The Indian Wants the Bronx
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|SUMMARY: Two tough guys come across an elderly Indian gentleman while wandering about Manhattan one night. They tease and torment the man, who only wants to get out to the Bronx to visit a relative. The Indian man is eventually beaten and finally stabbed. Much of the action revolves around a phone booth, which almost functions as a fourth character, a would-be lifeline for the abused Indian man. During the play Pacino strutted about in a menacing manner, shouting out, "Hey, pussyface!" to a woman in a window, using his swagger to disguise the basic insecurity of Murph the malicious. "The Films of Al Pacino" by William Schoell|
Pacino really began to "make it" with this role. He had appeared in a workshop production of the play in Connecticut in 1966, but this new production was fully mounted for New York's Astor Place theater. Pacino costarred with Matthew Cowles and John Cazale (who later starred as "Fredo" in The Godfather), with whom he had a close friendship until Cazale's death from cancer. "The Films of Al Pacino" by William Schoell
It won him a Best Actor Obie and established him as an actor to be reckoned with from that day forward. John Cazale and Israel Horovitz also won Obies. "The Films of Al Pacino" by William Schoell
A disturbing play in the sixties, Horovitz's study of zenophobia and restless youth undoubtedly would seem quaint and dated in these days of metal detectors in grade schools, its Murph an all-too-typical nihilistic, marauding moron of the nineties. "The Films of Al Pacino" by William Schoell
"convincing and frightening. Particularly effective was Pacino's uncommonly naturalistic, unstagey performance." Variety's review
Pacino one an Obie for Best Actor for his role in "Indian". John Cazale won for Best Supporting actor and Israel Horowitz for Best New Play.
"I began to feel that what I did in the play would be felt, you know these things sometimes, but I didn't know to what extent. Sure, I felt good with the reviews. I felt as if the whole world had turned around, as if the veil had lifted. I felt that kind of excitement, felt it strong. It gave life dignity. And performing for an Italian audience was a marvelous experience."Al Pacino, (from "Al Pacino: A Life on the Wire" by Andrew Yule)
Martin Bregman saw the play and offered to be Pacino's manager, which he became for many years.
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