street, are just okay, and JFK, which I thought was superb if taken as a fantasy, was ruined by the way Stone touted it like it was a docudrama.

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  2. Sorry for the non sequitur, but I just saw Isle of Dogs.

    I’m really sorry, I don’t mean any disrespect to your name, but I made the right choice seeing it over Pacific Rim 2, Yaegersan.

    You have to be an entrenched dog lover to understand how wonderful the movie truly is (say the words “Isle of Dogs” really fast) but the design is beautiful, every moment is filled with verbal and visual interest, that Anderson dry wit is sustained more successfully than any of his other films to date, you’re on the edge of your seat for the entire hour and forty minute run time (which flies by), the voice cast is so sweeping and eclectic that it contains Harvey Keitel AND Yoko Ono (and it does not hurt that the lead is Bryan Cranston), and the whole thing qualifies as genuine science fiction. It’s Anderson’s most accomplished film since Rushmore. But, again, if you are not a dog person, you won’t get it. And if you are a cat person, beware!

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