Skip to main content


USA, 1973 (MIFF 1973)

Director: Jerry Schatzberg

Scarecrow is Jerry Schatzberg's third feature: after Puzzle of a Down jail Child, he made Panic in Needle Park, which was a critical success, [hough shunned at the box office. Scarecrow represented the USA at the Cannes Festival this year.

Max and Lion meet on a descried road in California. Max has just been released from jail on an assault charge after several years; he is on his way to Pittsburgh. where he plans to open a car washing business. On the way, he wants to stop at Denver to visit his only relative, his sister, Coley.

Lion has just arrived back from sea, after six years. He is on his way to Detroit, to see his wife whom he deserted six years ago-he also hopes to see his child for the first time. Max, a tough brawler, is essentially a lonely man, who is amused by Lion, a natural clown. In fact, he discovers that his companion on the road appears to be one of the few people in the world whom he feels he might be able to trust. On an impulse, he offers Lion partnership in the car wash business. Lion accepts, and the pair set off for their planned stop-overs in Denver and Detroit.

In Denver, they go to Coley's junk shop, where Max meets Frenchy, and Lion is smitten with Coley. The four make joint plans for the future - after Max has picked up his nest egg in Pittsburgh.

A drunken farewell party turns into a brawl, and both Max and Lion are arrested and given thirty days on the county work farm. Max blames Lion for the fiasco and refuses to talk to him until an attack on Lion unites them again.

Freed again, the pair set out for Detroit, where Lion's wife refuses to see her erstwhile husband. They set off for Pittsburgh, but Lion shows increasing signs of deep mental disturbance, culminating in his being taken to hospital, while Max, humanised and shaken from his egotism under his friend's influence, rushes to his rescue.

See also...


REUNION could be seen by many as a ... familiar subject, but it contains new ... insights into the genesis of a tragedy for ... Germany and the world. ... Harold Pinter has fashioned an intelligent ... More »

The Last Cartoon Man

A vaudeville performer who will do anything to please his audience . . . ... More »


This is a fairy tale abonl the adventures of Mick Travis, a clear-eyed young man urgently determined to succeed. He is training as a coffee salesman for the Imperial Coffee Co. The sudden defection ... More »

Frank Film

The flood of visual images that accompany each phase of growing up in America—the spate of products and graphics eagerly taken in to satisfy our appetites—is the content of Frank's life ... More »

America: Everything You've Ever Dreamed Of

Four vignettes on American life done in cinema verite style. 'Honeymoon Hotel' looks at an ultra-gauche haven for newlyweds: 'Risen Indeed' covers the training of the travelling young believers of ... More »

Braverman's Condensed Cream of Beatles

Thirteen years of Beatles in seventeen minutes of film - a kaleidoscope of images, music and ideas of the rock group which powerfully influenced the youth of the Sixties. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director