Al Pacino: Michael Corleone vs. Tony Montana

Al Pacino

One actor. Two film roles. You tell us which portrayal was the best. The most memorable. Or iconic. Or simply your favorite.
But before you pass judgment, a few words defending the “character” of each…

The case for Michael Corleone

From young innocence (“That’s my family Kay, not me”) to the ruthless return of the prodigal son (“I don’t feel I have to wipe everyone out… Just my enemies”) to regretful lion in winter (“Give me a chance to redeem myself and I will sin no more”) the character arc of Michael Corleone in the Godfather trilogy  is a multifaceted and fascinating span of three films and 40 years.

The case for Tony Montana

The rise and fall of Scarface may not be as complex as that of Michael, but Montana’s unapologetic “live fast, die young” lifestyle is by far more exciting than the businesslike Corleone. And while a doddering Michael keels over—alone—in his yard at least Montana has “my little friend” to keep him company as he goes out with a bang. Like Neil Young said: “It’s better to burn out than fade away.”


Now that you’ve heard the arguments for both it’s time to render your verdict!